Common Grace

We reject common grace on the basis of the Word of God. Common grace teaches that God loves the reprobate, but the Scriptures proclaim that “the Lord abhorreth” “the covetous” (Psalm 10:4).

The Psalmist declares of God: “thou hatest all workers of iniquity” (Psalm 5:5).

God does not hate the sin but love the sinner!

Moreover, “the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth” (Psalm 11:5). Here is the intensity of God’s aversion to the reprobate: his very soul—all that He is—detests him. Thus God “shall rain snares, fire and brimstone” upon him (Psalm 11:6).

Common grace teaches that the good things which the reprobate receive in this life are proof of God’s love for them. This was Asaph’s mistake, and it is the mistake of many. In “the sanctuary of God” (Psalm 73:17), Asaph came to understand that “the prosperity of the wicked” (3)—their health (4), food (7), riches (12)—was “surely” God’s setting them “in slippery places” before He casts “them down into destruction” (18). God gave them good things in His providence, but He “despised” them (20) for their wickedness (8).

Solomon, the wisest of men, declared, “The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked” (Proverbs 3:33). All the good things in his house— wife, children, possessions, food etc. — come not with God’s love but with His curse.

Some people say that we reject common grace on the basis of inferences drawn from the eternal predestinating council of God. But God’s revealed truth of predestination is not the only doctrine that militates against common grace. Against God’s unity (Deuteronomy 6:4), common grace teaches that God has two loves, two mercies, two lovingkindnesses, etc. Against God’s immutability (Malachi 3:6), common grace teaches that God loves the reprobate in time and then hates them in eternity. Against the divine righteousness, which is so great that God cannot “look on iniquity” (Habakkuk 1:13), common grace says that God loves those who are completely evil (Romans 3:10-18). In short, common grace postulates a temporary, limited, changeable, unrighteous love of God (outside of Jesus Christ!) for the reprobate. But the Scriptures teach us that God loves Himself, and that He loves His elect church (Ephesians 5:25) with a particular (Romans 9:18), eternal (Jeremiah 31:3), infinite (Ephesians 3:17-19), unchangeable (Psalm 136) love in Jesus Christ.

This initial error of a love of God for the reprobate is being used by many (including professed Calvinists) to erode the antithesis (Genesis 3:15), to soften total depravity, to compromise particular atonement, to preach a desire of God to save the reprobate, to silence and (then) deny unconditional reprobation and election, to refuse to condemn Arminianism and its teachers, and to enable fellowship with Arminians.

By Angus Stewart

One Comment on “Common Grace

  1. The Common Grace I came to understand is God hates all workers of iniquity but for His purpose provides the same air we breathe, the same food we eat, the same law we follow and the same jobs, etc. that sustains us to live on this earth. He doesn’t provide salvation to none but His elect nor does He make special provision for those who despise Him save for His express purpose. The common grace Bro Angus mentions is based on a general atonement type attitude which I believe is held by Arminians.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: