For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
There is a lie that seems to be continually perpetuated by people today who claim to know Jesus. It is this idea that God saved us because we are so wonderful and he just couldn't live without us. That is not the case. God loved us, in our unlovely, rebellious, sinful condition. We are saved as a gift from God. We are undeserving. He is loving to the unlovely. It glorifies him that he saved us. We are not to receive glory for it.
When Paul says that it is by grace that we have been saved he is talking about a work that God does for us. Grace is a gift. The faith required to reach out toward that gift of grace is also a gift! Salvation is given to us, not purchased by us. This doctrine is a fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith. God initiates salvation. He takes the first step. He does the work. And I believe that our sinful pride has an issue with that. We like to be responsible for our own destiny.
Dr. John MacArthur put it this way:
“No doctrine is more despised by the natural mind than the truth that God is absolutely sovereign. Human pride loathes the suggestion that God orders everything, controls everything, and rules over everything. The carnal mind, burning with enmity against God, abhors the biblical teaching that nothing comes to pass except according to His eternal decrees. Most of all, flesh hates the notion that salvation is entirely God’s work. If God chose who would be saved, and if His choice was settled before the foundation of the world, then believers deserve no credit for any aspect of their salvation.
But that is, after all, precisely what Scripture teaches. Even faith is God’s gracious gift to His elect.”
The Apostle John gives us a great perspective on the matter:
1 John 4:10
 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Salvation is an undeserved gift of God. He initiated the relationship. How have you responded? If you are trying to appease him with works, you have misunderstood the relationship. If you are living a daily life of gratitude for his work on your behalf, you are starting to get it right. How will you gratefully respond to his gift today?