Faith and Grace by Ken Edgerly
Ephesians 2:4-9 NIV
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 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.
Reading this I think of the two factors talked about here, faith and grace. We were dead and there was nothing we could do about becoming alive until God's grace came along which He brought to us through faith. I typically used to turn the two around. I would think, I need to work harder on having more faith so I can be certain I have been saved by His Grace. That meant faith became a work I must do when actually it was God who gave me the faith to realize and believe in His grace which had already been given long before I knew I even needed It. All that was left to do was somehow accept and believe, which wasn't possible since I was dead. That's when God gave me faith to know he loved me and forgave all my sins. It had nothing to do with me trying to gain His grace and everything to do with God giving it to me because of His unconditional love. I am one who does better after I see a good illustration of something, then I understand better. I read a great one on this very thing.
We can think of water flowing through a hose. The water is the important part, but it is communicated through the hose. The hose does not quench your thirst; the water does. But the hose brings water to the place you can benefit from it. (Enduringword.com)
He loved us so much that He was willing to do whatever it took to bring us from death to life, even giving us the means to receive it, faith.