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The Common Grace of God

God owes us nothing.

God owes us nothing, yet He has poured out His blessings on every man and woman.

The two aspects of grace are available to all humanity in general and special or saving grace.

Common grace is available to all human beings without discrimination. The first mention of grace is found in Genesis 6:8. "Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD." God extended His grace 120 years while Noah preached righteousness.

Fallen man has a fallen nature and without common grace mankind would be ultimately self-destructive (Rom. 1:18-2:16; 3:9-20). God in His common grace causes the sun to shine on the just and the unjust. This is the kind of grace that keeps radically depraved humanity from self-destruction. 

Common grace gives order to life in spite of the curse of sin. The earth yields its fruit in abundance in spite of the thorns and briars. Depraved mankind knows the difference between good and evil, has religious aspirations, does good deeds, gives philanthropic gifts to others in need all because of common grace.

The effects produced by common grace or the influence of the Spirit common to all men are natural revelation whereby the creation testifies to the Creator through out the universe, presence of truth, good and beauty, fear of future punishment, a natural sense of right and wrong, restraints of governments, fear of God, religious interest not attended by genuine spiritual regeneration by the Holy Spirit, etc. Charles Hodge observes that the influences of common grace "are all capable of being effectually resisted. In all these respects this common grace is distinguished from the efficacious operation of the Spirit to which the Scriptures ascribe the regeneration of the soul." 

The response of most people to God’s common grace is “contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience” (Romans 2:4). How tragic that man in his arrogance and pride refuses to accept common grace.

To despise the riches of God’s grace is a terrible sin with eternal consequences.

The purpose of God’s common grace is to cause us to turn to Him to receive even greater grace.

Yet, in spite of our sinful depravity, God is good to us. He reaches down to us in His love and grace to save us. He wants us to repent and acknowledge His goodness and accept the riches of His saving grace.

A good example of common grace leading to effectual saving grace is the Gentile man Cornelius who feared God, gave alms generously and prayed regularly, but was never saved until the apostle Peter shared with him the good news of salvation through the atoning sacrifice of Christ Jesus (Acts 10:1-48). It was common grace that led Cornelius to be devout, but he still needed efficacious saving grace. He responded to the light he had received through common grace, and God brought him to the greater light of the good news of Jesus Christ whereby he could believe and be saved. God the Holy Spirit moved him beyond common grace which does not save, to the saving grace of God in Christ Jesus.

The most uncommon thing that has ever happened is found in Romans 5:6-8. “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8).

It was “while we were still sinners,” that God did everything to save us sinners. God sent His only begotten Son to come and die in our place on the cross.

God does not owe us anything. We deserve to go to hell. He does not owe us a chance to be saved. The only thing we deserve is judgment because we have disobeyed God.

The Bible says, “The soul that sins will surely die.” “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” “The wages of sin is death.”

We need more than common grace to save us. We need His special saving grace. “God commends His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” We need His special grace that lifts us out of our sins and saves us. 

Christ’s death for you demonstrates God’s unfathomable love for you. It commends itself to us to embrace Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. It calls every sinner to turn from his or her sins and put their faith in Jesus Christ and be saved.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

God loves you and wants you to respond to His love today. Will you believe on Him and receive His free gift of eternal life? “We love Him because He first loved us.”

Everyone receives God’s common grace, but have you responded to His special saving grace? “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). 

Jesus Christ is our only hope. Only Jesus Christ could offer a sacrifice for our sins and pay the penalty in full. In His life and death Christ did all that God required of us. That is how much He loves you and wants you to come to Him and receive eternal life. If you have never done so please respond to His saving grace today. 

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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