1 a : unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification
b : a virtue coming from God
c : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance
(There are other definitions for “grace” but for today’s purpose, I will stick with this one.)
Grace is God’s unmerited favor shown to those whom He chooses, in the way He chooses, to the extent He chooses, in the timing He chooses upon those who not only deserve it but deserve wrath instead. This may come in His saving His elect but also in allowing every person to take their next breath. We all deserve death and eternity in hell. However, God choses to restrain His wrath for the time being and allow people to live while also saving some from eternal damnation.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word!
Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will!
Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul! (Psalm 103)
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:14-17)
For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:20-26)
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:6-11)
For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:14)
So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. (Romans 11:5-6)
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)
I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. (Galatians 2:21)
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:1-10)
But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. (Ephesians 4:7)
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:5-6)
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, (2 Timothy 1:8-10)
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14)
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)
May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. (2 Peter 1:2)
“…many wonderful things have happened since the creation of the world, but none like the wonders of grace. “Grace, grace!” is the sound that the gospel rings with, “Grace, grace!” will be that shout which will ring in heaven forever; and perhaps what the angels sung at the birth of Christ, of God’s good will towards men, is the highest theme that ever they entered upon.” ~ Jonathan Edwards (Glorious Grace)
“Surely, if the angels are so astonished at God’s mercy to you, and do even shout with joy and admiration at the sight of God’s grace to you, you yourself, on whom this grace is bestowed, have much more reason to shout.” ~ Jonathan Edwards (Glorious Grace)
“You may bloody your nose today in this fallen world, but know too that many more graces are being lavished on you than you could ever count.” ~ Paul Tripp
“Oh, it is well for me that not only the salvation of my soul, but all the work the Lord has designed me to do for Him in this world, stands alone upon His free sovereign grace! Oh, not an inch of service would ever have been laid out for me, if rich, free grace had not cast the lot! I wonder that the Lord should do anything for me, above all His children, because I am so vile, so unfit and unworthy! But the grace of God is His own; like Himself, infinite; and a sovereign right He has to bestow it where he pleases; He may do what He will with His own!” ~ Anne Dutton
“And now, let all the objections be brought out that all the legions of devils and armies of corruptions combined can raise against the salvation of that sinner that looks unto Christ for life, and down they must fall before the grace of this promise—God’s word shall stand, to the eternal salvation of that soul and the confusion of all its enemies!” ~ Anne Dutton
“In order to grow in grace, we must be much alone with God. It is not in society, even Christian society that the soul grows most rapidly and vigorously. In one single quiet hour of prayer it will often make more progress than in whole days of company with others.” ~ Horatius Bonar (Ministerial Confessions)
“Give us grace, Almighty Father, so to pray, as to deserve to be heard, to address thee with our hearts, as with our lips. Thou art every where present, from thee no secret can be hid. May the knowledge of this, teach us to fix our thoughts on thee, with reverence and devotion that we pray not in vain.” ~ Jane Austin
“God is not at risk of exhausting His stores of grace in pardoning transgressions, and that is very good news for the sinner.” ~ Clayton Kraby
“Unfathomable oceans of grace are in Christ for you. Dive and dive again, you will never come to the bottom of these depths.” ~ Robert McCheyne
“The biblical view of God’s unconditional grace so goes against our instinct and violates our pride that humans never would have made it up.” ~ Randy Alcorn
“If any man be saved, he is saved by Divine grace, and by Divine grace alone; and the reason of his salvation is not to be found in him, but in God. We are not saved as the result of anything that we do or that we will; but we will and do as the result of God’s good pleasure, and the work of his grace in our hearts.” ~ Charles Spurgeon
“Grace is the mother and nurse of holiness, and not the apologist of sin.” ~ Charles Spurgeon
“For if you believe in Christ he will not let you live as your flesh liketh; by his Spirit he will constrain you to mortify its affections and lusts. If he gives you the grace to make you believe, he will give you the grace to live a holy life afterwards. If he gives you faith, he gives you good works after- wards.” ~ Charles Spurgeon (Justification by Faith)
“O beloved! I can say for myself, I am a continual miracle of divine grace. If thou leave me, Lord, for a moment, I am utterly undone.” ~ Charles Spurgeon (Distinguishing Grace)
“The word “grace” in its proper sense means the free and undeserved love or favor of God exercised toward the undeserving, toward sinners. It is something which is given irrespective of any worthiness in man; and to introduce works or merit into any part of this scheme vitiates its nature and frustrates its design. Just because it is grace, it is not given on the basis of preceding merits. As the very name imports, it is necessarily gratuitous; and since man is enslaved to sin until it is given, all the merits that he can have prior to it are bad merits and deserve only punishment, not gifts, or favor. Whatever of good men have, that God has given; and what they have not, why, of course, God has not given it.” ~ Loraine Boettner (Salvation by Grace)
“God’s grace addresses itself not merely to the absence of merit but to the presence of demerit. To understand divine grace, we must see it as more than unmerited favor. The idea of demerit is an essential element in the biblical meaning of grace.” ~ Jerry Bridges (What is Grace?)
“Grace, on the other hand, has never been offered to anybody, not even the elect. Grace is not an offer. It is an unmerited bestowal. It is also particular in the sense God bestows favor on some, not on everyone. We see this most clearly in the interplay between grace and election.” ~ Roger Smalling (What is Grace?)
A Narrow-Minded Woman Articles
Other References and Articles
Augustine: Of Nature and Grace
Loraine Boettner: Salvation by Grace
Jerry Bridges: What is Grace?
Jonathan Edwards: Glorious Grace
Effectual Grace: Grace: What Does God Give Us?
Effectual Grace: Justice and Grace
Effectual Grace: Why Doesn’t God Extend His Saving Grace To All?
Got Questions: What does it mean that salvation is by grace through faith?
Got Questions: What does it mean to grow in grace?
Got Questions: What does it mean to be saved by grace?
Got Questions: What is the definition of grace?
Got Questions: What is the difference between mercy and grace?
Got Questions: What is the grace of God?
Ian Hamilton: Grace that Amazes
Ligonier: By Grace, Not Works
Ligonier: Keeping Grace Gracious
Ligonier: Living Under Grace
Ligonier: More Sin, More Grace
Ligonier: The Motive of Grace
Ligonier: Resting on Grace
Arthur Pink: Grace of God
Rebecca Writes: Grace
John Samson: Is Grace “Amazing” To You?
Roger Smalling: What is Grace?
R.C. Sproul: What Is Grace?
Charles Spurgeon: Distinguishing Grace
Charles Spurgeon: Justification by Grace
Whole Magazine: Grace: Four Truths
Whole Magazine (Chelsi Woods): Grasping Grace
Women’s Hope Project (Kimberly Cummings): Resting on God’s Unchanging Grace in a Culture That is Always Changing
Grace and Its Fruits by John Calvin
What Is Grace? by Sean Michael Lucas
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