Biblically, grace is unmerited favor. It is God's free action for the benefit of His people. It is different from justice and mercy. Justice is getting what we deserve. Mercy is not getting what we deserve. Grace is getting what we do not deserve. In grace we get eternal life, something that, quite obviously, we do not deserve; but because of God's love and kindness manifested in Jesus on the Cross, we receive the great blessing of redemption.
Grace is God's Riches At Christ's Expense. Grace rules out all human merit (Rom. 11:6). It is the product of God that is given by God because of who He is and not because of who we are. It is the means of our salvation (Eph. 2:8-9). We are no longer under the Law but under grace (Rom. 6:14). (See 1 Cor. 15:11; Rom. 5:2, 15-20; 2 Cor. 12:9; and 2 Cor. 9:8).
In the false view of Roman Catholicism, grace is something that can be merited (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 2010, 2027), and infused into the soul (CCC 1999), which then enables the individual to perform good works that merit salvation (CCC 2010, 2027).
- Infused: CCC 1999, “The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. It is the sanctifying or deifying grace received in Baptism. It is in us the source of the work of sanctification.”
- Meriting Grace to attain eternal life: CCC 2010, “Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God's wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions.”
- Meriting Grace to attain eternal life: CCC 2027, “No one can merit the initial grace which is at the origin of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods.”