Grace, what is it?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Chemnitz, Nov 7, 2002.

  1. Chemnitz

    Chemnitz
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    Everybody says they believe that we are saved by grace, but what do they mean by grace?

    So what do you think the word 'grace' means?
     
  2. Bro. Curtis

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    Mercy - Not getting what we deserve.

    Grace - Getting what we don't dseserve
     
  3. DHK

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    Grace is God's unmerited favor.

    Some have defined it this way:

    God's
    Riches
    At
    Christ's
    Expense
     
  4. Frank

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    Grace is God's unmerited favor of man.
     
  5. Eladar

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    It depends on who you ask.

    Protestants have one answer, while Catholics would have another.

    My view is the protestant view. God's grace is Jesus' sacrifice which allows us to be found righteous even though we are not.
     
  6. Carson Weber

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    Hi Keith,

    Grace is the unmerited, free gift of God's inner life.

    To be more specific, I quote the Baltimore Catechism:

    102. Q. Which are the chief effects of the Redemption?
    A. The chief effects of the Redemption are two: The satisfaction of God's ' justice by Christ's sufferings and death, and the gaining of grace for men.

    103. Q. What do you mean by grace?
    A. By grace I mean a supernatural gift of God bestowed on us, through the merits of Jesus Christ, for our salvation.

    104. Q. How many kinds of grace are there?
    A. There are two kinds of grace, sanctifying grace and actual grace.

    105. Q. What is sanctifying grace?
    A. Sanctifying grace is that grace which makes the soul holy and pleasing to God.

    106. Q. What do you call those graces or gifts of God by which we believe in Him, hope in Him, and love Him?
    A. Those graces or gifts of God by which we believe in Him, and hope in Him, and love Him, are called the Divine virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity.

    107. Q. What is Faith?
    A. Faith is a Divine virtue by which we firmly believe the truths which God has revealed.

    108. Q. What is Hope?
    A. Hope is a Divine virtue by which we firmly trust that God will give us eternal life and the means to obtain it.

    109. Q. What is Charity?
    A. Charity is a Divine virtue by which we love God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.

    110. Q. What is actual grace?
    A. Actual grace is that help of God which enlightens our mind and moves our will to shun evil and do good.

    111. Q. Is grace necessary to salvation?
    A. Grace is necessary to salvation, because without grace we can do nothing to merit heaven.

    112. Q. Can we resist the grace of God?
    A. We can and unfortunately often do resist the grace of God.

    113. Q. What is the grace of perseverance?
    A. The grace of perseverance is a particular gift of God which enables us to continue in the state of grace till death.

    Blessings,

    Carson

    [ November 07, 2002, 09:03 PM: Message edited by: Carson Weber ]
     
  7. Eladar

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    Yet Paul wrote that even with grace we can do nothing that merits heaven.
     
  8. Carson Weber

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    Yet Paul wrote that even with grace we can do nothing that merits heaven.

    Where did he state this? Can I answer for you? Nowhere.

    Our good deeds do not take away from the work of Christ, they are the work of Christ. As the Bible says, “t is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Phil. 2:13).

    You should also understand what the Baltimore Catechism means when it speaks of merit. To do so, I suggest visiting

    http://www.catholicoutlook.com/objfaith1.html

    I quote the above website here:

    The Lutheran Book of Concord acknowledges that eternal life can be awarded by condign merit: “We grant that eternal life is a reward because it is something that is owed – not because of our merits but because of the promise.” (Book of Concord, 162) A reward given on the basis of a promise is precisely the definition of “condign merit.” So it is not wrong to speak of gaining merit with God, as long as we understand that all we’re talking about is the biblical doctrine of “reward.” As St. Augustine wrote, “The Lord made himself a debtor not by receiving something but by promising something. One does not say to him, ‘Pay for what you received,’ but ‘Pay what you promised.’”

    Bless you,

    Carson

    [ November 07, 2002, 09:20 PM: Message edited by: Carson Weber ]
     
  9. Eladar

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    Romans 3:21-28

    But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

    Romans 5:6-9

    For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

    I hope you notice where St. Paul states that we are justified by Jesus' blood, not our good deeds.

    We can't escape sin until we die. As John wrote, "If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."

    It is not our perfection that allows us to enter God's presence, it is the fact that our sins will not be counted against us that will allow us to enter God's presence. "For if we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
     
  10. Carson Weber

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    Hi Tuor,

    You wrote, "I hope you notice where St. Paul states that we are justified by Jesus' blood, not our good deeds."

    Did I say that we were saved by our good deeds? No, I didn't. I said that we are saved by the good deeds that Christ does in us.

    Paul, in this passage in Romans, speaks of ergos nomou (works of the law), which are those works by which Jews believed themselves to be justified.

    Paul repeats his admonition to the Galatians: "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love." (Gal 5:6)

    The Jews in Paul's time believed that one was saved by being a Jew, by performing "Works of the Law", which atoned for sin - such as the purification rites. Paul says, "No, no, no you stupid Galatians (he really does call them stupid!); circumcision does not matter at all in God's eyes - only faith working through love."

    Do you believe, Tuor, that only faith matters. Or faith working through love? Don't be so quick to siphon off the work of charity in the believer, which is the working out of salvation (Phil 2:12).

    Now, would you like to comment on my post above concerning what I mean when I say merit? This is crucial to any mutual understanding.

    Bless you,

    Carson
     
  11. Eladar

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    I am trying to deal with Sanctification. Nowhere does the Bible say that we will ever become perfect. My disagreement with Sanctification has nothing to do with why God saves us. My disagreement with Sanctification is with why we are found righteous.

    We are found righteous because of our relationship with God. Those whose hearts are not with God worship Him in vain. We demonstrate that we actually know God through our actions. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we will ever achieve perfection. It does say that we should strive to be like Jesus, but nowhere does it say we will ever achieve the goal. On the contrary, the Bible states that while we live in the flesh of this world we can't be perfect.

    Romans 7:14-25

    For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.
     
  12. Carson Weber

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    Romans 6:22

    "But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life."

    Revelation 21:22-27

    "And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light shall the nations walk; and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it, and its gates shall never be shut by day -- and there shall be no night there; they shall bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life."
     
  13. Chemnitz

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    So you guys are going to argue over justification and sanctification when you can't even agree on what 'grace' means?

    [ November 08, 2002, 04:12 PM: Message edited by: Chemnitz ]
     
  14. Eladar

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    Chemnitz,

    I don't think you understand. The very defintion of Catholic grace depends on Sanctification.

    According to Catholics, grace is God's gift that allows us the ability to become perfect so that we can enter into His presence. True, it is God's work in us tha makes us perfect, but we must still become perfect. [​IMG]

    [ November 08, 2002, 04:48 PM: Message edited by: Tuor ]
     
  15. Chemnitz

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    I would say it is the otherway around, their definition of grace led to the development of their doctrine of sanctification. Because their very doctrine of sanctification is dependant on God's grace being a qualitative imputed substance.
     
  16. Eladar

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    It is difficult to know which came first or if they were developed at the same time. In any case, I believe these two concepts are actually one. Catholic grace is Sanctification and Sanctification is Catholic grace.
     
  17. Carson Weber

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    Hi Tuor,

    You wrote, "According to Catholics, grace is God's gift that allows us the ability to become perfect so that we can enter into His presence."

    Actually, you're making a distinction that shouldn't be made. Grace is God's gift of his very own life. So, when one is "in grace", God dwells in his very soul. The Christian is already in the presence of God. We experience heaven on Earth as Members of Christ's Mystical Body; the Catholic Church is fully herself in heaven. We are merely pilgrims who have a taste of the presence of God. When we enter heaven, we will be fully what we already are: sons in the Son. We will then see God face to face; now, only as in a mirror.

    You also wrote, "Catholic grace is Sanctification and Sanctification is Catholic grace."

    Sanctification is our being made holy. Sanctus = Holy. Sanctify = to make holy. Grace is God's life, freely given without merit. God alone is holy. When we receive the grace of God, we are made holy. This is accomplished by the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit.

    Hi Keith,

    You wrote, "their definition of grace led to the development of their doctrine of sanctification."

    I would say that Paul's definition of grace led to the logical conclusion of his doctrine of sanctification.

    Paul writes, "[God] is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption" (1 Cor 1:30) and "God chose you from the beginning to be saved through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth" (2 Thes 2:13) as well as "But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life" (Rom 6:22).

    God bless,

    Carson
     
  18. Ben W

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    Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.

    Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear and Grace my fears relieved.

    Tis Grace has brought me safe thus far, and Grace will lead me home.

    Grace saved John Newton and turned his life around in a more dramatic way than we can hardly imagine. The thought that God offers his Grace to us is mind boggling. But then that is only a small sample of how much He loves you.
     
  19. Eladar

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    Carson,

    I see you agree with what I said, you just like to put holier view on it. That's fine.

    As to your quotes of sanctification, Paul explained how this happened in the verses I posted on page one.
     
  20. Ps104_33

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    Catholics believe that justification and sanctification are synonomous.
     

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