We live in a world where nothing of great value is ever free. Whenever someone claims to be handing out something amazing for free, most people wonder, “whats the catch?” Many would agree that in order to gain anything of value, you have to earn it. This is the case in our every day life, so it would be natural for us to bring this same mentality into our relationship with God.
Ephesians 2:8 claims:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
It may be easy to think that in order for us to enter Heaven to have an eternal relationship with the God who loves us, we have to earn our way there by being good people. This is a reasonable thought, but the problem we run into is that the standard of Heaven is perfection. One sin is enough to disqualify us from the presence of God, which is a huge problem because each one of us has a little more than one sin on our resume. Not only does our sin keep us from Heaven, but our wrongdoings also are deserving of a penalty. From the beginning God made it clear that the penalty for sin would be death and separation from Him for eternity. So we find ourselves in quite the predicament.
Knowing our position of hopelessness and helplessness, out of his great love for us, God decided to make us a way to Heaven that was separate from our actions and deeds. God sent His son Jesus to live the perfect life we could never live. Jesus willingly chose to pay the death penalty on our behalf in order to have the justice served for our wrongs. To prove He was who He claimed to be, Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to many to show them the truth of who He is. If we believe that Jesus is who He claimed to be, and that His death has the power to forgive, then we are given the promise of eternity with God.
As Ephesians 2:8 so simply puts it: we are “saved by grace through faith”.
SAVED: from eternal separation from our Creator (the source of all things loving, good, true, and beautiful).
BY GRACE: we did nothing to deserve it. Out of His love for us, He chose to save us.
THROUGH FAITH: God promises all of this without us having to do anything to earn it, all He asks of us is that we believe in what Jesus has done. As far as salvation is concerned, there is nothing we can do to add or subtract from this fact.
The gift of salvation has been offered to each and every one of us, but only those who believe and receive what is given will have the reward Jesus promised. The question is then, do you believe or do you think its too good to be true?