Free Essay: Defending the Catholic Doctrine of Grace and Relating Grace to Christ and His Church

Published: 2023-07-11
Free Essay: Defending the Catholic Doctrine of Grace and Relating Grace to Christ and His Church
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  God Christianity Church Bible Essays by wordcount
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1883 words
16 min read

The Bible presents grace as an essential concept to Christianity and the Church. The promises of God to his creation are visualized in scripture and Christ. Grace, according to the catechism definition, is the unmerited favor, which is the free and undeserved help that God grants to us to respond to his call to become His children through Jesus, the savior. In this case, it can be cited that grace is accorded to the unlovely, peace on the restless and God's favor. Biblically grace is the strength that believers receive through the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is also referred to as a gift from the heavenly father who is God to us His sons through Jesus Christ. In its spirituality, grace is divine and has the power to regenerate and inspire. Comprehension of the need for grace is illuminated in times of suffering, sin, and brokenness. The modern world is full of deserving and merit, and therefore grace is needed to keep life. Grace entails keeping what one does not deserve, and in time of sin and suffering, grace brings assurance and redemption to humankind. Divinity claims that grace offers the ability to resist sin and temptation. Catechisms state that grace is the power of justification, the power that aids in the forgiveness of sins, and permits believers to access the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus. Attaining eternal life is only possible by God's Grace and therefore presents a ticket to Heaven. Grace is classified into Actual Grace and Sanctifying Grace.

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Actual grace is accorded at one particular time; therefore, non-continuous and lasts for a shorter time while Sanctifying Grace provides for the infusion of the soul and the Holy Spirit. According to 2 Cor 5:17-18, Sanctifying Grace is received in Baptism and which triggers sanctification in Catholics.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself" (2 Cor 5:17-18).

Sanctifying grace perfects the soul allowing it to live with God as it enhances stability and supernatural disposition and therefore, can be termed as habitual gift. Habitual grace provides for permanent disposition to living and acting in God's ways. However, Actual Grace is presented as God's interventions in the course of sanctification which aligns. Work of Grace different aspects with the preparation of individuals for Grace reception already perceived as work of grace. Grace is vital in arousal and sustenance of collaboration between sanctification and justification. According to Hopp, God completes His works through his people who are filled with grace through sanctification and justification. Everyone actually works but only in collaboration with God whose work we implement through His mercy upon us. God's mercy goes before his people to be healed and follows them after healing which gives life. God's grace goes before everyone for the His calling everyone

Therefore, Sanctifying Grace saves the masses through faith and work and remains in the soul, making it holy and a supernatural life. In some cases, Actual Grace is presented an encouragement or supernatural push. According to Beach, Grace does not live in the soul but influences what happens to the soul. Beach states that Sanctifying Grace advocates for the transformation of the soul in real-time. According to the Catholic Doctrine of Grace, allow for eternal life and just life. Therefore, the beginning of faith is highlighted by grace. Faith is attributed as some sort of thinking which requires grace. "For we are not "sufficient to think anything of ourselves as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God" (2 Cor. III, 5)."

Catholic Church believes that despite grace being a direct gift from God to human beings, it directly revolves around the existence of Jesus Christ. The holy trinity, which is among the key pillars of the Catholic Church, which revolves around God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. It is believed that this is the nature of God. It is believed that God sent his son Jesus Christ who came to die for the sin of the world. In John 3:16, the Bible talks about the love of God to the world that he sent his only begotten, who is Jesus Christ to come and die to bring redemption to the world. The doctrine revolving about grace has a strong origin on the love of God to humanity.

The nature of sacrifice and crucifixion of Jesus, which elaborates that through the blood of Jesus, all sins are forgiven explains the redemption power of grace. Through the blood of Jesus at Calvary, we receive salvation by grace. A lot of teachings by Saint Paul were about the grace that God released upon the believers. Titus 2:11 highlights:

"The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives."

On the other hand, according to 2 Peter 2:18, motivations, desires, and behavior are transformed through grace. Grace does not exist in human beings, but rather it is given as a gift from God the father. Even though there are a lot of misunderstandings regarding the type of grace taught by the Catholic Church, it is wise to acknowledge the great similarity between the grace taught by Catholics and Protestants. The Catholic Church believes in the existence of two kinds of grace. There is actual grace and sanctifying grace. Actual grace is grace given by God at specific moments, such as during prayer and manifestation of God's power. Actual grace is not continuous and does not stay within the believer. Actual grace is released from God whenever one prays to certain issues, and God gives them an instantaneous conviction of how to handle the situation.

Sanctifying grace is part of a believer. It is a kind of grace that is developed within a believer consistently where the body becomes incorporated and fused with the Holy Spirit. The nature of sanctifying grace works on the basis that Christ gave Himself as a sacrifice for the remission of our sin. Sanctifying grace forms a basis on the foundations of salvation, which is later officiated through Baptism. Even though there is a lot of misunderstanding between the Protestants and Catholics based on the teaching concerning salvation as an act of faith or actions, both seem to agree on the part of grace. According to Hopp, God's free will requires a free and unquestionable response from the man since man is a reflection of God as he was created in God's own image, liking, freedom, and accorded the power to know and love Him in return. The Catholic Doctrines teach on the relationship between the soul and the communion of love. The communion of love integrates the soul freely with God's touch on man's heart. God's grace triggers the urge too long for truth and goodness, which can only be satisfied by God. God's promise of eternal life intrigues man's desire to respond to His mission beyond all hope.

The Catholic doctrine of grace cites that grace is the first gift provided by the Holy Spirit that enables for sanctification and justification. The Spirit grants grace as an association with God's work and allows for the collaboration in others' salvation and the spiritual growth of Christ's body, which is the Church. Acts 2:38 states;

Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you is baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, which highlights justification as of forgiveness to those who repent and get baptized in Christ's name. Righteousness advocates for life according to God's ways free from sins.

Sacramental grace refers to gifts aligned to different sacraments. There exist special graces which are referred to as charisms, which implies favor, according to St. Paul. Similar to the gift of tongues and miracles, charisms are intended for the Church's common good and linked towards sanctifying grace. Charisms are at the pillar of the Church as they are offered at charity's service in the church building. Graces of the state are categorized as special gifts. As cited in Romans 12:6-8, possession of various gifts presents a diverse application point such as prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, contribution, and liberation.

Grace is illuminated in supernatural ways and therefore goes unnoticed in daily experiences except through faith. In this light, it is not possible to rely on personal experiences and works in concluding justification and God's saving. In the book Matthew, a reflection of God's blessings is highlighted in humankind as well as the lives of the saints guaranteeing the work of grace, which triggers the trustful poverty attitude and greater faith. "Thus you will know them by their fruits." As illustrated by St. Joan of Arc, the attitude is firmly emphasized in response to ecclesiastical judges towards the question if she was in God's favor. "If I am not, may it please God to put me in it; if I am, may it please God to keep me there".

A lot of misunderstanding between the Protestants and Catholics emanates from the aspect of whether catholic teach on saved by grace through faith alone or saved by faith and works. Protestants heavily condemn the catholic doctrine on teaching about being saved by works. For instance, they claim that Catholics claim to have received salvation through the works of their own hands and not from God's grace. It is evident that Catholics strongly believe in works of salvation and strongly persuade believers in imitating the works of Christ in preaching and spreading the gospel throughout the worlds as saints and other apostles in the Bible did. Despite their strong belief in works of salvation; however, this does not contradict with the relevance and the position of grace in salvation. The basis of salvation is strongly rooted in the justification and forgiveness of our sins.

The Holy Spirit justifies and cleanses as well as communicate to the righteous. The death of and resurrection made mankind part of his body, which the Church and therefore mankind is deemed as the grafted branches of the vine with the Vine being Christ. God's presence to mankind was illuminated through the Holy Spirit, which influences the actions of the righteous and God's grace upon His people. Justification involves the renewal of man, sanctification, and remission of sins. It is through God's grace that forgiveness of sins is possible. Baptism confers justification, which is regarded as a sacrament of faith that conforms to God's righteousness that instills just by His mercy. Justification emphasizes the gift of eternity as well as Christ and God's glory.

The connection between God's grace and the freedom of mankind is attained through justification. Mankind's assent of belief in the Word of God is the expression of justification, which the link to charity cooperation and conversion that prompts the preceding and preservation of the assent by the Holy Spirit. Justification is manifested in Christ and Holy Spirit, God's vessel of human redemption, and sanctification. Justification includes sanctification that integrates the Holy Spirit that gives rise to the inner life. Justification is characterized by the process of sanctification that takes over the whole body.

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