9. Salvation by Grace through Faith
This doctrine is unique to Christianity. All other religions teach that you get to heaven (if there is a heaven) and have a relationship with God (if there is a relationship) by doing enough good works. Christianity alone teaches that you can never be good enough to get into heaven or have a relationship with God, that the only way to get into heaven and have a relationship with God is by putting your faith in Jesus Christ, the only person who has lived a life that is good enough.
The Scripture that teaches this most clearly is Eph. 2:8-10. It says that we are saved by grace through faith. It also says that we are not saved by works.
Why are we not saved by works? Verse 9 tells us why: if we were saved by works, we would boast about our accomplishment. Rom. 4:1-4 says that if Abraham had been justified by works, he would have something to boast about. It also says that if salvation came by works, then God would be in debt to us instead of us in debt to God.
In other words, salvation by works would put us above God and all other men. It would make us proud. And is that not why we sin in the first place?
Rom. 3:20-28 – Salvation must come by grace through faith because we cannot do enough good works in the first place and it excludes boasting.
Does this mean that we are no longer required to do the good works? Of course not (Eph. 2:10).
James 2:14-26 says that we show our faith by our works. Just as a lamp produces both heat and light, true faith produces both salvation and good works.