Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Common Grace Part IV

We now come to our final post on common grace. We have tried to give some understanding about common grace by beginning with a definition. We decided to use Wayne Grudem's definition in his Systematic Theology which he writes, "Common grace is the grace of God by which he gives people innumerable blessings that are not part of salvation." The operative word in this definition is the word "common." God bestows grace that is common to all people regardless of whether they are believers or not.

We then looked at some examples or where this common grace is depicted. We are able to look around us and see people who obviously are not children of God and see that they are often the recipients of the same good things that we receive. The areas that we see this common grace poured out include the physical realm, the intellectual realm, the moral realm, and the societal realm.

Last time we looked at common grace we looked at the design that God had in mind for bestowing common grace on all men.  We said that the first question that comes to the mind of most thinking people is, "Why would God give something like common grace to people who don't deserve it in the first place, and in the second place are considered by His standards to be sinners? We put forth the idea that there seemed to be at least four (4) reasons under-girding God's design; to redeem those who will be saved, to demonstrate God's goodness and mercy, to demonstrate God's justice, and to demonstrate God's glory.

Today we are going to conclude this brief look at common grace with...

The Deduction

When we contemplate the bestowal of God's common grace upon unsaved people, it behooves us to keep several things in mind. In other words, we come to some valuable conclusions or deductions. The first deduction is...

Common Grace Does Not Ensure the Salvation of the Recipient

Regardless of the type or the amount of common grace bestowed upon an individual does not imply that God is going to redeem or save that individual. Regardless of how popular, famous, wealthy, healthy, talented, skilled, or intelligent a person is, they are still born spiritually dead and condemned by God. They still need the gospel. Do not confuse "blessing" or even morality with salvation. The most moral and good person that you know still needs to be made alive by the Holy Spirit of God or they will remain condemned for all eternity. Many people appear to have absolutely no needs. Scripture makes it clear that all men until they are made new in Christ are enemies of God. Common grace, even in its abundance does not mean that the recipient is a believer or that they will become one. 

Admittedly it is difficult to share the gospel with the wealthy or affluent they do not think they have any needs. It is difficult to share the gospel with people who are moral or even religious. Do not give up, keep being persistent and share the gospel even with the wealthy, moral, or religious since they need the work of Christ applied to their hearts as well. Common grace does not guarantee soul salvation.

Common Grace does not give us cause to reject or condemn the good that the unredeemed does

Unbelievers by the common grace of God perform some good things. The mistake that Christians make is too many times they withdraw from the unsaved and reject them in all forms or fashions of their life that we are no longer any good to them. Make no mistake, all the good that the unbeliever does will not please God nor gain them any heaven at all. However, we all benefit from inventions, discoveries, advancements, and technologies developed by unbelievers within the sphere of God's common grace. God will even use the unsaved, condemned, and the enemies of God for the good of His people.

Common Grace should stir our hearts to greater heights of thankfulness

When you step out of your house and walk by beautiful flowers blooming, feel the warmth of the golden sunshine, or see kittens playing on a green lawn, does your heart seem to skip a beat causing you to look up to heaven and give thanks to God?  God has granted such many good things to the people he has created and this earth that he has created. God fills the fields with colorful flowers, he fills the mountains with streams, trees, and landscapes that are so beautiful.  God has granted us knowledge, technology, and information that blesses us in so many ways. All of these blessings, whether the birth of a baby deer in the mountains or the discovery of a vaccine to prevent polio, are evidence of the goodness and grace of our creator God. All of these things show us his infinite wisdom. All these things should cause us to give thanks on a regular basis.

Common grace. God's goodness bestowed upon all men, both saved and unsaved. Blessings that none deserve yet all can enjoy. Rain, full harvests, sunshine, oxygen, or kittens, God delights to give grace on all people. Thank him today.

What is your view point since reading these four posts on common grace in regards to the fact that undeserving and unconverted people are recipients of the good things of God?

Take a moment and list 5 examples of God common grace that is bestowed on 
every human  regardless of whether they are redeemed in Christ or not?

How would you use common grace to share Christ
 with an unredeemed friend or loved one?


welcome to my world of poetry said...

Well done Gregg on a remarkable series on this subject. It was interesting and thought provoking to read.


Trisha said...

Thanks for reviewing your previous posts, Gregg, before you continued on. My memory always needs refreshing!

When I think of common grace, I think of what a merciful and generous God I serve. Your series provides a great summary in a clear and concise way which makes it easy to share with my children.

Thank you!

Cathy M. said...

One of my favorite aspects of common grace is God's restraint of evil. I'm so glad we all aren't as wicked as we're capable of being.

It's true, we all tend to think like Job's friends when we encounter a person who is healthy, wealthy, and wise. I actually feel very sorry for someone who is unregenerate and happy. They are in great danger of reprobation. Conversely, I'm feel hopeful when my lost loved ones are buffeted with trials, knowing that God is probably accomplishing something.

Penned Pebbles said...

I believe that even though we live in a fallen sinful world, God's common graces outweigh the consequences of evil. But people don't see this. They take each new undeserved breath without acknowledging the Creator and Sustainer. All good things are believed to be the result of man's achievements and all bad is the result of improper teaching, mismanaged government, no God, or some angry god, or whatever. Thanks for reminding us that all things come from the hand and providence of God to work for His purpose and good, even the circumstances that we don't understand--blessings disguised as tragedies. Great series, thank you!