Infused grace

Not sure I am in the right spot so mod please move if necessary.

A friend was telling me about infused grace. Can y’all explain this?

I googled and found this thread. But have no idea :innocent:


Never heard of it.

You see this issue being raised in the discussion of the theological differences between Catholic and non-Catholic Christian ideas of justification.

All believe that ‘grace’ is an unmerited gift from God. The debate comes into play when we ask how we receive that grace.

Catholics believe that God ‘infuses’ that grace into us – that is, He gives the gift, and we become filled with His grace.

The Reformers, beginning with Luther, took a different tack. Have you ever heard of his “snow covered dung heap” example? He believed that God simply covers us with the grace of Jesus Christ. In other words, we are still little piles of cow poo underneath it all, but God imputes Jesus’ righteousness to us. The best way I can think of to describe it at the moment (before my first cup of coffee! ;)) is that the Reformed view of “imputed grace” says that God gives us a suit of camo (in a “Jesus’ snowy grace” pattern!), such that when He looks at us, He doesn’t see us so much as He sees the Jesus camo.

It’s an odd idea for a Catholic to think about, let alone accept. Yet, there it is: at stake in the discussion is how grace is received and how it operates. :shrug:


God actually makes one a new creation in Christ…not just says your just legally but makes you so.

Clearly imputed grace was developed in spite of scripture not because of it. I’ve read most of the Bible several times over. The passage that comes to mind is,

“If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old is gone; the new has come.”


“I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me and the life I now live, I live by faith in the son of God who loves me and gave himself for me.”


Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.


If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleans us from all unrighteousness

Seems clear God’s grace doesn’t merely hide our sin as though God could fool himself. Actually he forgives and actually makes us genuinely good and holy. Is that infused grace?

Soteriology/Justification is one of the biggest issues that separates us.

Commonly referred to as Infused vs Imputed righteousness.

In the reformed Church you confess the Lord and you become righteous in the sight of God thanks to Jesus sacrifice on the cross. You become sanctified through the reading of the Word and walking with the Lord personally…but you never lose your justification no matter what you do or how you act, etc.

In the Catholic Church, justification is seen as a process. You become more and more righteous by cooperating with the grace of God, through Sacrament and Word. But you can lose that justification by saying no to God and breaking covenant with Him. If you are a “saved” Catholic you will get holy now or you will do it in purgatory, but you will do it as nothing unclean enters heaven.

And if you are a Calvinist you basically believe that you cant ever become very righteous, personally. (Total depravity) This is non sense and the Catholic Church has produced many great saints over the years to disprove that notion. Yes the world is sick and we need Jesus, but to say we cant ever become holy is flat out laziness, imo. We are all called to holiness right now.

How can they say we can’t be actually become Holy when the Bible COMMANDS IT. Sola scriptura people have a remarkable talent for disagreeing with the Bible.

I agree.

Disagreeing with the bible and with each other. I was protestant for over a decade and saw it with my own eyes.

But thankfully that’s not all of of protestantism, mainly just the staunch 5 pointers. Calvinism promotes laziness imo. Likely not their intent, but it does.

Catholic Answers:

Infused grace is a term often used by Catholic theologians to describe in metaphorical terms how God “pours” grace into our souls or, to put it another way, “fills” us with his grace. The word “infused” denotes the idea of something being “poured into” and is seen most commonly in the Latin formula gratia infusia. This language is symbolic, of course, but it is certainly biblical.

In Acts 15, Saint Peter said regarding Gentile believers:

“8 And God, who knoweth the hearts, gave testimony, giving unto them the Holy Ghost, as well as to us;
9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.”

This is what infused grace means. The Holy Spirit purifies our hearts by faith.

Saint Peter did not say, “And God imputed the righteousness of Jesus to their account, by reason of their faith.” That is the Calvinist interpretation of Romans 4, which is discussing the same issue as the Apostles in Acts 15.

Look for the article by dr. William marsner…

There are many good answers already, all I can offer is that the concept of “infused grace” is most clearly understood as a metaphysical change in the believer such that it is internally grafted, it is not just an external granted grace which protestant theologians have speculated on.

(The reason I am answering this is because I am trying to extend my apologetic extent. I apologize to any Catholic if they feel that if I have failed miserably to explain).

I think I have been catholic in this issue for about 20 years and didn’t know it. I always thought the camouflage concept of grace was unbiblical.


Echoing some previous posts, rather than righteousness being strictly imputed of or declared to us, the Catholic church teaches that it is actually infused in us, at Baptism, that God doesn’t merely forgive us, IOW, but washes, cleanses, and renews us at justification, by actually, as a free gift in response to our faith which itself is a gift, filling us with the grace (known as “sanctifying grace”) that makes us right in His eyes.

IOW, God’s intention is not to merely “pretend” that man is now just, but to make it happen for us as we turn back to Him, fulfilling the New Covenant prophecies of Jer 31:33-34, of ‘putting His law in our minds and writing it on our hearts’. His plan, with the advent of Christ when the time was ripe in human history, is not to suddenly ignore justice, but rather to authentically* restore* it to His wayward creation. What we do with it after reception is up to us-we can always resist and reject grace at any step along the way; we can always turn back away from God, or we can continue to walk with Him and respond to and cooperate with even more grace that He’ll give us as we do.

All grace is infused. Grace is a supernatural gift from God. We cannot produce it from our own natural God-given powers, whence it is called supernatural. It is broadly divided into habitual or sanctifying grace and actual grace (cf. the CCC). Sanctifying grace which we receive such as at baptism is a permanent habit or disposition God infuses into our souls and which makes us partakers of the divine nature and heirs of heaven. Actual graces are transient helps from God which he is constantly bestowing on us which enlightens our minds and moves our wills to good, to keep his commandments and do his will. We cannot think, say, or do anything conducive to our eternal salvation without God’s grace because our calling to eternal life and the beatific vision of God in heaven is beyond our natural powers. However, grace does not destroy our created human nature but perfects it. We can also resist God’s grace for he created us with free will. We need to freely cooperate with God’s grace to do his will and reach our eternal destiny which is our eternal happiness with God in heaven.

Another way of looking at it is to notice how Scripture speaks of “putting on” Christ, which is the language of being clothed. See this article for how the Clothing Analogy of Scripture explains the Catholic understanding of Grace:

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