I was talking with my Pastor about the definition of grace because I had always defined grace as an unmerited gift or unmerited favor, as in God gave His only Son although I did not deserve that gift, and I was not owed that sacrifice. Yet, he used a term I have heard before in Bible Study: Grace is the Divine influence on the heart of a believer. To me, those are two very different definitions. As we talked about grace I found that the greek word we translate into grace has much more meaning than I had always thought the word grace to mean, and includes the Divine influence upon the heart of a believer. So, I decided to look it up in the 1828 Webster Dictionary out of curiosity (I like this early edition because in 1828 they had not edited out God from the Webster dictionary) and the definition was very in-depth, and I thought I would share. Here are just the top ten definitions:
GRACE, n. [L. gratia, which is formed on the Celtic; Eng. agree, congruous, and ready. The primary sense of gratus, is free, ready, quick, willing, prompt, from advancing.]
1. Favor; good will; kindness; disposition to oblige another; as a grant made as an act of grace.
Or each, or all, may win a lady’s grace.
2. Appropriately, the free unmerited love and favor of God, the spring and source of all the benefits men receive from him.
And if by grace,then it is no more of works. Rom.11.
3. Favorable influence of God; divine influence or the influence of the spirit, in renewing the heart and restraining from sin.
My grace is sufficient for thee. 2 Cor.12.
4. The application of Christ’s righteousness to the sinner.
Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. Rom.5.
5. A state of reconciliation to God. Rom.5.2.
6. Virtuous or religious affection or disposition, as a liberal disposition, faith, meekness, humility, patience, &c. proceeding from divine influence.
7. Spiritual instruction, improvement and edification. Eph.4.29.
8. Apostleship, or the qualifications of an apostle. Eph. 3.8.
9. Eternal life; final salvation. 1 Pet.1.13.10. Favor; mercy; pardon.
Bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee.
Find the rest of the defintion at: http://1828.mshaffer.com/d/search/word,grace
Wow… that is quite a description for one word, and just re-emphasizes how amazing, and how wonderful the grace of God is. We can’t truly understand the grace of God in it’s entirety, but we definitely can be thankful.
God bless you!