For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works,so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9; ESV)
Now that we have a winner for our free Bible giveaway, I would like to draw some parallels to the gift of God and how we understand our relationship with God.
Did our winner deserve the free gift that we are going to send him? No, he did not do anything to deserve it.
Did our winner earn the free gift of the study Bible? No, he did not earn it.
Can our winner boast in what he did? No. He can boast in our for giving him the gift, but not in himself because he did nothing worthy of the gift.
Even though he had to write his name in the comments box does not mean that he earned the gift or deserved the gift. It is still a gift. It is still a free gift being given to him freely. Placing conditions on a gift does not nullify a gift. Just because our winner had to do something to receive the gift does not change the fact that it was by our graciousness and kindness that we gave away a Bible. We did not have to give it away. But we chose to give it away freely. The gift is not the result of the winner’s works but the result of our kindness. The winner cannot boast in himself because he did not do anything to deserve the gift.
In the same way, just because God asks us to believe, repent, confess, and be baptized to receive the grace of God and the forgiveness of sins does not change the fact that salvation is the gift of God. No one earns it. No one deserves it. No one can boast in it. It is just grace. All we are doing is meeting the conditions of God’s free gift.