We've heard it preached and proclaimed time and again.
Have you read the contrasting definitions lately?
Unmerited favor is the common response when you ask the definition.
All Christians can agree that salvation is given by the grace of God.


Most Christians of any of the major denominations agree that humans are born in a state of sin. This is a consequence of original sin; a sinful nature is inherited; it is part of the human condition. Traditionally, original sin is explained as a result of the fall of man through the first sins of Adam and Eve in Eden. Some would now reject the story from Genesis as history. But even those who reject it still agree that humans are born in sin. The original state of grace enjoyed by the once-good people God created has been lost, for them and for their descendants. We are born having forfeited any claim to salvation.

God's grace responds to this otherwise hopeless situation. God, at His initiative, sent prophets and other teachers to reveal His existence to humans. He gave the Law of Moses to the Jews and made them his chosen people to provide a moral example to the rest of humanity.

It was also through the Jews that God's grace sent his Son, Jesus Christ, who sought to make atonement for the sins of the human race through his crucifixion and subsequent resurrection. God's grace is freely given, on behalf of the humans He has called to salvation. God was not obliged to save anyone; humans cannot make themselves good enough to earn their way into Heaven on their own initiative, or give rise to a duty on God's part to save them. It is only through the redemption bought by Christ's sacrifice that anyone is saved, and the path of salvation for humans lies in participating in that redemption. Indeed, some denominations of Christianity paraphrase grace as "God's Rewards At Christ's Expense" to represent this.

Grace, then, is God's initiative and choice to make a path of salvation available for humans.

How then is it applied to humans? This, God's Rewards At Christ's Expense?

There have always been Christians and Jews on both sides of the line. Some Christians still embrace the concepts of Fate and Destiny as taught by false religions. Some fully embrace FreeWill. Yet both are fully and completely Hellenistic when they stand alone. Destiny and FreeWill that is.

Justin The Martyr of 100-165AD said that there was no such thing as Fate... that angels and humans were not created to do evil... men and angels fell by their own choosing.

Origen arrives in the next century and proclaims a contrary view.

The Roman Catholic Church believed or believes that salvation or god's grace is applied or appropriated when water baptism and or sacraments are performed.

Some would have us believe that some are born never lost but are proclaimed far before birth - "SAVED."

I have heard of there being a Universal Salvation or Universal Grace. Could it be?

I would say that Universal Opportunity might be more fitting.

What if Abraham hadn't spoken to God about not destroying all of Sodom and Gomorrah's inhabitants?

Would Lot have died? Yes of course God knew Abraham would speak to Him on the matter. But, did God decree it?

Jeromism, Augustinianism, Calvinism, and the like mix the early ideas of fate, destiny, and predestination with grace. Should these two be intertwined so tightly? I would hazard to say that God's Rewards At Christ's Expense is a separate cog in the machine. At the same time, I assure you that this does not rob God of His providence or His sovereignty.

God is the Master of His own will! God is not ruled by His own will. The Grecian myths state that even Zeus the king of the Olympian gods could not override fate and destiny, that even Zeus was ruled by destiny.

Our God, the true God, is not ruled by any force or any decree.

All humans are born with the fatal sin disease. All humans are born bound to the destination of Hell. The eternal punishment would not be given to a child unless the child had reached the age of accountability at death. No human is out of the reach of God and His grace. All humans can be saved and made joint heirs with Christ. This is the essence of Grace. This is the essence of The Gospel. This is the essence of The Great Commission. No one is hopeless.

Jeremy Brown 2004

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