Asked in Catholicism
How do people apply sanctifying grace to their life?
March 21, 2016 10:17PM
I think we can't apply sanctifying grace to our lives. We can respond to God's grace.
Grace is something that comes from God. Grace is "God giving what we do not deserve ". The grace of God is God providing a way of salvation when "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". The grace of God is love, freely shown towards guilty sinners, people who do nothing to deserve God's love.
Paul wrote to Titus:
Titus 2:11,12 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,
Here the phrase "the grace of God" is synonymous with the Son of God. God's grace appeared when the Lord Jesus visited our planet and especially when He gave Himself for the sins of all mankind.
Paul tells Titus that someone who has experienced God's grace should respond (out of love for God) and live godly lives. Love awakens love.
Throughout a believers life a believer will continue to sin and God will deal with the believer graciously, the believer should respond by obedience to God. This is the process of sanctification. This is sanctifying grace.
There is nothing in the Bible to say God applies grace through the sacraments. Actually the scriptures teach that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit all play a part in the sanctification of the believer.
The Father is the husbandman who purges the fruitless vine that it may bear more fruit - John 15:2 also 1 Thessalonians 5:23
It is Christ the Son who indwells the believer and through whose power the Christian is enabled to live a life pleasing to God - Galatians 2:20. The Lord's death is the basis for the Christians personal sanctification - Hebrews 2:11,10:10,13:12.
The Holy Spirit is given prominence in the scriptures in the process of sanctification - 2 Corinthians 3:18, Romans 5:5, Romans 8:13,etc
July 15, 2015 9:49PM
People apply sanctifying grace to their lives by receiving it in the sacraments, and then living in accord with it. Sanctifying grace is a supernatural state of being infused by God, which permanently inheres in the soul (if that person does not commit mortal sin). Sanctifying grace is opposed to actual grace which is a temporary supernatural intervention by God to enlighten the mind or strengthen the will to perform supernatural actions that lead to heaven. It is transient, supernatural grace perdures (to perdure is to stay in existence through God's sustaining power)
Grace is a totally gratuitous gift of God. We can do absolutely nothing to earn it, and we have no
right to it. The primary means by which God imparts grace to us is through the sacraments, these are the means that Jesus established to communicate grace to us. The first of these, without which, none of the others can be received, is Baptism. The Sacraments work ex opere operato (see below). So the means by which we receive grace from Jesus is by worthy reception of the sacraments performed by the proper minister appointed by Jesus through His Church.
from Modern Catholic Dictionary by John A. Hardon, S.J. Doubleday & Co., Inc. Garden City, NY 1980
Ex opere operato. A term defined by the Council of Trent to describe how the sacraments confer the grace they signify. Trent condemned the following proposition: "that grace is not conferred 'ex opere operato' by the sacraments of the New Law (Denzinger 1608). Literally the expression means "from the work performed" stating that grace is always conferred by a sacrament, in virtue of the rite performed and not as a mere sign that grace has already been given, or that the sacrament stimulates the faith of the recipient and thus occasions the obtaining of grace, or that what determines the grace is the virtue of either the minister or recipient of a sacrament. Provided no obstacles (obex) is placed in the way, every sacrament properly administered confers the grace intended by the sacrament. In a true sense the sacraments are instrumental causes of grace
Sacrament. A sensible sign, instituted by Jesus Christ, by which invisible grace and inward sanctification are communicated to the soul. The essential elements of a sacrament of the New Law are institution by Christ the God-man during his visible stay on earth, and a sensibly perceptible rite that actually confers the supernatural grace it symbolizes...