media gratiae: means of grace; i.e., Word and sacraments as the means by which the grace of God is operative in the church. The term is used by both Lutheran and Reformed orthodox, although the Lutherans often substitute a stronger term, organa gratiae et salutis (q.v.), instruments of grace and salvation. The identification of Word and sacraments as media gratiae does not intend to exclude a general or common operation of grace but rather to indicate the function of both Word and sacraments in the regeneration (regeneratio, q.v.) and sanctification (sanctificatio, q.v.) of man as the instruments or objective channels of special or saving grace (gratia specialis). Word and sacraments are thus instrumental both in the inception of salvation and in the continuance of the work of grace in the Christian life. In addition, Word and sacraments are the sole officially ordained or instituted instruments or means of grace. God has promised the presence of his grace to faithful hearers of the Word and faithful participants in the sacraments. Thus the right preaching of the Word and right administration of the sacraments are the marks or identifying features of the true church (notae ecclesiae, q.v.). The Lutherans differ with the Reformed in rooting saving grace more totally in Word and sacrament. Without denying the efficacy of grace in Word and sacrament, the Reformed can argue the nonreception of that grace and also the ineffectual calling of the external Word (Verbum externum, q.v.) in the case of the nonelect or reprobate. – Richard A. Muller, Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms : Drawn Principally from Protestant Scholastic Theology (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1985). 187-88.
The Grace of Faith, whereby the Elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ 1in their hearts; and is ordinarily wrought by the Ministry of the Word; by which also, and by the administration of Baptisme, and the Lords Supper, Prayer and other Means appointed of God, it is increased, and strengthned. – The London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689, 14:1.