I came across this anonymous poem recently which describes a sinner who had tried for long years to work his way up to God through his own works and merit. Until….

O long and dark the stairs I trod
With trembling feet to find my God,
Gaining a foothold bit by bit,
The slipping back and losing it.

Never progressing; striving still
With weakening grasp and faltering will,
Bleeding to climb to God, while he
Serenely smiled, unnoting me.

Then came a certain time when I
Loosened my hold and fell thereby;
Down to the lowest step my fall,
As if I had not climbed at all.

Now when I lay despairing there,
Listen...a footfall on the stair,
On that same stair where I afraid,
Faltered and fell and lay dismayed.

And lo, when hope had ceased to be,
My God came down the stairs to me.
[Anonymous, taken from William Hendriksen,
Commentary on Romans, Baker Books]

Eph 2:4-6 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (5) even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), (6) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,