The Concept of Grace

TUESDAY

If you asked a Protestant and an Eastern Orthodox Christian, ‘How are you saved?’, both would answer ‘By Grace alone’ (Sola gratia). However, if you asked both ‘How do you receive grace?’ and to explain their answers, you would get very different responses.

How would you answer?

In the Greek language, the word for ‘grace’ (charis) means ‘unmerited favor’, and is understood as ‘receiving something that is not deserved’. In the biblical context it is used in association with faith and emphasizes that the grace that saves is received through faith alone.

Regrettably, this is not the Eastern Orthodox understanding of saving grace. Instead, to the Eastern Orthodox, grace is an ‘energy’ given by God when man participates in the process of deification (theosis or acquiring godly characteristics and gaining immortality, incorruptibility and union with God) that was mentioned yesterday. According to the Eastern Orthodox, you can acquire grace by attending church, receiving the sacraments, praying, fasting and following the commandments. Does this sound like unmerited favor to you or receiving something that is not deserved?

 
NAU Romans 5:1
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

 
NIV Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

 
KJV Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

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