When God saves, He saves us by free grace, wholly apart from anything in us or anything we might “bring to the table” later. This is a shocking truth, hard to hear, but entirely Biblical. And in the end, it is most comforting because it means that anyone, anywhere, at any time can come to Christ for salvation. No one has any advantage since “there is no difference” because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
The story is told about an elderly country woman named Betty who trusted in Christ for salvation. One of her skeptical friends heard about it, and intending to make fun of her, asked if she had indeed become one of the saints. “Yes, I have,” she replied. “Well,” said the skeptic, “are you now an expert in theology?” “I’m no Bible scholar,” Betty replied. “I’m simply positive that God loves me enough that He’d rather go to hell than have me go there, and that God loves me enough that he’d rather leave heaven and die than for me not to get to heaven to be with him.” The skeptic insisted, “Is that all you know about it? Can’t you at least explain what being saved by grace means—that is one of your central doctrines, isn’t it?” Betty thought for a moment, and then answered with these words: “Jesus stood in my shoes at Calvary, now I’m standing in His.” It would be hard to find a better explanation of justification by grace through faith.
This is so hard for us to believe. We would prefer to work for our salvation. But God’s gift of salvation costs us nothing, even though it cost Christ everything. The Lord now says to us, “Take it by faith! It’s yours for free. I have paid the cost for you.” Source: Unknown