The Protestant Misuse of the Word “Grace”
The Reformed, and Calvinists in particular use the word “grace” to nuance what they really teach about salvation. Primarily, to nuance the idea that sanctification is the progression of justification, they refer to the doctrine of “duplex grace.” This is a soft term for “duplex salvation,” or the idea that both justification and sanctification are part of a single salvation process, viz, “complete justification.”
For another example, consider the expression, “We are all just sinners saved by grace.” According to Reformation orthodoxy, this is really stating: “We all remain unregenerate and need continued salvation.” Evangelical superstar John Piper is far less ambiguous than Protestant bumper stickers:
We are asking the question, How does the gospel save believers?, not: How does the gospel get people to be believers? When spoken in the power of the Holy Spirit, the gospel does have power to open people’s eyes and change their hearts and draw them to faith, and save them. That’s what is happening on Tuesday nights and Wednesday nights this summer. People are being drawn to Christ through the power and beauty of the gospel. But I am stressing what Paul says here in verses 16 and 17, namely, that “the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” Believers need to be saved. The gospel is the instrument of God’s power to save us. And we need to know how the gospel saves us believers so that we make proper use of it.
“Believers need to be saved.” Any questions? However, again, most Protestant scholars nuance this falsehood with the word, “grace.” What people assume is being said follows: “Believers still need grace.” Precious few would deny that—of course we need God’s grace continually, but what do we mean by that?
The word “grace” in the Bible rarely refers to salvation if at all; it is NOT a synonym for salvation. The word is simply little different than the word “love” in the biblical sense. The two words could easily be used interchangeably throughout the Scriptures. Grace, according to the Bible, evoked God to save mankind, but is not the act of salvation.
If you want a definition of grace read Paul’s treatise on love in 1 Corithians 13; the meaning of the two words are all but identical. Salvation is one of many, many things that grace does, but it’s NOT salvation.
In yet one more example of Protestant premeditated deception, scholars will concur that grace does not mean “salvation,” but then proceed to use it that way for purposes of disguising their progressive justification gospel.