Common Grace

Common Grace – another form of Grace from God, but why is it called Common. #CommonGrace

Common Grace - another form of Grace from God, but why is it called Common. #CommonGrace

In a couple previous blog post, I have blogged about Prevenient Grace and Irresistible Grace or Efficacious Grace. I even shared an acronym for the word Grace. This time, I want to share with you about Common Grace.

Common grace is a theological concept in Protestant Christianity, developed primarily in Twentieth-Century Reformed / Calvinistic thought, referring to the grace of God that is either common to all humankind, or common to everyone within a particular sphere of influence.

WikiPedia

This is just showing God caring for His creation and His restraint for sin. So no matter if we are saved or not, we all experience the needed rain and sunshine on us.

Common Grace curbs the destructive power of sin, maintains in a measure the moral order of the universe, thus making an orderly life possible, distributes in varying degrees gifts and talents among men, promotes the development of science and art, and showers untold blessings upon the children of men.

Louis Berkhof, Reformed Scholar

The Three Points of Common Grace

Below is a summary of the three points of Common Grace, followed by the three points in full, as defined by the Christian Reformed Church in 1924

A Summary of the 3 Points

1.  In addition to the saving grace of God, shown only to those who are elected to eternal life, there is also a certain favor, or grace, of God shown to his creatures in general.

2.  Since the fall, human life in society remains possible because God, through his Spirit, restrains the power of sin.

3.  God, without renewing the heart, so influences human beings that, though incapable of doing any saving good, they are able to do civil good.

The 3 Points in Full

Point 1

Concerning the favorable attitude of God toward mankind in general and not only toward the elect, the Synod declares that it is certain, on the ground of Scripture and the Confession, that there is, besides the saving grace of God, shown only to those chosen unto eternal life, also a certain favor or grace of God which He shows to all His creatures. This is evident from the quoted Scripture passages and from the Canons of Dordt II, 5, and III and IV, 8 and 9, where the general offer of the Gospel is discussed; while it is evident from the quoted declarations of Reformed writers of the period of florescence of Reformed theology, that our Reformed fathers from of old have championed this view.

Point 2

Concerning the restraint of sin in the life of the individual and in society, the Synod declares that according to Scripture and Confession, there is such a restraint of sin. This is evident from the quoted Scripture passages and from the Belgic Confession, Art. 13 and 36, where it is taught that God through the general operations of His Spirit, without renewing the heart, restrains sin in its unhindered breaking forth, as a result of which human society has remained possible; while it is evident from the quoted declarations of Reformed writers of the period of florescence of Reformed theology, that our Reformed fathers from of old have championed this view.

Point 3

Concerning the performance of so-called civic righteousness by the unregenerate, the Synod declares that according to Scripture and Confession the unregenerate, though incapable of any saving good (Canons of Dordt, II, IV, 3), can perform such civic good. This is evident from the quoted Scripture passages and from the Canons of Dordt, III and IV, 4, and the Belgic Confession, where it is taught that God, without renewing the heart, exercises such influence upon man that he is enabled to perform civic good; while it is evident from the quoted declarations of Reformed writers of the period of florescence of Reformed theology, that our Reformed fathers from of old have championed this view.

Summed up: Common Grace also know as no matter if you are saved or not, you get common grace. Part of that is the rain on the just and unjust, as well as, sunshine on the just and unjust. Therefore, it is common to all mankind. Also known as Providence Grace. So both Calvinists and Arminians this as the undeserved blessings which God extends to all humankind.

Embracing Common Grace: A Gift from God to All Humanity – As followers of Christ, we often talk about God’s amazing grace and how it transforms our lives, offering forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ. 

However, there is another dimension of grace that is often overlooked or misunderstood – common grace. Common grace is God’s goodness extended to all of creation, irrespective of their faith or belief. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of common grace and its significance in the Christian life.

Understanding Common Grace: 

Common grace can be defined as the benevolence and kindness that God bestows upon all people, regardless of their relationship with Him. It is a demonstration of God’s love for His creation, even in a fallen and broken world. This form of grace is not salvific in nature but rather serves to preserve and sustain life, allowing humanity to experience various blessings and benefits.

Examples of Common Grace: 

Common grace manifests itself in numerous ways throughout our daily lives. We see it in the beauty of nature, the provision of food and shelter, the development of human intellect and talents, and the establishment of societal order. It is evident in the remarkable achievements of humanity, such as advancements in science, medicine, art, and technology. All these blessings, though enjoyed by people of diverse backgrounds, are ultimately expressions of God’s common grace.

Biblical Foundation: 

The concept of common grace finds its roots in the Scriptures. In Matthew 5:45, Jesus teaches us that God “causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” This verse highlights God’s impartiality in bestowing His blessings upon all people, regardless of their moral standing. Additionally, in Acts 14:17, the apostle Paul affirms the reality of God’s common grace, stating that He “has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”

Significance for the Christian Life: 

Recognizing and embracing the concept of common grace has several implications for our Christian journey:

  1. Gratitude and Humility: Understanding that every good thing we enjoy is a gift from God fosters an attitude of gratitude and humility. It reminds us that we are not self-sufficient but dependent on God’s loving provision.
  2. Compassion and Love: Common grace challenges us to extend compassion and love to all people, regardless of their beliefs or backgrounds. It encourages us to reflect the character of God by showing kindness and generosity to others, just as God extends His grace to all.
  3. Cultural Engagement: Common grace invites us to engage with the world around us. It encourages us to use our talents, skills, and resources for the betterment of society, promoting justice, peace, and the common good. By participating in the world, we can be salt and light, pointing others to the goodness and love of God.

Common grace is a beautiful expression of God’s love and mercy for all humanity. It reminds us that God’s goodness extends far beyond the boundaries of our faith communities. As Christians, we are called to recognize, appreciate, and respond to this grace by demonstrating gratitude, compassion, and active engagement in the world. Let us embrace and celebrate God’s common grace as we seek to live out our faith and bring glory to His name.

Grace posts

Here are various blog post on grace to explore: 

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First published February 6, 2019. Last updated or republished April 30, 2023.

About the Author

Author: Steve Patterson

A Christian Blogger that enjoys blogging about the Bible, Theology, God, Jesus Christ, Christian Music, Family, Cats, Odd Holidays, sewing and much more. I have been blogging since 2004, however, I have been blogging on Courageous Christian Father since 2012. I enjoy listening to Christian Music. I am married with 1 daughter, 2 step-sons and a step daughter.

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