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Also called "physical premotion," to explain how God's sovereignty includes also the free actions of men. According to this theory first developed by Dominic Bañez (1529-1604) and later adopted by the Dominican Order, God has predetermined from all eternity that certain people shall be saved. For the realization of this he bestows effective grace on these people. In this way he physically affects the free will of the elect, and so secures that they decide freely to co-operate with grace. Efficacious grace, by its inner power, therefore, infallibly brings it about that the elect freely consent to do those salutary acts which merit eternal salvation. Thus it is substantially different from sufficient grace, which merely confers the power to do a salutary act. In order that this potency may be translated into act, another new, inherently different grace (efficacious grace) must appear. From all eternity god has decreed the free assent of the human will to the efficacious grace, whereby he brings about salvation for those who fall within his decree.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.