In the New Testament there are many passages that speak of grace as liberation. Sin is a plague that has overtaken the world, and it enslaves us (Stevens 9). We are born in original sin, and though that is washed away through the sacrament of Baptism, concupiscence remains. Concupiscence is the tendency to still drift toward sin. This concept of liberation is seen in Romans 5:17 where St. Paul writes, “because of the one man’s trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ” (NRSV). St. Paul states this again in Romans 7:6 where he says we are no longer slaves and held captive.
In bestowing grace, the Blessed Trinity looks to the bounty, or freedom of the one who receives (Hardon). In the grace of God, we discover our true freedom. When we have a new life in Christ the destructive power that evil had over us is no more (Stevens 10). Some may call this being born again, and it is a concept that is discussed frequently throughout the New Testament. When we have this new birth the bonds that held us captive to sin are now shattered. Just as God gave life to Adam in the garden of Eden, we are given new life through grace (Stevens 11). Adam sinned, and through his sin death came into the world. Through Christ we are free from that and we can live. Regarding this Charles Journet writes, “Since the soul of Christ is so close to the person of the Word, grace finds there its true home, and there unfolds itself in perfect freedom” (Journet 2.12).
This liberation is also much more than being free from the bonds of sin. Liberation in the New Testament grace established a union between the Christian and Christ (Stevens 17). This is open to all men who are seeking the light of Christ and not seeking the attachment to sin (Stevens 17). Grace is thus liberation because it breaks the bonds of death and united us fully to the source of life.
Hardon, John. History and Theology of Grace. Ann Arbor, MI: Sapientia Press, 2005.
Journet, Charles. The Meaning of Grace. Princeton: Scepter Publishers, 1997.
Stevens, G. The Life of Grace. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1963. 1-65. Print.