For it is by grace you have been saved. The concept of God being rich in mercy and grace (Hebrew hesed) is an important Biblical concept (see word study on Ex 15:13; compare with Ro 3:22–24; 2Ti 1:9). Similarly, the Dead Sea Scrolls community believed that their election was granted without being earned with human deeds.*
* Flusser, Judaism and the Origins of Christianity, 226.
Taken from NIV First-Century Study Bible