We are saved only by the Grace of God.
God saved us by himself; there is nothing we can do. God’s plan was to send a substitute for us to take away all of our sins. This substitute would have to be human like us, die like us, and be raised from the dead so that we too can be raised from our death to be with him in heaven. God did this by sending Jesus. There is nothing more to do, God’s plan has been completed. Many do not believe this and think they need to earn their way to heaven. Unfortunately, this may lead to the belief that they must do good works or just be a good person in order to be saved. Thinking you have to be good or do good deeds to earn heaven is a complete rejection of God’s free gift of salvation. If you received a gift from someone who loves you, do you ask if you can give them some money to help pay for it? Absolutely not, because then it would not be a gift. It is offensive to God if we think our good works help us gain the eternal life that God has already purchased through the death of Jesus on the cross. All our righteous works, no matter how good we think they are, are like filthy rags to God and cannot be measured with what Jesus did on the cross for us. Christians believe that salvation is God’s free gift, joyfully do good works, and follow God’s commands as their way of thanking God. They trust that God alone has saved us. Therefore we thank him through regularly hearing and reading his Word, treasuring his sacraments, and sharing his Word. We thank God that he doesn’t require us to earn our way to heaven, we would never be able to know if we have done enough. What joy Christians have in Jesus who completely paid for all of our sins and alone earned our ticket, free of charge, to heaven when we die!
God’s Word on how we are saved: NIV
Isaiah 64:6: All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags: we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
Acts 4:12: Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.