What is grace? The English word “grace” comes from the Latin word gratia, which means “pleasing or thankful.” The Greek word for grace, found throughout the New Testament, is charis. The picture this word provides is that of a ruler, who, having conquered a rebellious people, allows them to live despite their opposition.
“Charm” is another aspect of the meaning of this beautiful word. In times past, the subjects of a king would refer to him as “Your Grace.” When the credit card company gives you extra time to pay your bill they call it a “grace period.” A beautifully coordinated dancer is called “graceful.” When a politician falls from favor because of a mistake, we say they are “dis-graced.” Grace is often referred to as the “unmerited favor of God.”
A dictionary says grace is “the condition or fact of being favored by someone.” [citation] Strong’s Concordance says that grace is the “divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in life.” [citation] Grace has been defined as “God’s unmerited, underserved, unearned favor, blessing, and ability.” [citation]
The word “grace” has even been transformed into an acronym: GRACE, or God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, we experience all of God’s blessings: His mercy, His forgiveness, His help, His resources, His love, all given to us freely. Grace is a one-word definition of salvation.
Grace is God doing for us what we could not do for ourselves, God providing for us what we could not provide, God being what we could not be.