What is Grace?

What is the definition of grace in the Bible?

What does grace mean to you?

As C.S. Lewis famously observed, grace is the one thing that makes Christianity unique. Grace is what makes the new covenant new and the good news good news. But what is grace?

Do you know what it means?

I read a lot of grace books and I have found that very few define grace. They tell you what grace isn’t. Grace isn’t works. Grace isn’t law. Grace isn’t religion. But they don’t tell you what grace is.

Don’t you find it strange that we who have been apprehended by the grace of God don’t have good definitions of grace? It’s like being French and not being able to explain what it means to be French.

What is grace? What does grace mean to me?

What is the grace of God?

It is common to hear grace defined as the kindness of God, or his undeserved mercy or unmerited favor. These are fine definitions, but brief. Max Lucado said “Grace is God’s best idea.” Of all his works, it is his magnum opus. And a magnum opus deserves a magnum definition.

Since I have been writing about grace for some time, I thought it might be fun to put all my grace definitions in one place.

I am not claiming to have a handle on God’s amazing grace. Far from it. All I want to do is start a conversation. I hope you will weigh in with your own thoughts about God’s grace.

A biblical definition of grace

What is grace? Grace captures the goodwill, lovingkindness, and favor of God that is freely given to us so that we may partake in his divine life. Grace is God’s divine aid that supernaturally empowers you to be who he made you to be.

The Biblical noun for grace (charis) means favor or kindness, and is related to a word (chairo) which means to rejoice, be cheerful and well off. The grace of God leaves us cheerful and rejoicing. It leaves us better than it found us.

Grace is…

Grace is what the unconditional love of God looks like from our side. God is love and love that stoops is called grace. Grace is the love of God reaching down and gathering you in his arms.

Grace is God’s loving-kindness towards you. Grace is God blessing you with himself for no other reason than it pleases Him to do so.

Grace is the confident assurance that with God on your side, you can’t lose. Grace is his strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.

Grace is freedom from sin, guilt, and condemnation. Grace is freedom from the need to prove yourself. Grace is divine permission to be who God made you to be.

Grace is heaven’s cure for the world’s woes. Grace is the power of God that turns sinners into saints, haters into lovers, and orphans into sons.

Grace is being adopted into the family of God. Grace is realizing you are a dearly-loved child, the apple of your Father’s eye, and a co-heir with Christ.

Grace is God honoring us with his presence. Grace is God with us. Grace is the adventure of life shared with Christ.

Flavors of grace

Grace is favor, freedom, forgiveness and a million other blessings besides. Grace is God’s divine acceptance, his salvation and sanctification.

Grace is power, healing and prosperity. (What do you think the word blessing means?)

Grace is God blessing you for no other reason than he loves you. Grace is divine power to live abundantly in union with the One who loves you and calls you by name.

What does God’s grace really mean?

Grace isn’t a doctrine, or bunch of rules for you to keep, and grace is not God’s lubricant for greasing the cogs of self-effort. Grace is a Person living his life through you. Living under grace is like being married, only more so.

In a word, grace is Jesus.

Grace is not one of God’s blessings but all of them wrapped up together in the One who is full of grace. Grace is the Gift of all gifts from the Giver of all givers.

Those are some of my thoughts. I would love to hear yours. What does the grace of God mean to you? In the comments below, complete this statement: “Grace is…”

—–

In the Bonus Content that accompanies this article, I look at some classic definitions of grace provided by notable authors. Check it out now on Patreon.

Learn more about grace. Become an Escape to Reality subscriber today.

Join 40,541 other followers

41 Comments on What is Grace?

  1. Brandon Petrowski // January 13, 2022 at 1:40 am // Reply

    Grace is the free gift of undeserved favor and abundant life. Like any gift, it has to be accepted and “opened” to be of any benefit.

    • Nice one, Brandon.

      • Genever Bando // January 13, 2022 at 1:46 pm //

        Grace is a breath giving life that only sustain in everything that mans need, totally absolutely, completely freely given by God for His glory. Iam for what I am by the grace of God working in me…

      • Brandon Petrowski // January 13, 2022 at 4:43 pm //

        Thanks 🙂
        It was a synthesized compilation of meaningful things I have heard said of grace that I tried to wrap into a brief description. I can certainly see where it is hard to make it succinct, and ultimately, grace defined is Jesus.

  2. Harold Dueck // January 13, 2022 at 1:55 am // Reply

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this wonderful subject and Person. Jesus has lavished grace on me and I am just enjoying His many benefits. I am surrounded by mixture as far as law and grace are concerned in the religious community I live in but hope I will be contagious, patient, and return grace to my community.

  3. God’s riches at Christs expence.

  4. Grace is better than mercy. Mercy is getting pulled over for speeding and not being given a ticket. Grace is getting pulled over for speeding, not being given a ticket, and also being given $1000 on top of it! -Kris Valloton. I really like this definition and use it when talking about grace with others, even though it’s not my own. I wanted to give credit where it’s due.

    For my own definition, I would say Grace is being given a new start when you didn’t even ask for one and you did nothing to earn it, just because God loves you that much!

  5. Larry Wilgus // January 13, 2022 at 2:34 am // Reply

    Never disappointed with anything Paul writes. Thank you for all your efforts to simplify the Gospel of Grace which is the “too good to be true good news.”

  6. My initial thought was “such a post that asks a crucial question seems a decade late, doesn’t it 😅”, but the more I read, the more it became clear to me that now was the right time for you to make this post. You’ve dug through a lot of treasure in the past decade and this is a culmination of what you’ve come across so far.

    I know this isn’t the end, but it’s a beautiful start. The only thing I have to add is that in addition to the privilege of calling my father in heaven Abba, I also get a divine teacher and guide, the Holy Spirit. So, grace is also guidance, knowledge, and wisdom, I guess?

  7. What a great article to get us thinking about God’s true nature. Grace can manifest in every way discussed here, but to give a definition of grace, I would say grace is God’s divine influence. I think “grace is Jesus” is also a good definition because God’s divine influence functions in its fullness through Christ in us out of our oneness with Him.

  8. Grace is…An empowerment to stand before my Father as if sin NEVER existed.

  9. I know you’ve already said this, but Grace is radical, complete, unending acceptance. God accepts and loves you just as you are without saying, “As long as you try, or continue to improve.” Only then are we free to become what He wants us to be, when we know that we are loved no matter what. Change is messy and we need to know that we will not incur wrath when we fail. Our motivation for change does not come from a carrot and stick approach of reward for improvement and punishment for failure. There is no punishment (condemnation) for those in Christ Jesus. He has shown us a more excellent way.

  10. I think of the flow of goodness and life I see as a river flows over the rocks making sharp ones smooth and easy over time. His Grace seems like that river covering me with all of life I’ll ever need as it takes away my sharp edges. I need only receive without knowing all or any of the reasons.

  11. John williams // January 13, 2022 at 4:24 am // Reply

    “Grace is an abundant payment for a sorry pitiful job, with a generous tip on top of that.”

  12. Jimmy Stewart // January 13, 2022 at 4:24 am // Reply

    Paul, I am seeing grace as a realm, Rom 5:1-2. It is being “in Christ”, under a New Covenant, living in this realm of grace, where all things do work together for good, Rom 8:28, we are under blessings of God and we explore the things freely given to us by God, 1 Cor 2:12.. Being “in Adam” is life under realm of the law….. Best wishes, Jimmy

  13. Daniel Maloney // January 13, 2022 at 6:02 am // Reply

    Grace is being loved when you feel unloveable

  14. My favorite from your post: “Grace is what the unconditional love of God looks like from our side. God is love and love that stoops is called grace. “

    What Grace means to me: Grace is…

    God’s unflinching desire, willingness, and ingenious ability to share the overflowing communion of the fellowship that exists between the Father and Son in the Spirit that they have enjoyed from all eternity with every particle of the creation that has its very origins and identity sourced in the abundance of the love they have always shared with one another, without manipulation or coercion or otherwise violating our free will which must remain intact as the platform for genuine relationship to find its emergence. Rather, it is being accomplished through their submission and self-sacrificing love. Grace is Jesus’ relentless “NO! Not on my watch!” to our abandonment, and “Yes” to our predestined adoption through him.

  15. George Portier // January 13, 2022 at 6:57 am // Reply

    Grace is the manifestion of God’s love for us

  16. Here is the definition I hear from the law Grace crowd. Titus 2:11,12. Grace is the impowerment to say no to sin! It might carry a little truth but I believe falls very short!

  17. Paulinus Nnadi // January 13, 2022 at 10:36 am // Reply

    Grace is,God supplying and doing things for you, not based on who you are, and what you have done, but based on who He is, and what He has done on the cross.

  18. Grace cannot be undeserved. If it is, why did Jesus need grace? Grace is a person whom god gifted to us. The gift giver decides who deserves the gift. God thought the whole world needed His gift of His son. He always saw us apart from our sin. He made a way for us to see ourselves apart from our past , but the enemy keeps his foot in the door of our minds. I am deserving of His love and grace because my performance, past or future was never factored in.

  19. Thanxs alot teacher Paul concerning about grace definitions but for me grace is not new doctrine.but it’s aperson Jesus Christ will quote from Titus 2:11-12

  20. Jacqueline B. // January 13, 2022 at 2:53 pm // Reply

    Not trying to be my own salvation for every little or big thing i come across in life, It feels good to let God by grace in his effort and finished work help me. I used to try all the time to be the best and “good” Christian. I was a very burned out Christian. I love the freedom I live inside of called Grace.

  21. Grace is an undeserved gift!

  22. Willy Torresin // January 14, 2022 at 1:40 am // Reply

    Today I understand grace as Jesus in me, living his life in me, and expressing it as me.

  23. Grace is:

    Often times hidden within scriptures I have read a 1,000 times but never saw His grace. Wish I could say I finally figured out His grace in a particular scripture but deep down I know He reveals His grace and the Bible is full of grace scriptures. Thank you for shining a light on His grace.

  24. Grace is getting new beautiful clothes from your father for your birthday which you could never have afforded to buy. However, if you hang them in the closet and only wear them for two hours on Sunday when you go visit daddy you aren’t really showing your appreciation for the gift.

  25. Anne van der Nest // January 14, 2022 at 8:08 pm // Reply

    Grace is… God loving me because of how He is, not because of how I am… he cannot but love. This is the most profound thing I have ever realised.

  26. My first thought was anything that can willingly give a pardon eternally to ( for eg) a mass murderer , and seeks those (100th missing sheep) etc etc. Is out of This world Litterly A Beautiful God inspired and paid for Gift to all of mankind, and therefore very tough to define in this world’s wording.. particularly English..
    A revelatory thought came to me a lot of months back.Where All sin known, secret etc is not ours to keep. It has been bought and paid for , The Lord rightly has full access to it all,
    Love is The Lord who is full of GRACE and Truth..
    As you said Grace is The Lord..
    Blessings from Rotorua..👍

  27. Rev. Amechi Godson // January 16, 2022 at 6:16 pm // Reply

    Grace is the spiritual understanding, insight, wisdom, strength of the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and acting upon His knowledge.

  28. Grace is…too GOOD to be true…but its TRUE!

  29. Grace is God loving me greatly, perfectly, unconditionally in the Person of Jesus Christ who is my salvation, redeemption, rightousness, life, ability, strength, provision, source, healing, wholeness, wisdom, sanctification, hope, peace, rest, joy, Lord, King, my everything.

  30. Grace is the keyword. Additionally, as Christians we believe in loving God above all and the neighbors as thy selves that make us unique. We believe to live in a way we share and love one another and not to kill, not to make some wealth, not to make holy wars as they say… The pure love is no war at all, but peace!

  31. Shelaz Sondo // January 25, 2022 at 1:05 pm // Reply

    Grace is the nature of God towards man for man…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.