[K:JNWTS 28/2 (September 2013): 52]

Augustine on Grace and Debt

Did [Paul] not define grace so that he showed that it is called grace, because it is given gratuitously? After all, he said, If it is by grace, it is not on the basis of works; otherwise, grace is no longer grace (Rom 11:6). Hence, he also says, For one who works recompense is not counted as a grace, but as something owed (Rom 4:4). It is owed, then, to whoever is worthy of it. But if it is owed, it is not grace; a grace is given, but a debt is paid (“The Deeds of Pelagius,” 14.33 in The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century. Answer to the Pelagians I [New City Press, 1997] 348)