What is Grace?

The word ‘grace’ thus comes to express the thought of God acting in spontaneous goodness to save sinners: God loveing the unlovely, making covenant with them, pardoning their sins, accepting their persons, revealing Himself to them, moving then to response, leading them ultimately into full knowledge and enjoyment of Himself, and overcoming all obstacles to the fulfilment of this purpose that at each stage arise.  Grace is election-love plus covenant -love, a free choice issuing in a sovereign work.  Grace saves from sin and all evil; grace brings ungodly men to true happiness in the knowledge of their Maker….  Grace…is…the heart and hand of the living almighty God…. God’s love is free, and it is God himself who chooses whom he will save.  Sermons and sacraments proclaim the reality of grace, and the church’s prayer invoke it, but it is God alone who exercises it and leads men into the benefits of it.

-J.I. Packer, 18 Words: The Most Important Words You Will Ever Know, p. 94, 95.

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