The Message version of these verses says, “[our salvation] is God’s gift from start to finish!” We haven’t done anything to lay the groundwork for our salvation, and we can’t carry the work to completion on our own. Every ounce of our salvation is gifted to us by God’s grace alone.
There are times when I can slip into false thinking that I somehow add to my salvation with good works. I can even try to justify myself by comparing what I do for God with what others do and/or in order to try to balance the wrong things I do. And yet, I know that God’s grace is so extravagant that it even washes over my sin in believing that I could ever pay for an ounce of my salvation. From beginning to end, every part of it is evidence of how rich God’s grace is, how unending and abundant it is. We are covered by His grace and love, we are separated from our sin, and all we can do is have faith to receive it.