Wesleyan Core Term

Free Grace

Free grace is a basic Protestants belief that attempts to counteract semi-Pelagianism, the idea that you can earn your salvation by doing good works. But free grace has been a controversial concept among Protestants, depending upon what aspect of freedom is emphasized.

George Whitefield, a Calvinist, argued that “free grace” meant it was God who was free to accept (elect) or reject (condemn) anyone, the foundation concept in predestination or limited atonement (Christ died for the elect).

The Wesleyan heritage, on the other hand, understood “free grace” as meaning the that God’s work of salvation is offered freely to all (universal atonement – Christ died for all), supplemented by the Arminian belief that human beings are free to accept or reject God’s offer of salvation.

With this understanding many Wesleyan sermons conclude with a call for the listener to decide to accept God’s gracious offer of salvation from sin and God’s assistance to live a Christ-like life.

                            -Wesley Study Bible pg 1083