Defining "Grace" and How to Obtain It

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The following is an internet dialog between Marsha Adams and Ron Beaulieu. Marsha converted to Catholicism after being brought up as a Seventh-day Adventist and attending SDA schools.


Okay, here is a topic for you . . . .

What exactly is grace, and how does one obtain it?

Just that and no more, no discussion of salvation or faith /vs
works, just that simple question.


Since most Biblical uses of the word grace come under the definition of Strong's 5485, I will give the definition for that use below. Though grace is most oft defined as pardon and unmerited favor by professing Christians, I would therefore draw attention to the power element in the following definition of grace. Jim Ayers and others on the AdventistIssues forum came down on me many times for saying that grace also means POWER. Ayers, and all others who so derided me, are totally humbled by the following definition of the most frequent use of the word grace in Scripture:

Lexicon Results for charis (Strong's 5485) Greek for 5485

Pronunciation Guide charis {khar'-ece}
TDNT Reference Root Word TDNT - 9:372,1298 from 5463 Part of Speech n f Outline of Biblical Usage

1) grace

a) that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech

2) good will, loving-kindness, favour

a) of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues

3) what is due to grace

a) the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace

b) the token or proof of grace, benefit

1) a gift of grace

2) benefit, bounty

4) thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward

Authorized Version (KJV) Translation Count - Total: 156 AV - grace 130, favour 6, thanks 4, thank 4, thank + 2192 3,
pleasure 2, misc 7; 156

The principle ways of obtaining grace as it is defined by Strong's 5485, are:

  • All men have been given a measure of faith.
  • Faith may be increased by beholding Christ and by communication with Him.
  • Faith may be increased by exercising faith and seeing the results proffered by the power of Christ.
  • Grace may be received by wrestling (supplication), striving to gird the body up--giving all diligence to the Word of God.
  • We have a cooperative part in receiving the gift of grace. It is available as a free gift to all, but strangely, most do not want the power that would strengthen them in overcoming sin. They love sin more than the grace (power) proffered by which they might overcome all sin. Receiving is OBTAINING, but some do not want to RECEIVE anything but pardon for continuing sin.
  • The phrase "grace plus nothing" is conditional to one's willingness to RECEIVE the complete package of grace which includes pardon as well as power for obedience. The power is as free as the pardon. Both must be accepted at the same time or one is not efficacious without the other for true justification.

Pro 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life.

2Cr 8:7 Therefore, as ye abound in every [thing, in] faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and [in] all diligence, and [in] your love to us, [see] that ye abound in this grace also.

Hbr 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

2Pe 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

2Pe 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

1Pe 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

1Cr 9:27 But I keep [gird up] under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

Luk 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

2Ti 2:5 And if a man also strive for masteries, [yet] is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

Phl 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Col 1:29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Hbr 12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

Ron Beaulieu