But thanks be to God, the merciful God, He provided a substitute for our eternal death: "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8).
Not only did God have mercy on mankind by offering up His only begotten Son as payment for our sin, as the gracious God, He offered us a gift we definitely do not deserve: eternal life: "but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23).
Like any gift, it is not earned, or it would be considered compensation or wages. Neither can it have "any strings attached," or it is not truly a gift. In order for it to become yours, you have to believe it is yours, and accept it.
Let's say that you received a phone call from a lawyer in England, and he told you that one of your distant relatives had died, leaving you $100,000,000.00! He told you that you would be receiving a cashier's check in the mail, and that he recommended you deposit it into a bank account immediately upon receiving it. But when the check came, you did not believe it was real, so you framed it and hung it on your living room wall, for laughs. Even though the money was real, and you did not have to do anything to earn it, you failed to benefit from it. The same is true of salvation.
God justly sentenced you to death because you are a sinner. But the same God who sat in judgment over you, was merciful, "putting on street clothes," and surrendering to the authorities to be executed in your place (Phil. 2:5-8). Following His death, His Father miraculously raised Him from the dead, as your proof that your debt was paid in full! That "paid in full receipt" is His free gift, His grace to you! All you have to do to be saved, is believe "it is finished," and call Jesus your Lord (Jn. 19:30; Rom. 10:9-10)!
Be thankful, and call upon the name of the Lord with thanksgiving!
"Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time; who hath told it from that time; have not I the LORD? And there is no God else beside Me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside Me" (Isa. 45:21).