Theology 101

How Common Grace Sustains Culture

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We have been taking about the three reasons God showers common grace upon humanity. The first two that we have discussed are:

  • First, God’s common grace prevents fallen human beings from doing all the wrong they could do.
  • Second, through common grace God restrains his wrath against sinful mankind.

The third reason why God has given humanity common grace is that through common grace God bestows his blessings, both physical and spiritual, on all of mankind, including those who will reject Christ. We see many examples of this in the Bible:

  • “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt. 5:45).
  • God blessed the Egyptian overseer’s house for Joseph’s sake (Gen. 39:5).
  • Paul preached to pagan worshipers, “In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet 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” (Acts 14:16-17).

In Psalm 65:9-13, David marveled at God’s bounty in creation:

You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops. You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.

God has also placed a bounty of blessings within each of us. Theologian John Murray wrote that God not only restrains evil in unredeemed men, he also endows them with:

Gifts, talents, and aptitudes; he stimulates them with interest and purpose to the practice of virtues, the pursuance of worthy tasks, and the cultivation of arts and sciences that occupy the time, activity and energy of men and that make for the benefit and civilization of the human race. He ordains institutions for the protection and promotion of right, the preservation of liberty, the advance of knowledge and the improvement of physical and moral conditions. We may regard these interests, pursuits and institutions as exercising both an expulsive and impulsive influence. Occupying the energy, activity and time of men they prevent the indulgence of less noble and ignoble pursuits and they exercise an ameliorating, moralizing, stabilizing and civilizing influence upon the social organism.

It is God’s common grace that makes all of what we think of as culture possible. What very few Christian seem to appreciate fully is that institutions such as the state, the family, and culture are common grace institutions.

Common grace is the explanation of the widespread presence of goodness in a fallen world.

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  • ADEDEJI SUNDAY AKINTAYO

    I see Common Grace in and out of me everyday base on the facts of been gracious to wake up and live everyday.I refer it to be “common” because all human race benefits from it without distinction between one person and another, believers or unbelievers,white skin or black skin. Yes it is “grace” because we all got it undeserved.It is a special gift bestowed to me and others by God.
    Common grace help us to understand the love of God towards creation,the sustainability of the creation and earth.
    The Bible stated in Hebrew 1 vs 2-3: “but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high”,
    So it absolute things of joy and appreciation to the common grace that made it possible for us to dwell peacefully under the creation.
    Common grace of God is another integral part that plead forgiveness on behalf of our wrong doings as well as restricted us from sinful activities.either spiritually or physically.
    Biblical example of restricting us from sins are
    1: Matthew 27:19: While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”

    2: Genesis 31:24 Then God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”

    3: 1 Samuel 25:34 Otherwise, as surely as the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, not one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by daybreak.” (DAVID).

    Common grace help our understanding to know the value of God and our God love not to see our heart cross him in sin. Even when we committed sin,the common grace redeemed us.
    With I.F.W.E message today,i reflect at my life and i give God the praise for all the “God good” common grace that abound on me in the past and the present as well as future need of it more.

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