He wanted to earn God's favor. He told others that he was working to go to heaven. Somehow, deep down inside, he knew things were not right with God. So, he concluded that he must try harder and work even more. Still, there was no real assurance that he was right with God.
The days went by and he was still not sure of his relationship with God. It seemed like nothing worked in his pursuit to please God. He did everything that he knew to do. Nothing worked. Finally, he prayed, "God, I've tried everything I know to do to make things right with you. I don't know what else to do. The only thing I can do is give up." Then grace changed him.
Grace gave him favor with God. He really experienced grace, God's unmerited favor. He could not earn it nor deserve it. There was no way he could work for it. Grace changed him. It was so amazing, because it was God's grace and not what he had done. It was the gift of God. "And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace" (Romans 11:6).
Grace changed him through faith in Christ. It was not what he did for God, but it was what God did for him in Christ. Grace took away all his sins at the cross of Jesus. God justified him by faith in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Grace enabled him to believe in Christ. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God"(Ephesians 2:8). Grace changed him.