For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

This happens to be one of the most important Bible verses when it comes to understanding what it means to be a Christian. As Romans 6:23 tells us, the wages of sin is death, and in order to have eternal life and not perish, a death needs to be paid for our salvation.

But how do we achieve our salvation? By having faith, of course. It is not an achievement we can earn by our good deeds, nor something that can be bought. It is Christ’s sacrifice on the cross that paid the penalty for our sins, once for all. As this verse points out, if we were able to earn our salvation through our deeds, mankind could boast about what they’ve done. Instead, it’s by God’s good grace through our faith in His son that lead us to everlasting life in His kingdom.