It is an attribute of God that is most manifest in the salvation of sinners. Christian orthodoxy taught that the initiative in the relationship of grace between God and an individual is always on the side of God. Once God has reached out in this "first grace" or "prevenient grace," each person may accept or reject this grace. The Calvinist doctrine known as irresistible grace states that, since all persons are by nature spiritually dead, no one desires to accept this grace until God spiritually enlivens them by means of regeneration. God regenerates only individuals whom he has predestined to salvation.
The question of the means of grace has been called "the watershed that divides Catholicism from Protestantism, Calvinism from Arminianism, modern [theological] liberalism from [theological] conservatism." The Roman Catholic Church holds that grace is infused in a particular way through sacraments, while Protestantism almost universally believe that Grace is given by God based on the faith of the believer as a gift. Ephesians 2:8; "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God". Lutherans hold that the means of grace are "the gospel in Word and sacraments". That the sacraments are means of grace is also the teaching of John Wesley, who described the Eucharist as "the grand channel whereby the grace of his Spirit was conveyed to the souls of all the children of God". Calvinists emphasize "the utter helplessness of man apart from grace." Arminians understand the grace of God as cooperating with one's free will in order to bring an individual to salvation. According to Evangelical theologian Charles C. Ryrie, modern liberal theology "gives an exaggerated place to the abilities of man to decide his own fate and to effect his own salvation entirely apart from God's grace." He writes that theological conservatives maintain God's grace is necessary for salvation.
Grace Reviews & Ratings
No Reviews / Ratings Yet