“God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive together with Christ and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places. By grace you have been saved through faith and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” Adapted from Ephesians 2:4-8
Paul was really big on salvation by grace alone. In this he seems to be somewhat at odds with James, the brother of Jesus, who was the leader of the church in Jerusalem. When you read the letter of James, he focus on work. He says, “Show me your faith without works, and by my works, I will show you my faith.” We have been saved by grace alone. It is by our belief in God, our faith, that we receive that grace. At the same time, if we have indeed have accepted what Jesus has done for us, then it should be visible by what we do for others. We have been saved for a reason, so that through us, others might be fed, or clothed, or visited; so that others might see the hand of God at work in the world around them; so that others might also come to know the salvation of Jesus Christ.