Man cannot forgive HIMSELF of his sins. No WORK done by man alone can ever remove one sin, or gain eternal salvation. By our Sin we have dug a whole so deep for ourselves that we cannot get out of it by ourselves through our own efforts WE NEED HELP
This was the point that Paul was making in that most famous verse. Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" It is by God's GRACE that WE ARE SAVED.
It is not by anything that we have done or could do. We would not even know how to obtain access to it if God had not revealed it through His word the Bible.
Paul tells us that it is the "GIFT OF GOD." GRACE, then, is the "GIFT OF GOD." If we KNOW what the "gift of God" is, then we shall know :- How we can obtain the BENEFITS of the GRACE OF GOD.
The gift of God was JESUS CHRIST. THROUGH CHRIST, God has shown His love, favour and mercy toward humanity. THROUGH CHRIST we have the hope of salvation.
We see this from the words of our Lord to the woman at the well in Samaria. (John 4:10) "Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, give me to drink; you would have asked of Him, and He would have given you living water."
Some would limit this Grace of God only to those who were ELECTED (chosen) to salvation. Those who are ELECTED, or the "ELECT," refers to a doctrine that teaches that a select few were elected to salvation before the world was created.
This is contrary (opposite to) to the scheme (plan) of God's redemption for humanity. God's grace, which comes through Jesus Christ is extended to ALL, NOT just to a select few.
Paul taught that "the Grace of God brings salvation" (Titus 2:11). We all agree with this statement. Yet, Paul continues by saying, "hath appeared to all men." This Grace is not limited. It has appeared so that all men might have an opportunity for salvation. The word "appeared" means, "to become visible,” or "to be seen."
How did God's Grace "appear” to all men? It has appeared through the birth, life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Although the Grace of God has appeared to all men, this does NOT imply that all men are saved.
It means that all possess an opportunity to take advantage of the gift of God, which is Jesus Christ. Our salvation comes through our faith in Him, when we do what we need to do in order to gain access to God's Grace.
Paul teaches that we all have sinned and come short of God's glory (Romans 3:23). As such, we are in our sins and in need of salvation. Our salvation can come only through Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Acts 4:12).
To receive the benefits of the Grace that God offers, we must go to Christ. The Grace of God has come by (or through) the RESURRECTION of Jesus Christ.
The fact that Jesus Christ died is significant. But if that is ALL He did, then we are void (have no access to) of God's Grace. It was through the RESURRECTION of Jesus Christ that God's Grace became effective.
Peter says it aptly: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead“ (1 Peter 1:3).
Without the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we ALL would be WITHOUT any HOPE or SALVATION.
Grace, as it relates to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, is a theme that Paul develops in his letter to the Romans.
Paul proved that all are guilty of sin, and that by one man's disobedience sin came into this world. In chapter five this theme is well developed. Paul also noted that it was by one man's obedience that all have the hope of salvation.
This theme is summed up in one verse. "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." (Romans 5:19)
Finally, in chapter six, we see that when we are baptized into Christ, we are baptized into the likeness of Christ's death, burial and resurrection.
In this act we realize the true significance of God's Grace. Before Christ came into this world to be our sacrifice for sins, we were dead in our sins. Christ did not come because we were so good or great. He came because we were sinners and if we continued in our sin we would PERISH
Whenever we think about the Grace of God, we must understand this fact. This is what makes Grace - Grace. We were dead in our sins, but through Christ we can be made alive.
The key is "through Christ." This helps us to understand Paul's statement:"Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)" (Ephesians 2:5).
The parenthetical clause explains the idea of Grace being through Christ. The GIFT of God is Jesus Christ. The GRACE of God is Jesus Christ. The Gift of the GRACE of God is FOUND through OUR ACCEPTANCE of Jesus Christ.
Through Christ, and His death, burial and resurrection, we have access to the Grace of God. Peter makes a simple, yet profound statement about the Grace of God: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)