For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not by yourselves. It is the gift of God. Not by works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Not by works, by grace – is the rallying cry of those, who hope nothing is required of them, more than saying they believe in Jesus. To be saved, is to be delivered from sin, to be freed from sin. Of course we cannot do this by our own efforts. Grace teaches us how to live righteously, soberly, and godly in this present world and then purifies us. Tit 2:11-14. But we must go to Him, wait on Him, listen to His Words and then obey Him to receive salvation brought by grace.
How Grace works?
If we really believe, we will seek God, the whole purpose of life; we will seek His Kingdom and His righteousness as our highest priority in life. In this seeking process, we will first hear from within the living Word of God, Christ instructs us and encourage us.
Later the Light of God in every man, Christ, will expose the sins our heart; and if we believe that He, who shows us our sins, is Christ; we will acknowledge our sins and we will be sorry – we will repent.
With sincere repentance, Christ will then remove the desire to sin from our heart, (a work prompted by God and assisted by God’s grace). This repentance and cleansing is the purification process, described in 1 John. This is a repetitive process, until our heart has been cleansed of all sin, until we are purified.
Thus, He can now make us perfect in every good work to do His will, Heb 13:11; a forever cleansing and perfection with resulting union that is now available to all who go to Him for change. This is the operation of true grace, which is not salvation – instead, grace brings salvation by teaching us to deny ungodliness and lusts in life, (repentance), how to live a godly life in this present world, and purifying us over time, – as described by Paul in Titus 2:11-14:
Therefore, we will be saved by continued good works, through the grace of God. For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and how to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a peculiar people, zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14)
Our faith in Jesus and God’s grace are to result in good works prompted by faith and energized by the grace of God. James said, “faith without works is dead.” (James 2:17) James further said, ” You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.” James 2:24; Paul said, “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12. Peter said: whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. Acts 10:35. Paul again: I declared.. that they should repent and turn to God, and do works consistent with repentance. Acts 26:20. Paul again: Charge those who are rich in this world not to be high minded, nor to trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God who gives us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, to become rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share. 1 Tim 6:17-18. glory, honor, and peace, are to every man who works good. Rom 2:10