Even if most Christians believe their relationship with God began with grace, they often mistakingly believe it must be maintained by obedience or our capacity to keep the fires of faith stoked.
For many years, I twisted believing into a work, fearing that God would save me only if I kept up a certain level of faith. I based my eternal salvation on what I could maintain, rather than on what God promised.
God's promises act differently than ours.
A promise is the future peering into the present: a sighting from a future God has already accomplished. It's the difference between an acorn and a tree: The tree already exists and God sees the tall tree right now. God is present to that full-grown promise. Yet at present, you can only see the acorn the tree sprouted from. God has tossed the acorn from the future into the present in order to remind you of the tree.
*Truth flows from the future into the present.
The fact is, our relationship with Jesus has always been rooted in a promise God made, not our obedience [rule-keeping, law-based performance] and not our faith-keeping.
Before he had done anything good or bad...
Paul reminds his own Jewish friends, who thought they were qualified by their Jewish obedience to "thou shalts," that God chose their ancester Jacob to carry foreward the promise of his forebears, Abraham and Isaac, before Jacob was even born - before Jacob had the chance to do anything good or bad.
God chose Jacob "When they [Jacob and Esau] had not yet been born, and had done nothing either good or bad - so that what God had in mind in making his choice might come to pass, not because of good works but because of the one who calls... [Romans 9:11-12]
Yes, we choose our having been chosen, but when God saves a person from death into life, it is never about that person's obedience: It is always about God's choosing them.
Rescue and obedience have nothing to do with each other:
God made a promise to rescue. He heals and saves because he wants to, not because you've done well this week: An emergency room doctor doesn't treat and heal only those who have done less bad during the week than the others who have come for his care.
If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the road to heaven is paved with God's intentions.
Trust the Promise, not your obedience.