Quotes about Grace-Common


In concise terms common grace may be defined as “the unmerited favor of God toward all men displayed in His general care for them” (Ryrie). An expanded definition of common grace is “(a) those general operations of the Holy Spirit whereby He, without renewing the heart, exercises such a moral influence on man through His general or special revelation, that sin is restrained, order is maintained in social life, and civil righteousness is promoted; or, (b) those general blessings, such as rain and sunshine, food and drink, clothing and shelter, which God imparts to all men indiscriminately where and in what measure it seems good to Him.”


The Holy Spirit as the Spirit of truth, of holiness, and of life in all its forms, is present with every human mind, enforcing truth, restraining from evil, exciting to good, and imparting wisdom or strength, when, where, and in what measure seems to Him good… This is what in theology is called common grace.


The goal of common grace is not to perfect nature, but to restrain sin and animate civic virtues and arts, so that culture may fulfill its own important but limited, temporal, and secular ends, while God simultaneously pursues the redemptive aims of His everlasting city.


[Common grace is] that act of God by which negatively He curbs the operations of Satan, death, and sin, and by which positively He creates an intermediate state for this cosmos, as well as for our human race, which is and continues to be deeply and radically sinful, but in which sin cannot work out its end.


To some measure even unbelievers benefit from God’s grace. Theologians call that “common grace” because it is common to all mankind. Common grace is God’s continual care for all creation, providing for His creatures’ needs. Through common grace God restrains humanity from utter debauchery and maintains order and some sense of beauty, morality, and goodness in society’s consciousness.


Despite the fact that God’s unmerited favor is extended to all mankind, this common grace must not be confused with special grace (that is, saving grace). God’s common grace leaves man with no excuse (Rom. 1:20), but common grace alone is not salvific. It does not and cannot save. Salvation is found exclusively in Jesus Christ (Ac. 4:12)… In order for man to be saved, the special of grace is required.


Unlike common grace, which extends to all mankind, the special grace of God is the unmerited favor that God extends to His people. By means of common grace, God restrains sin in the world. By means of special grace, Jesus Christ bears the curse and penalty of sin for His people. In common grace, God gives good things to all men. In special grace, God gives the very righteousness of Jesus Christ to His people. Through common grace, God provides unmerited favor to all mankind for a time. Through special grace, God provides unmerited favor to His people for all eternity.


So few believe in common grace, because the human heart will not admit that a world without common grace is what we deserve (Jeff Hutchinson).


Without a doubt, common grace that is mocked will result in uncommon judgment.


Common grace [means] God not only restrains the full manifestation of the evil tendencies of the human heart but also, on a more positive note, enables the non-Christian to perform deeds of relative “good”.


The first aspect of common grace is what we might call negative or preventative. Its essential characteristic is that of restraint. Although the restraint that God places upon sin and its effects is neither complete (else no sin would exist at all) nor uniform (else all men would be equally evil or good), it is of such a nature that the expression and effects of human depravity are not permitted to reach the maximum height of which they are capable.


The second aspect of common grace is more positive in thrust. God not only restrains the sinful operations and effects of the human heart, He also bestows upon both nature and humanity manifold blessings both physical and spiritual. These blessings, however, fall short of redemption itself. The grace of God displayed throughout the created order is marvelous indeed (Psm. 65:9-13; 104:10-30; 130:25; 145:1-16).