Today’s Scripture: And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. Romans 11:6

We often hear the word ‘grace’ when talking about salvation, but what exactly is it? Grace: the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God. – Dictionary.com

The first few words are incredibly important in the definition of grace. “Freely given” means “given without cause”. “Unmerited” is literally “un” – which means “not” and “merited” – which means “to be deserved”.

Many people talk about earning “graces” in order to be saved or say that our works can cause God to look at us in a more favorable light. This is impossible and is contrary to even the definition of grace. There is nothing good in ourselves that we can offer God. The Bible tells us that “there is none that doeth good, no not one,” (Psalm 14:3) and “we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6)

First, we have no good that we can offer God, and secondly, if we did have something to offer, it could not be called grace. Romans 4:4 says, “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.” If we did something, it would then become a debt that God owed us in return for our works.

Therefore, we can conclude exactly as it is stated in Romans 11:6 that it can’t be both. Salvation is offered as a gift that we don’t deserve. A gift is not given with the intention that the recipient is required to pay any portion. It has already been completely paid for by the one giving the gift.

If we try to pay for it, it ceases to be a gift. Thus, if salvation is a gift of grace, or unmerited favor, any requirement or offer of payment through merit causes it to be a reward and payment rather than the “gift of God” which is so clearly stated in Scripture. (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-9)

God’s Word gives proof that salvation is offered freely to all who will believe. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) God has made it easy for us. He paid our sin debt and offers eternal life. Share God’s grace with someone today, and show them how He paid for our salvation and offers it as a gift to “whosoever believeth.”

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder