If someone asked you, “What do Lutherans teach?” you could answer: “For one thing, Lutherans believe in GRACE ALONE.” But what does that mean?

The apostle Paul once wrote to Timothy that God “has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time” (2 Timothy 1:9). That one passage tells us much about grace. It tells us . . .

* God’s grace is the reason that we’re saved. Paul wrote that God has saved us because of his own purpose and GRACE.

* God’s grace is undeserved. By saying that God saved us, Paul tells us we have sinned. For only sinners need salvation. The Bible makes it clear what sinners deserve: “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Yet God chose not to condemn all people to eternal death. Rather, God chose to show us GRACE—undeserved love.

* God’s grace is unearned. Imagine if we had to somehow earn God’s grace to be saved. That would mean every night when we went to bed, we would have to wonder, “Have I done my part?” We could never be certain that we are saved! But Paul tells us that God’s salvation has nothing to do with “anything we have done.” God saved us not because of what is inside us. He saved us because of what is inside him—GRACE!

* God’s grace is seen in Christ Jesus. God sent his only Son to die for those who rebel against him. The perfect one was punished. The imperfect are set free.

* God’s grace is complete. Paul didn’t say, “God saves us,” as if our salvation is an ongoing process. Nor does he say, “God will save us,” as if there is something left to do. He said God “has saved us.” Salvation is a done deal. On the cross Christ said, “It is finished.” His word is final. It is GRACE ALONE.

* God’s grace is eternal. Think about it. God had decided to send Jesus to save sinners “before the beginning of time.” His love for us is older than time itself!

GRACE ALONE is the answer to life’s biggest question: “Why am I saved?” To answer that question we don’t look to ourselves, our lives, or even our faith. Rather, we look to our gracious God, who has always loved us for no other reason than that he chose to love us.