Common Grace: A Popular, But Unbiblical, Notion!
By Sonny Hernandez
Common grace is a notion that is popularly held by semi-Pelagians and cryto-Arminians (moderate Calvinists) who deliriously think that God bestows a non-saving type of grace, mercy, or love to not just the elect, but to all His creatures in general, including reprobates. Based on this logic, if it thunders outside, does that mean God hates everyone? Instead of determining God’s objects of love and mercy by weather, they should examine the Word to see that God’s grace is never applied to reprobates, but only to the elect. This clearly refutes the common grace heresy and it proves who invented it, as those who teach common grace interpret the Bible like Arminians—so they can apply God’s grace to reprobates—despite the fact that it is reserved exclusively for the elect.
This common grace notion should be rejected based on the following reasons:
Grace is an expression of what God is or His eternal and unchanging character. Many will argue that grace is an attribute of God, but they fail to recognize that God's attributes are identical to His essence. There is nothing common about God's essence!
There are no verses in Scripture that explicitly apply God’s grace to reprobates. Arguing that God has a favorable disposition in this life towards all men in general, whereby He shows favor and grace to even reprobates, begs the question. Those who affirm the common grace heresy are either guilty of inventing a new doctrine and definition for grace, or they are intentionally or ignorantly conflating providence with the common grace notion.
Grace, properly defined, is always salvific or efficacious in its character, and it is reserved exclusively for the elect. Exegetically and theologically, God’s grace is the essence of the gospel, and it’s His unmerited favor and love towards those for whom Christ died. The reprobate will never receive God’s grace, and the notion of common grace is a myth. Thus, if the wicked receive good things in this life, or if they have air to breathe, or they experience rain and sunshine, this does not deduce that God loves them in any sense or is showing them common grace. This means that God’s specific and meticulous providence is sustaining the wicked until the day of judgment.
Oh, and of course, semi-Pelagians and moderates also believe that God provides a non-salvific type of love to not only the elect, but also to reprobates. These Arminians will argue that the wicked are experiencing God’s common love if they have air to breathe or are flourishing in this life, or if they have peace and luxury. But the Word of God states that, “When the wicked spring up like grass, and when all the workers of iniquity flourish, it is that they might be destroyed forever” (Psalm 92:7). James 5:5 describes those who have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury as being fattened for the “day of slaughter.” In other words, Arminians argue that since reprobates are not propelled to hell immediately, but are allowed to experience good things in this life, that God is providing common grace or love to them, but God’s Word teaches that it is because God is preparing “them for the day of slaughter” (Jeremiah 12:3).
In closing, God’s grace is not common, but is eternal, efficacious, particular, eternal, and absolute. The grace of God is reserved, not for the reprobate, but exclusively for the elect of God for whom Christ died. Amen.