If salvation is by grace, and not of works, then no man can boast! You don’t deserve an ounce of the grace bestowed on you. It’s a gift! Paul does well to drive this point home:”For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10). The law says “I worked.” Grace says “I’m His work.”
Our boast is in Christ. “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and REJOICE IN CHRIST JESUS, and have NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH” (Phil. 3:3). To the church in Rome the Apostle says: “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law (Romans 3:27-28). We are all required to drop our accolades before we look to the cross.
A lot of people think it’s weaklings who rely on grace as a cover. Some imagine the grace message to be a retreat to convenience by people who tried to overcome habits but couldn’t. The reality is, many grace preachers (as they are called) are far more disciplined than several who insist on righteousness by works. Paul was the same. He said: “Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more” (Philippians 3:4). However knowing that his good works cannot save him, he says: “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord…And be found in him, NOT HAVING MY OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” (Philippians 3:8-9).