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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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There are various senses in which this word is used in Scripture; but the general idea of it, as it relates to God, is his free favour and love. As it respects men, it implies the happy state of reconciliation and favour with God wherein they stand, and the holy endowments, qualities, or habits of faith, hope, love, &c., which they possess. Divines have distinguished grace into common or general, special or particular. Common grace, if it may be so called, is what all men have; as the light of nature and reason, convictions of conscience, &c., Romans 2:4 . 1 Timothy 4:10 . Special grace is that which is peculiar to some people only; such as electing, redeeming, justifying, pardoning, adopting, establishing, and sanctifying grace, Romans 8:30 . This special grace is by some distinguished into imputed and inherent: imputed grace consists in the holiness, obedience, and righteousness of Christ, imputed to us for our justification; inherent grace is what is wrought in the heart by the Spirit of God in regeneration.

Grace is also said to be irresistible, efficacious, and victorious; not but that there are in human nature, in the first moments of conviction, some struggles, opposition, or conflict; but by these terms we are to understand, that, in the end, victory declares for the grace of the Gospel. There have been many other distinctions of grace; but as they are of too frivolous a nature, and are now obsolete, they need not a place here. Growth in grace is the progress we make in the divine life. It discovers itself by an increase of spiritual light and knowledge; by our renouncing self, and depending more upon Christ; by growing more spiritual in duties; by being more humble, submissive, and thankful; by rising superior to the corruptions of our nature, and finding the power of sin more weakened in us; by being less attached to the world, and possessing more of a heavenly disposition. M'Laurin's Essays, essay 3.; Gill's Body of Div. vol. 1: p. 118.; Doddridge's Lec., part 8: prop. 139.; Pike and Hayward's Cases of Conscience; Saurin on 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 . vol. 4:; Booth's reign of Grace.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Grace'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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