He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5)
A good friend of mine, Major Rusty Rowe, saved another soldier from drowning. For his act of selfless service and courage, he has been recommended for the Soldier’s Medal. Two soldiers were swimming during riptide conditions and one could not make it back to shore without help. So Doc Rowe swam out and brought the young soldier back to shore. He saved her. In the same way, we are drowning in our sin and there is no way we can make it to Heaven through our own efforts. It’s Jesus who, in the depths of our despair, has made His way out to us and rescued us through His work on the cross.