A failure to understand the grace of God with regard to the salvation of man has been fatal to many persons. There are those who believe that God in His mercy and grace will not permit anyone to be lost; consequently, they feel no need for seeking salvation. It is true that the most joyous thought a convicted sinner can have is that God has offered to give him salvation. It is necessary, however, for us to understand just how one is saved by the grace of God. By definition, grace is unmerited favor. God looked upon man as he had sinned and as he was with out hope in the world. Although man did not deserve it, God formulated a plan whereby man could be saved from his lost condition. Jesus expressed this in these words, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John, Chapter 3, verse 16). Thus, man has access to the grace of God through Jesus Christ. In Romans, Chapter 5, verses 1,2, the Apostle Paul declared, "Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope in the glory of God". In order for us to be the recipients of the grace of God which comes through Jesus Christ, it is necessary for us to know exactly how grace saves us. In Ephesians, Chapter 2, verses 8,9, Paul declared, "For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast". Here, we learn that in salvation both God and man have a part. God's part is to provide a way of salvation, or a means whereby man can be saved; this he does by His grace. Man's part is to accept the salvation which God so freely offers and this is done through faith.
Man believes in God and then accepts the conditions of salvation which are set forth in the scriptures. Faith saves when faith obeys. In Hebrews, Chapter 11, verse 30, we read, "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were compassed about seven days". The walls of Jericho fell by faith because Joshua believed what God said and obeyed his command. In the same way, our faith must cause us to obey what God tells us to do.
It is pointed out, however, that Paul declared in Ephesians, Chapter 2, verse 9, "Not of works lest any man should boast". It is true that no man can save himself by his own works, but he must work according to God's plan in order to be saved. We are told in Philippians, Chapter 2, and the last part of verse 12, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling". Also, James states in James, Chapter 2, verse 24, "Ye see then that by works a man is justified and not by faith only". It is interesting to note that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord according to Genesis, Chapter 6, verse 8, but that Hebrews, Chapter 11, verse 7, says "By faith Noah being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith". Noah was saved by the grace of God, through faith on his part which prompted him to obey God's commands. A person may be saved from his sins by the grace of God when he believes what God says and when he obeys the Gospel which is God's power unto salvation. Romans, Chapter 1, verse 16.