Grace is a gift that gives and gives and gives and gives and gives and gives and gives and gives and gives and gives It is God's active dimension within us, doing for us what we are unable to achieve for ourselves. It is dynamic rather than static. It's still going on.
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Grace, according to United Methodist and Methodist clergy in the United States and elsewhere, is something we cannot earn but can come to comprehend better.
“We can't earn it,” the Rev. Trevor Hudson, author, lecturer, and spiritual director, remarked, “but there are things we can do to open our lives more deeply to it.” He also works part-time at the Northfield Methodist Church's Institute for Creative Conversation, just outside of Johannesburg, South Africa.
“Prayer, scripture reading, and communion are examples of'means of grace.' This is critical for us to understand; else, we risk becoming quite passive in our faith lives “he stated
Most United Methodists, according to Hudson, see God's power in all of life. “They might have a harder time calling that power ‘grace.' Grace, on the other hand, underpins our lives as followers of Jesus, particularly as Methodists. The basis of Methodist theology and understanding is God's unmerited, unearned, freely given, saturating grace.”
Grace was a key element for Wesley and early Methodists, according to John Wesley. They saw grace as both a process and a method for Christians to conduct their lives. This life-changing experience was the path to redemption for them.
Prevenient grace, justifying grace, and sanctifying grace were the three types of grace that Wesley practiced and taught. God bestows prevenient grace on everyone, whether or not they are aware of or accept Christ. It could be referred to as preliminary grace. Justifying grace comes from faith in Christ, but it cannot be acquired through good actions. Accepting justifying grace results in the Holy Spirit's new birth, which leads to the first work of sanctifying grace.
Grace, according to retired Bishop William Willimon, who served as the dean of the chapel at Duke University for 20 years and is now a professor of the practice of Christian ministry there, is an overused word in much “Methodist vernacular.”
Transforming power makes us ‘better'
“I've seen grace described as God's affirmative, positive approbation of us as we are in a lot of Methodist jargon. “I believe that is a misinterpretation of Wesleyan grace,” Willimon stated.
“Grace, in the Wesleyan tradition, is characterized as God's power at work in you to transform your life.”
Readers will find grace in the Gospel of Luke, according to Willimon, that is consistent with that way of thinking. In parables like the prodigal son and the lost sheep, God is working both in the world and in individual lives.
“I've heard people say things like, ‘Well, where's the grace?' And grace essentially says, ‘I love you exactly as you are.' Willimon said, “Promise me you'll never change a thing.”
“You can be better,” he remarked, but “Wesleyan grace is more than that.” “God's might has the potential to be greater than your sins and limitations.”
Remember, according to the Rev. Wendy Hudson-Jacoby, “we don't pay for grace, create it, or earn it.” “Grace, God's intervention in our lives, is genuinely unrestricted. Grace, on the other hand, is costly from God's perspective.
Hudson-Jacoby stated, “The cross is a clear reaction to how costly grace is to God.” “To respond to God's grace by giving ourselves to Him costs us our lives. However, there is a higher price to be paid the price of not reacting, the price of non-discipleship. When we don't respond to God's grace, we forfeit peace with God, God's serenity, the delight of knowing that we belong to God, and God's power working in our life to do what we can't do on our own.”
All included in God's grace
Hudson-Jacoby, pastor of North Charleston United Methodist Church in South Carolina, claimed that the Wesleyan tradition has a unique notion of grace.
She pointed out that other spiritual traditions spend time stressing who is excluded from God's dominion. However, no one is barred from grace in the United Methodist tradition and understanding of God's grace.
“What I love most about our idea of grace is that it is always present, even when we are unaware of or deliberately denying God's existence or truth,” she added. “Nothing can separate us from God's kindness, love, and mercy.
“I also appreciate the fact that we believe grace's work is eternal!” When we experience the justifying grace of God's love for us as individuals through Jesus Christ, our encounter with God does not end. That is only the beginning of our wonderful relationship with God. Every instant of every day, God is inviting us into a deeper relationship with the Divine the Holy Spirit's power is at work in us, drawing us closer to Jesus and converting our hearts and spirits into his.”
Even life's misery and uncertainty, according to Wesley, can be meaningful if understood and experienced in the context of grace. “The poor usage, affronts, and losses that afflict us are the best aids to grace growth.” We should accept them gratefully, as preferable to all others, if only for the reason that our will has no part in it,” he wrote.
According to the Rev. Carl Evans, a United Methodist elder and retired professor from the University of South Carolina's Department of Religious Studies, Wesley constantly urged on a genuine change in one's life.
Evans argues, “You can't truly talk about grace without talking about faith.” “Faith was not the same as belief for Wesley. “Faith was a conviction or assurance that what God had done through Christ was sufficient to pardon even my sins.”
Furthermore, grace is available to all, according to Wesley, “in the sense that God's grace is given to all and that grace is available regardless of the situation of mankind,” Evans said. “However, Wesley would also argue that some people's lives do not reflect God's grace.”
The book of Acts has Hudson-favorite Jacoby's biblical image.
“The account of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40 exemplifies justifying grace,” she stated.
“We can plainly perceive the succession of prevenient and validating experiences in this story. Philip was led by the Holy Spirit to the side of the road where the eunuch was passing. Because he was reading from Isaiah, the eunuch had experienced God through the scriptures. He was well-versed in God's might and the tale of God. Philip leapt into the chariot when he heard the eunuch reading and volunteered to explain it through the perspective of Jesus Christ. Preventive grace is at work in all of these behaviors.”
Christian writers have battled with the concept of grace for ages. It appears frequently in the Ephesians and Romans texts.
“You have been saved by grace through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God not the product of works, so that no one may brag,” Ephesians 2:8-9 says.
What important is that salvation is “not a blessed state that follows death,” according to Evans. “Salvation was the beginning of a new life.”
Grace triumphs once more in Romans 5:20-21. “However, when the law came in,” Paul says, “trespass spread; but where sin increased, mercy abounded all the more, so that, just as sin exercised dominion in death, so grace might exercise dominion through justification leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ.”
Free but not cheap
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a twentieth-century theologian, spoke frequently on grace, according to Evans.
Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran clergyman who openly opposed Hitler. He was imprisoned and killed by the Third Reich. He distinguished between several sorts of grace as a well-known writer of the day. “Free grace is unmerited in the sense that it is offered by God without conditions,” Evans explained.
“Bonhoeffer defined cheap grace as grace that has been abused. It is given to a person, yet it does not result in a life transformation. When one lives selfishly, grace becomes cheap.”
The notions of grace that John Wesley held caused him to clash with other Christians. According to Evans, “Wesley debated with Calvinists who were more inclined to claim God's grace was irresistible.” It had everything to do with God's sovereignty.
“Grace was seductive to Calvinists because of God's sovereignty. Wesley, on the other hand, believed that grace could be resisted. Grace, according to Wesley, manifested itself in the life of the person who worked with God, who shared the divine love that God had shown the world and was able to mirror that love to others.”
United Methodists, who are Wesley's doctrinal successors, believe in grace as do other Christians, but disagree on how to get there.
“I believe it is a traditional Catholic idea that grace is what the church dispenses in the sacrament,” Willimon explained. “While Wesleyans agree that grace works through us in spiritual reading, Bible reading, and prayer, they also believe that grace works through us in spiritual reading, Bible reading, and prayer. Grace is viewed more positively by Lutherans in the Reformed tradition as God's positive judgment bestowed on us in Jesus Christ.”
Grace (or a comparable notion) may exist in other religious traditions, but it has a different connotation, according to Evans, who co-founded Interfaith Partners of South Carolina and continues to work across faith lines.
“Most religions, I believe, emphasize the importance of followers of a specific religion leading a life that demonstrates love for God and neighbor, as well as love and compassion for those in need. That sounds a lot like Wesley's sanctifying grace “Evans explains.
“Oh, that God would grant me the want of my heart! That before I go and am no longer seen, I may see a people who are completely devoted to God, crucified to the world, and crucified to the world. A people who have fully surrendered their bodies, souls, and spirits to God! ‘Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace,' I would answer happily.”
Cecile S. Holmes teaches journalism at the University of South Carolina as an associate professor. The Religion News Association just presented her with the 2016 George R. Reed Lifetime Achievement Award.
What Does gift of grace mean?
As a noun, it is defined as a mealtime prayer, a royal title, or simple elegance in movement. It is a verb that meaning to honor someone by being there with them.
As a Christian, I was taught that grace is God's unmerited compassion; particularly, it is an undeserved gift intended to wipe the slate clean of sin via the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
When my husband and I were on vacation in Canada with his cousin and his wife, we dined at the hotel restaurant where we were staying. We had a wonderful evening with beautiful views of the river and trees, delicious dinner, and a delectable dessert.
We finished and waited for the server to bring our bill, which seemed to take an eternity.
‘Your bill has been paid,' said the server as he approached our table and stared at us.
We just sat there staring at him. So he tried again, saying, ‘Really, your bill has been paid.' ‘Have a wonderful evening.'
For all of us, it took a few moments for this to sink in, but it did. The payment of our bill was uninvited and undeserved. It was an unreserved gift, with no expectation of anything in return.
The generosity of someone paying our bill reminded me of what I had heard about God's grace being a gift. What struck me was that my understanding of God's grace encompassed not only the need for me to receive the gift of grace, but also the need for me to acknowledge my unworthiness, repent of my wrongdoings, and be willing to alter my ways.
The requirements for obtaining this gift of grace, however, were irrelevant. There was nothing to accept; the fact that the bill had been paid was all that mattered.
Humans, not God, devised the requirements for accepting God's grace. We appear to feel compelled to repay or even deserve God's grace. We look for particular actions, attitudes, and behaviors from ourselves and others to show that we have accepted God's grace.
That day, as we tried to figure out who paid for our supper and what we might do in return, this human impulse to repay the gift became extremely clear. We quickly recognized that anything we did in return would detract from the gift and the giver's satisfaction in providing it.
There was nothing left to do but accept the gift, and receiving it necessitated doing nothing at all no reaching out to take it, no even believing in it. It was precisely like that.
As I pondered more about grace and God, I realized that we encounter grace on a daily basis in a variety of ways yet are unaware of it. The flowers we smell, the stars we gaze at, the embraces we receive, and the oxygen we breathe all contain this gift of grace.
Grace exists in the same way that God does, even though we don't see or understand it. Grace is a gift that is always available to everyone.
What is God's gift of grace?
“As faithful stewards of God's grace in its varied forms, each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others.” (1 Peter 4:10; 1 Peter 4:10; 1 Peter 4:10; 1 Peter
God has given us the gift of grace so that we might give it to others, even if we don't believe they deserve it. When he did not deserve to suffer, Jesus was nailed to the cross and died to redeem us from our sin. He accomplished this, however, by the gift of selfless love. When we don't want to be gracious to others, we need to remember this because God commands us to do everything in love. We need to share all of the things we've been given, whether it's love, joy, serenity, or patience, with the people around us so they can see God's light shine through.
Because this teaches us humility, we must have faith in God and be faithful to Him by giving the gift of grace to others. When we are proud, we tend to refuse forgiveness to others, making grace even more difficult to come by. We avoid allowing pride get in the way by being grateful and acknowledging God's gift of grace to us. We must be gracious to ourselves and others, just as God has been gracious to us.
What is the spiritual meaning of grace?
In Christianity, grace is defined as God's undeserved favor expressed in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. Grace, according to popular Christian belief, is undeserved mercy (favor) that God bestowed on humanity by sending his Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross, assuring man's eternal salvation from sin.
There are various views on how grace is obtained within Christianity. Catholics and Reformed Protestants, in particular, have quite different perspectives on how to obtain grace. It has been called “the dividing line between Catholicism and Protestantism, Calvinism and Arminianism, and modern liberalism and conservatism.” God has bestowed Divine Grace on humanity, according to Catholic belief, and employs the vehicle of sacraments, which are performed in faith, as a major and efficient means of facilitating the receiving of his grace. For Catholics, the incarnational or corporeal vehicle through which God's gift is received personally and existentially is sacraments (carried out in faith). Reformed Protestants, on the other hand, do not share this sacramental concept of grace transmission, preferring a less formalized approach. In the Catholic Church, for example, God grants primary initiation into a state of grace by baptism (in faith) rather than a simple faith prayer (sinner's prayer); nonetheless, Catholics would not dispute the power of even a simple prayer for God's grace to flow (Baptism by desire).
For Catholics, for example, the sacrament of reconciliation (in faith) is the principal means of imparting grace after committing a deadly sin.
The Greek term charis (; Ancient Greek: ) is translated as grace in the New Testament.
What does the Bible say about the gift of grace?
“For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faithand this is a gift from God, not from yourselves” 2:8 Ephesians
What does grace mean in biblical terms?
Grace, according to Western Christian theology, is God's assistance provided to us because God wants us to have it, not because of anything we've done to earn it. Christians regard it as a spontaneous gift from God to humanity – “generous, free, entirely unexpected, and undeserved” that manifests itself in the form of divine favor, love, clemency, and a share in God's divine life.
It is a God-given characteristic that is most evident in the salvation of sinners. The initiative in a grace relationship between God and an individual is always on God's side, according to Christian theology.
“The watershed that divides Catholicism from Protestantism, Calvinism from Arminianism, modernliberalism from conservatism,” as the topic of the means of grace has been described. The Catholic Church believes that what is subjected to God's power is transformed into divine life as a result of Christ and the Holy Spirit's action in transforming it into divine life “Independent of the minister's personal holiness, the power of Christ and his Spirit acts in and through the sacraments to confer the grace they signify.” The fruits of the sacraments, on the other hand, are equally dependent on the disposition of the one who receives them.” Because God works through his Church, the Sacred Mysteries (sacraments) are considered as a means of receiving divine favor. Faith is a gift from God, according to Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants, as stated in Ephesians 2:8: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” “The gospel in Word and sacraments,” Lutherans believe, are the means of grace. The Eucharist is “the grand conduit whereby the grace of his Spirit was transmitted to the souls of all the children of God,” according to John Wesley, who described it as “the grand channel whereby the grace of his Spirit was conveyed to the souls of all the children of God.” “The total powerlessness of mankind apart from grace,” Calvinists emphasize. God, on the other hand, extends “first grace” or “prevenient grace.” Irresistible grace is a Calvinist doctrine that claims that because everyone is spiritually dead by nature, no one wants to accept God's grace unless God spiritually enlivens them through regeneration. Only those who have been predestined for salvation are regenerated by God. The grace of God, according to Arminians, is God's cooperation with a person's free will in order to bring them to salvation. Modern liberal theology, according to Evangelical theologian Charles C. Ryrie, “gives an exaggerated place to people's capacities to chose their own fate and affect their own salvation wholly apart from God's favor.”
Can you be saved by grace alone?
We are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus, not by our own efforts or works, according to God's Word (Ephesians 2:8-9). Grace alone means that God loves, forgives, and saves us because of Christ's act, not because of who we are or what we do.
How many gifts of grace are in the Bible?
All seven talents are fully present in Jesus Christ, as predicted by Isaiah (Isaiah 11:1), but they are also available to all Christians in a state of grace.
How do you explain God's grace?
Grace, which originates from the Greek word charis in the New Testament, is God's undeserved favor. God's kindness is something we don't deserve. We have done nothing, and will never be able to accomplish anything, to merit this benevolence. It is a divine gift. Grace is divine aid given to humans for their regeneration (rebirth) or sanctification; it is a virtue that comes from God; it is a condition of sanctification that is enjoyed via divine favor.
“The unmerited love and favor of God toward human beings; divine influence acting in a person to make the person pure, morally strong; the condition of a person brought to God's favor through this influence; a special virtue, gift, or help given to a person by God,” according to Webster's New World College Dictionary.