It is the only place Paul said it this way. In a world of achievement, where we feel compelled to do something to earn things, a proper theological perspective is the only way to fully appreciate it.
We all have lived at some point gratifying the cravings of our sinful natures, the desires and thoughts within. We were dead in our sin, and as such, objects of the wrath of God. And then God. . . .
Here is the clear truth: We didn't do anything. We couldn't. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which he loved us, made us alive in Christ. How great a love is that? Why do we think in any way He isn't willing to show His love to us? He already did. And He did it while we were in the most unlovable condition. There is nothing worse we could do. Compared to who He is, we are nothing. Deserving of nothing. Yet because of His great love, He gave us life.
Just spend some time dwelling on this. Do we really have this straight or are we thinking we had something to do with it all? If so, we really don't understand either the depth of God's mercy and love nor the depth of our own sin. Yeah God!!!!