Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:4-10
Grace. It's a such a hard concept to understand and such a difficult gift for us to accept. Even though salvation is bestowed freely when we receive Christ, we live as though it is still somehow up to us. The familiar "works vs. faith" debate.
This has, of course, come up in my Bible study of Romans. In the first three chapters that we've been studying, Paul is writing to the Roman believers about the Law and its role in the lives of Jews, Gentile, believers, and unbelievers. Our discussions reveal how tempting it is for Christians today to still live under the deception that our works somehow earn or secure our salvation.
My pastor recently wrote an excellent blog post about this very topic: http://blog.journey2012.com/2012/03/28/good-enough/. Please take a moment to read his thoughts. They may bring clarity to you or help you offer peace to someone else.