What Is Grace

Grace - a definition

The Greek word usually translated 'grace' in English bibles is charis (transliteration). Liddell and Scott's lexicon1 provides a comprehensive definition of the Greek word, that I will summarise here:

I. outward favour (as in when you say "he is favoured with charm and good looks")

II. favour felt, whether on the part of the Doer or the Receiver
1. on the part of the Doer - grace, graciousness, kindness, goodwill for or towards another
2. on the part of the Receiver - the sense of favour received, thankfulness, gratitude
3. favour, influence, as opposed to force

III. a favour done or returned, a grace, kindess, to confer a favour on one

IV. a gratification, delight, in or from a thing

We also find information about charis by reading about ancient Greek views of the word, the book Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, for the English Reader says:

In the ethical terminology of the Greek schools charis implied ever a favor freely done, without claim or expectation of return… Charis was also used to describe an act that was beyond the ordinary course of what might be expected, and was therefore commendable.2

As you can see, the term has a relatively broad application, but basically means "doing someone a favour" to put it colloquially, helping someone out, or giving them a gift, without expecting to receive anything in return.

Grace - it's Biblical usage

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