Ephesians 2:8-10 "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
My pastor preached a home-run message yesterday. It was on Ephesians 2. Grace is the central theme in this passage.
I kind of forgot how important grace is when we're talking about salvation. First of all, a good dose of humility is handed out. We don't do anything in the salvation process. Literally. Nothing. We don't even make the decision to follow Christ because He calls and draws us to Himself. I know that I've struggled with that idea. God gave us free will right? (Yeah.) Then how don't we make the decision to follow Christ? But I have to realize that God is Lord over all and while we have free will, He works everything for His glory. We may get what we want and what we think is best for us but God knows better. He often turns our plans upside-down in order to draw us to Himself.
Second of all, not only do we not do anything, we don't deserve anything. There is nothing good inside us. We were made by God and our essence is good because God created us good (1 Timothy 4:4). But inside is our sin nature (Romans 7:18). This created a barrier between us and God. We've disobeyed Him ever since the Fall in Eden. There is nothing good that we do (Isaiah 64:6) so there nothing we can do to earn our salvation.
It's all done by God. He truly orchestrates all things according to His glory. In the end, no matter whether you go to Heaven or Hell, it will give glory to God. If you go to Hell, you will be glorifying Him by satisfying His wrath against sin. If you go to Heaven, then you will glorify Him by choosing to believe in Him and living their life for His purpose.
So I urge you to take full realization of this grace that God presents to us. I pray He leads you to Himself by realizing this truth not even just a little bit, but I'll venture to pray that He lavishes it on you and you'll have no excuse but to respond in obedience and complete submission to Him.
He loves you.