Common Grace

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Common Grace is the grace God gives to creation as a whole, to all unbelievers. In this universal non-salvific form of grace, God allows the sun to shine upon both the righteous and the unrighteous.  He does not judge unbelievers right away due to the work of Christ on the Cross by which people are saved.  God endures with them for the sake of those who would believe.  Unbelievers can be doctors, engineers, parents, etc., and function within God's domain and counsel.

"Common grace is the grace of God by which he gives people innumerable blessings that are not part of salvation."1

"Also called “general grace.” God’s universal, nonsaving grace in which blessings are given to humanity for physical sustenance , pleasure, learning, beauty, etc., as expressions of God’s goodness. It is particularly contrasted in Reformed theology with God’s special or saving grace."2

“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ 44 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Therefore ayou are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect," (Matt. 5:43-48).

God shows his goodness to all people when He feeds them, allows them to work, experience beauty, learn and have joy. It is also common grace that "restrains" the wrath of God until a later time.

  • 1. Grudem, Wayne (2009-05-18). Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (p. 657). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
  • 2. McKim, Donald K. (2014-04-21). The Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms, Second Edition: Revised and Expanded (Kindle Locations 6203-6206). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.