Deserved Or Undeserved?
4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. – Titus 3:4-7 (NKJV)
We are saved by our works, but through the mercy of Jesus, who died for us. It is only through Jesus taking our place at the Cross that we are saved. There is no “Jesus died, but you must do this, that and the other thing in order to be saved.” Remember this: mercy is God not giving us what we deserve–death for our sins. Grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve–eternal life, justification, righteousness.