God’s wonderful ‘common grace’

Peter Adam

God’s common grace is his loving and sustaining power in and through his creation, and in and through all humans he has made.

It is called ‘common grace’ to distinguish it from his ‘saving grace’, in which he works to bring people to salvation by faith in Christ, matures them as members of his church, and will one day bring them to glory.

In his ‘common grace’, God:

  • Created and sustains the world through his Son [Colossians 1:15-17].
  • Sustains living creatures [Psalm 104:27-30].
  • Gives them wisdom to live [Provers 30:24-28].
  • Gives human beings power and responsibility for their lives and for the world as his representatives [Genesis 1:26-31].
  • Gives them an instinctive awareness of himself, and also a conscience [Acts 17:26-28, Romans 1:18-20].
  • Provides the structures of marriage, families, and governments [Genesis 2:20-25, Ephesians 3:14,15, Romans 13:1-7].
  • Lovingly sustains all people [Matthew 5:43-45].
  • Trains them in useful skills to they can work effectively [Genesis 1:26-31, Isaiah 28:43-29].
  • Gives them food and joys [Acts 14:15-17].

So we should praise God for every sign of his common grace in our lives, in the wonderful world he has made, and his common grace in the lives of others, including people who do not know him through Christ. And we can rightly affirm those signs of common grace in others, because we recognise God’s work in and through them. While we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory [Romans 3:23], all human beings are still made in God’s image [James 3:9], and so worthy of respect and expectation of doing good as well as evil [Luke 11:11-13], even though their good works are not able to gain them forgiveness from God, which only comes through the free gift of his Son [Romans 5:1-5].

At the same time, of course, we also pray that people would know God’s saving grace in Christ.

We often praise the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation through his atoning death and resurrection. Good! We should also praise him for his work in creation, which we learn about from John 1:1-4; and from Colossians 1:15-17.

.  The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 

God blesses us all every day in his ‘common grace’. Let’s enjoy his constant gift, and praise him for it.