You might think this sounds as though we have to earn our way to Jesus through radical obedience, but that is not the case at all. Indeed, “it is by grace you [are] saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” We are saved from our sins by a free gift of grace, something that only God can do in us and that we cannot manufacture ourselves.
But that gift of grace involves the gift of a new heart. New desires. New longings. For the first time, we want God. We see our need for him, and we love him. We seek after him, and we find him, and we discover that he is indeed the great reward of our salvation.
Amen! There is not a much better way to say how salvation works than to say it is a “gift of grace [that] involves the gift of a new heart.” Old things pass away and all things become new.
My only nitpick would be that Jesus is not so much “the great reward of our salvation” but that our desire to follow him is the great reward of our salvation and salvation is the reward of our being “in Christ.”