In this post from Particular Voices, Sam Renihan uses John Norton’s meticulous definitions of the word grace to highlight the differences between Paedobaptist and Credobaptist covenant theology.
In case you missed it, maybe this will help:
- Increated Grace: God willing Spiritual gifts to men.
- –Special: Election
- –Common: Spiritual gifts not restricted to the elect
- Created Grace
- –Created Natural Grace: The image of God at creation (The grace of nature is the remainder of the image post-fall)
- –Created Supernatural Grace: Gifts unattainable by nature (thus supernatural) after the fall.
- –Created Supernatural Common Grace: Gifts that are unattainable by nature but are not saving in efficacy. They are simply capacities beyond the natural fallen condition of man, and are not peculiar to the elect. Some are pure; some are fallen.
- –Created Supernatural Saving Grace: Efficacious grace merited by Christ as Savior and applied by the Holy Spirit, enabling the soul to obey the commands of God
- Free Grace refers either to Increated Free Grace which is Election or Created Free Grace which is the effects of Election (salvation applied).
What happens when we get these definitions wrong? Does God help us to earn our salvation? We must maintain the “special” character of saving grace or else the covenant of grace is not the covenant of grace.