“Grace means favour—that to which the receiver has no claim, and the performer is not bound. There can be no claim to an act of grace on the one hand, nor can there be any obligation to perform it on the other.
It enters necessarily and essentially into the idea that it might be withheld and no wrong done. Otherwise it is not grace.
When we say, therefore, that salvation is “by grace,” we mean that man has no claim to divine favour; that God is under no obligation to bestow it, and that without this favour he could not obtain eternal life.
If the former has a claim, or if the latter is bound, then grace is out of the question. That which we may demand, and He must give, is not grace, but justice.“