The following is a quote from John Piper’s sermon from the Gospel Coalition this year. This was probably the most personally significant message I have ever heard from Piper. I encourage you to go watch it online or download it and listen to it.
Your salvation, your calling into a life of courage, and speaking, and suffering is not based on, according to, anything you think, feel, do or act. Now the reason I say it so radically and rule out everything he thinks, everything he feels, everything he does because… he rules out that it is not according to works but according to God’s grace – the contrast is, “Timothy, I want to strip you of every possible reliance for salvation, calling, power, grace, boldness, courage, shamelessness, speaking – I want to strip you of every expectation that those things are ultimately dependent on you, in any sense at all… When Christ died for you, Timothy, to become your punishment, and your perfection, and rose again and abolished death and brought everlasting life to light, he manifested in that, that gospel… that his eternal purpose was to be gracious to you, from all eternity.”