What is the big deal about grace?
“Now if by grace, then it is not by works; otherwise grace ceases to be grace.” — Romans 11:6
What is grace? Unmerited favor; getting something we didn't earn; a gift! We are saved by grace:
“For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast.” — Ephesians 2:8–9
Salvation is clearly God's gift to the person who believes the gospel. All evangelicals agree on this, or else they wouldn't be evangelical, which means gospel-believing and proclaiming. Unfortunately, there are many who totally agree that we saved by grace through faith, but who live, and teach others, as though grace begins and ends at salvation. This is a deadly doctrine, that leads to hypocrisy, Pharisaism, and legalism. It is a practice that derails the faith of many, and leads others to a joyless, judgmental brand of Christianity that is far from God's desire for us.With that being said, I don't know of anyone who would say the above was their goal! And that is exactly why this is so vital to understand. It is subtle; it is fed by the flesh, not the Spirit. I have been guilty of this without realizing it until the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to it.We live in a merit-based world that militates against grace.