For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift
What is obtained by grace is something you did not earn. There is no way you can come into relationship with Almighty God through effort—it has to be a gift. A multitude of religions have been designed that are made up of rules and rituals promising the favor of God. While this can never produce relationship these religions are so appealing to mankind. Why is that? Because we all know we are not entitled to fellowship with God. However, the yearning within us and religious tradition cause us to search for a method to appease the One on whom we tend to fix the blame for everything that is wrong. Our worldly reasoning dictates that the mess in our world and lives cannot all be our fault.
How is it possible that this astounding gift of grace comes to you? It is completely based on your righteousness which Jesus purchased for you. The Bible tells us that his sinless life fulfilled the requirements of the Law. Since we are joint heirs with Jesus we receive all the benefits he earned. “For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. In His flesh, He made of no effect the law consisting of commands and expressed in regulations, so that He might create in Himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace” (Eph. 2:14-15).
This is not just a plan to avoid hell. It is the astounding opportunity to live your entire life in the power and favor of God and to enjoy the full benefits you need in order to accept a relationship with Him. This is a really good deal since it includes being changed into the nature of Jesus, not by working at it, but by allowing the Holy Spirit do the work.
You will never gain this by comparing yourself to others and trying harder. Your goal is to enter God's place of rest (Heb. 4). As you embrace the principles of Phil. 2:13 you allow God to fashion your will so he can work in you.
This place of trust is the faith in which the child of God walks. “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). When the desired change does not occur as quickly as you like you keep trusting that it is taking place just like one seed in the ground may take longer to germinate than another. God has promised the results. “Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matt. 7:7-8). The idea is to keep expecting as you would do if you ordered something online. Your Father is much more reliable than Amazon.
“He did not even spare His own Son but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything?” (Rom. 8:32).