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  • Tabernacle Baptist Church

Roots of the Faith - Common Grace - 5/8/24

Resources for this Study

Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth – John MacArthur & Richard Mayhue

Common Grace

Common grace is the universal favor that God grants to all people, both believers and unbelievers.As God’s universal favor, common grace is different from saving grace, the specific favor he grants only to believers for salvation.God created human beings in his image and grants his favor to them all.Though common in the sense that it is given to everyone, this grace is not experienced in the same measure by everyoneGregg R. Allison, 50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith: A Guide to Understanding and Teaching Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books: A Division of Baker Publishing Group, 2018), 203–204.

We See Common Grace in the following areas:


Moral Realm

Intellectual Realm

  • All people have some grasp of truth. Romans 1:21

  • All the different religions

  • Science and technology

Societal Realm

  • Family structure

  • Government

God’s common grace provides the human race with at least three benefits. First, it temporarily restrains sin and militates against sin’s damaging effects. Apart from divine grace, the full expression of humanity’s fallen nature would be unleashed in society—with catastrophic results. Although sinners are totally depraved, meaning that sin affects every aspect of their being (Rom. 3:10–18, 23; cf. Jer. 17:9; Eph. 2:1; Titus 3:3), the full manifestation of that sinfulness is restrained through the conscience, which enables sinners to understand the difference between right and wrong (Rom. 2:15); the authority of parents, who teach and discipline children (Prov. 2:1–5; 3:1–2; 13:1–2, 24; 19:18); and the civil government, which maintains order in human society (Rom. 13:1–5). Second, common grace enables unbelievers to enjoy beauty and goodness in this life (Ps. 50:2). Both the righteous and the unrighteous experience numerous physical blessings from God’s hand (Ps. 104:14–15; Matt. 5:45; Acts 14:15–17; 17:25). Every breath taken, every morsel eaten, every earthly beauty, and every wholesome moment is only possible by God’s gracious provision (cf. Job 12:10; Acts 17:28). He is the sole source of all goodness (Ps. 106:1; Mark 10:18; 1 Tim. 4:4; James 1:17). Consequently, all that is good and worthwhile comes from his benevolent hand. Though this world has been devastated by the curse of sin (Rom. 8:20–22), the common grace of God allows sinners to taste of his abundant loving-kindness (see Ps. 34:8). Third, common grace affords sinners time to hear the gospel so that they might be motivated to repent. Though God could justly execute judgment against sinners instantly, he temporarily withholds the punishment they should receive (cf. Ezek. 18:4, 32; Rom. 6:23; 9:22–23; 1 Tim. 4:10). As the apostle Paul explained, “Do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (Rom. 2:4; cf. 2 Pet. 2:5; 3:9, 15). Though sinners suppress the truth of the gospel in unrighteousness, the common grace of God makes their rejection of him inexcusable (Rom. 1:18–20) John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue, eds., Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017), 488.

The What Now:

Common grace should motivate us to praise God for His tremendous display of mercy and goodness.

Prompt us to be more faithful to share the Gospel, knowing the common grace is on full display.

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