From “Grace” by Lewis Sperry Chafer, 1871-1952
Grace, more than any other single word, is the expression of the sum total of all that enters into Christianity. It is through grace that hell-deserving sinners are saved, it is through grace that they are preserved and are to be presented like Christ in glory, and it is “under grace” that the saved one now lives. Being under grace, he is “dead” to the law, and “delivered” from the law, whether the law is conceived of as being a rule of life, an obligation to establish merit before God, or a reliance upon the energy of the flesh.
On the other hand, the Christian is in no wise an outlaw. Since he is in Christ as the new sphere of both his standing and his state, he is now inlawed to Christ and is therefore under the governing principles of grace. These principles provide both an explicit and complete rule of conduct which is superhuman and the enabling power of the indwelling Spirit which is supernatural. This manner of life which is to be lived in the power of the Spirit is addressed to, and designed for, the people of the new creation in Christ.
These teachings of grace may be defined as, that superhuman rule of life which grows out of acceptance with God and which is first wrought in the heart and then achieved by the enabling power of the Spirit. Grace makes all conformity to the will of God to be voluntary. Christian conduct and service must arise from within and be the expression of a free choice. Only such action is acceptable to God since it alone is in harmony with the new facts of relationship under grace. By faith in Christ the believer is instantly made complete in him and the possessor of every spiritual blessing, the Spirit is given to indwell him, and he is “made accepted” in the Beloved. The Christian’s life must be keyed to these new facts, and when this new relationship under grace is really comprehended, it is seen that there remains no ground for legality in any form whatsoever.
The people who are now saved by grace are of a new order of beings. They are a new creation. The people of the old creation are ruined by sin; the people of the new creation are renewed by the Spirit. The people of the old creation are wholly lost; the people of the new creation are perfectly saved. The people of the old creation are doomed forever; the people of the new creation are entirely safe in Christ Jesus. The people of the old creation have always failed to realise the holy will of God in their daily lives; the people of the new creation may now live well-pleasing to God by the new provisions in grace. They may know unbroken victory even on the plane of the high ideals and standards of heaven.