God’s grace, or favor, impacts our lives in a number of different ways. God’s grace enables us to believe. It enables us to be saved. It enables us to live holy and godly lives. It enables us to serve within his church. While some talk about different types of grace, as I will here, in reality they are all simply different ways that God’s grace is working in our lives, not different kinds of grace. God’s grace enables us to be what we could never be on our own.
It is mistakenly believed that Calvinists believe in sovereignty and not free will and Arminians believe in free will but limited sovereignty, but that is not the case. Both believe in sovereignty and free will, although they mean different things by the terms. I believe that looking into this will help to better understand the role of God’s grace. But first I want to look briefly at God’s omniscience in regards to the future; how can God know the future.
You might be surprised to find that Arminianism and Calvinism are in complete agreement on the doctrine of total depravity; I know that I was. For many years I operated under the thought that while mankind was pretty bad, we were not so bad that we could not choose to accept God’s offer of salvation. But that is really the heresy of semi-Pelagianism. Calvinist and Arminian alike agree that mankind is totally corrupt and unable of himself to accept the gospel.