What is Grace?
It is the unconditional, free, loving action of God for the salvation of humankind; the way in which God enters into personal communion with us to attain salvation. Grace is the communication of God’s per- sonal self to human beings. In the person of Jesus , a human relationship with God is restored to the state of grace. The Church teaches that grace is necessary for salvation as opposed to Pelagianism’s claim that humans are capable of achieving his or her own sal- vation. Pelagian claims that human will is fully able to do good and remain free from sin.
In response to Pelagianism, Augustine established two basic posi- tions: first, he has seen grace predominantly as an auditorium, as a help in the human soul. He detaches grace from God and makes it anthropological and psychological; that is, an inner property of the hu- man person. Secondly, he makes the grace of God something opposed to human freedom insofar as he presents the sole effectiveness of grace in the salvific event.
On a pastoral level the teaching is informative for humanity to understand the need to have recourse to God’s grace. As humans, it is only through the gift of grace that we can share in the fullness of God; that is, the saving life of the Triune God. Through the gift of grace, believers, though still sinners, are able to be in a relationship with God and participate fully in the mystery of God’s love. Indeed, whatever Adam’s sins caused to human nature, the grace in Jesus Christ has restored it.
Saint Paul said where sin increased, grace over- flowed more. So that as Jesus reigned in death, grace also might reign through justification for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:20-21)