The common use of the language defines grace basically as God’s favorable disposition or attitude, however in the NT the word ‘grace’ has a transformed meaning to describe God’s acts. The Augustinian idea extends grace, specifically in water baptism, which cancels original sin and the power of it until faith is given. Then when faith is given men can cooperate by doing good works which increases their justification. It is considered a ‘seed’ of grace, free will is restored and then it is your responsibility to cooperate with God, especially in the Sacraments. Basically, it becomes assistance for power to merit eternal life.
Grace though is an unchanging disposition and irrevocable. God doesn’t ever take back His favorable disposition; it is grounded in eternal election. It is a gift and totally unmerited by us because it is the merit of another. It is the merit of Christ; it is finished in the Righteousness that He lived and in His Sacrifice.
Grace is the only doctrine unique to the TRUE Gospel of Christianity. A work begun by God is also finished by God. (Philippians 1:6)
A few verses that are used in an exceptional way although they don’t cancel the main use of grace in its being salvific only, so consider:
John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Christ was full of grace and of that fullness we have received as further stated in verses 16 & 17 of the same chapter. “And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace, For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”
Luke 2:40 “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him”. The same grace extended to us was upon Christ.
Romans 5:20 “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” Grace abounding is a manifestation of His work.
2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen” I can attest to the wonder of this scripture which tells us to grow in the ‘message’ to grow in our knowledge of Grace.
Ephesians 4:7 “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ” The measure of the gift of Christ is proceeding from the grace we have been given.
There are certainly more but we can know the uniform meaning of Grace and we can acknowledge that Grace is the whole basis of the Gospel. Oh the joy that we embrace grace as the central and very heart of the Gospel. Amen and Amen.
Next time we will be discussing the true definition of paradox and contradiction as often the word paradox is used to explain something away that may appear as a contradiction. However we all know that God does not contradict Himself in the Scripture. We will also begin a study on the seven waves or peaks of heresy since the Reformation in discerning the true Gospel. It should be pretty interesting.