Unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification
In other words, God is helping us on our path to be with Him for nothing that we have physically done to earn His assistance. He's doing it out of love. And that's a pretty good definition, there are only a couple of five syllable words in the definition, but that's far fewer polysyllabic elements of speech than any theologian worth his autographed copy of Matthew Henry's Exposition of the Old and New Testaments would use.
Grace is exhaustively over defined but it's such a simple, wonderful concept - God gives us divine assistance because He wants to give us divine assistance. All we have to do is believe that he will give us His grace and he does.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)I've collected some nuggets of wisdom on the subject of grace by the Prince of Preachers
🕆 The bridge of grace will bear your weight, brother. Thousands of big sinners have gone across that bridge, yea, tens of thousands have gone over it. Some have been the chief of sinners and some have come at the very last of their days but the arch has never yielded beneath their weight. I will go with them trusting to the same support. It will bear me over as it has for them.
🕆 Christian, remember the goodness of God in the frost of adversity.
🕆 When Andrew went to find his brother, he little imagined how eminent Simon would become. You may be very deficient in talent yourself, and yet you may be the means of drawing to Christ one who shall become eminent in grace and service.
🕆 Free grace can go into the gutter, and bring up a jewel!
🕆 We believe, that the work of regeneration, conversion, sanctification and faith, is not an act of man's free will and power, but of the mighty, efficacious and irresistable grace of God.
🕆 Soar back through all your own experiences. Think of how the Lord has led you in the wilderness and has fed and clothed you every day. How God has borne with your ill manners, and put up with all your murmurings and all your longings after the 'sensual pleasures of Egypt!' Think of how the Lord's grace has been sufficient for you in all your troubles.
🕆 Between here and heaven, every minute that the Christian lives will be a minute of grace.
🕆 Born, as all of us are by nature, an Arminian, I still believed the old things I had heard continually from the pulpit, and did not see the grace of God. When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me.
Source: Sermon, A Defense of Calvinism.
🕆 Free will I have often heard of, but I have never seen it. I have met with will, and plenty of it, but it has either been led captive by sin or held in blessed bonds of grace.
🕆 From the Word of God I gather that damnation is all of man, from top to bottom, and salvation is all of grace, from first to last. He that perishes chooses to perish; but he that is saved is saved because God has chosen to save him.
🕆 Grace puts its hand on the boasting mouth, and shuts it once for all.
🕆 I believe the doctrine of election, because I am quite certain that, if God had not chosen me, I should never have chosen Him; and I am sure He chose me before I was born, or else He never would have chosen me afterwards; and He must have elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find any reason in myself why He should have looked upon me with special love.
Source: Sermon, A Defense of Calvinism.
🕆 I do not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ. My hope lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, "You are mine, and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself." My hope arises from the freeness of grace, and not from the freedom of the will.
🕆 If grace does not make us differ from other men, it is not the grace which God gives His elect.
🕆 If heaven were by merit, it would never be heaven to me, for if I were in it I should say, "I am sure I am here by mistake; I am sure this is not my place; I have no claim to it." But if it be of grace and not of works, then we may walk into heaven with boldness.
Source: Sermons, 6.354.
🕆 It is a good thing God chose me before I was born, because he surely would not have afterwards.
We hold that man is never so near grace as when he begins to feel he can do nothing at all.
Source: High Doctrine, June 3, 1860.
🕆 The grace that does not make a man better than others is a worthless counterfeit. Christ saves His people, not IN their sins, but FROM their sins. Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord