Grace Not Common
April 17, 2012, 12:17 pm
Filed under: Common Grace

written by Scott Price

“That sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:21

God gives His people grace based on the one and only foundation of the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, who being God in the flesh, established a perfect, everlasting righteousness by  paying the penalty and curse of the law in His death and made a complete atonement and satisfaction for all the demands of God’s holiness.

This is the ONLY way grace is given for God to remain faithful to Himself. This grace is both particular and effectual, which means that it was purposed for the elect only and it does work for every one of them without fail, without exception. The scriptures as a whole tell us that grace is saving grace from a sovereign God.

There are many who promote a false idea that God gives a “common grace” to all people on the earth without exception. They say this in many times in the context of God providing rain for both the just and the unjust, for the saved and lost. But God’s grace is His  promise to save based on the death of Christ alone, NOT by sending rain from the sky, but by sending His Son from the throne of Heaven. Sinners who receive rainwater from  God are not helped spiritually one bit.

Some will take this false idea another step further in saying it is “common grace” that God offers the gospel universally, to the elect and non elect, and gives men a space of time to repent.  They think the longer God waits for the sinner and the more times the sinner hears the gospel God is giving out more common grace to him.

This is NOT the case with God.  The God of the Bible does NOT wait on the non-elect to repent but rather God goes after the elect sinner to give the gifts of faith and repentance by His sovereign grace.

Grace reigns through the righteousness of Christ.  Grace does not come in the form of rain from the sky for anybody. Religious men will think up so many schemes trying to remove the offense of the cross. Remove the offense and you remove the glory of God only to replace it with the glory of man. Grace is saving, not common.


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Those who teach that Christ died for everyone are profaning the blood of Christ. But these false teachers cannot change either the justice or the sovereign effectiveness of the cross, for even their false teaching has been ordained by the same God who designed the glorious death of Christ.

It does not follow that we who believe the true gospel have no purpose or need to refute the false teaching. Our prayer is that we ourselves have been predestined to expose any and all attempts to make Christ’s death common.

Christ’s death is not common for every sinner, because Christ’s death does not have only an ordinary effect of making a salvation conditioned on what sinners do with grace. Because Christ’s death is not only about sovereignty but also about justice, because Christ’s death is about not only punishment but also about imputed guilt, Christ’s death has the uncommon result of entitling every elect person to all the benefits of salvation.

Elect sinners might be somewhat wary of any talk of being entitled to anything, since we know that we are still always sinning, but it is simply boasting in Christ. if we think that our sinning somehow makes us any less entitled to all salvation blessings, then we will also falsely come to think that our not sinning will bring us extra rewards. If our sinning or not sinning comes into the equation, then what Christ did is not enough.

Any false gospel which says that Christ died in common for every sinner but that not all these sinners receive a common salvation is logically saying that Christ’s death is not enough for any sinner. Not only logically, but in their existential experience, all those believing the false gospel are practical legalists. Whatever they may say or think, they sincerely believe that what Christ did is not enough and they think they need to get busy.

Every self-righteous person who makes the death of Christ common also feels guilt for not doing more and better. Those who profane Christ’s death are objectively guilty before God, not simply because of what they feel or think about Christ, but because they are not in Christ. Only in Christ, and not in our lack of self-righteousness, do we find entitlement to all the blessings of salvation.

Comment by markmcculley

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