All the blessings God has bestowed upon man and women are of his grace, his free, undeserved favor. We have no claim to the least of His mercies.
It was free grace that “formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into him a living soul,” and then stamped on that soul the image of God. The same free grace continues to us at this day -- life, and breath, and all things. And whatever righteousness may be found in us, this is also the gift of God.
With what then can we atone for even the least of our sins? With our works? Even if our works are many and holy, they are not our own, but God’s.
Therefore, having nothing -- neither righteousness nor works -- to plead, our mouths are utterly stopped before God. If, then, we find favor with God, it is “grace upon grace!” “By grace you have been saved through faith.”
Grace is the source, faith is the condition, of salvation.
What kind of faith? Faith in Christ. Christian faith is a full reliance on the blood of Christ; it is a trust in the merits of His life, death, and resurrection. This kind of faith means resting upon Him as our atonement and our life. It is cleaving to Him as our “wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption” -- or, in one word, our salvation.
This is a present salvation -- something attained here on earth -- by those who are partakers of this faith. This is that great salvation foretold by the angel, before God brought His First-begotten into the world: “You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew:1:21).