Common Grace is a Myth! (By Sonny Hernandez)
Is God's grace common? Absolutely not! Grace is a soteriological term that is reserved exclusively for the elect of God. Every time God’s grace is mentioned in Scripture, it is always salvific in its character. Exegetically and theologically, grace is the essence of the gospel, and is God’s unmerited favor towards His elect for whom His Son died. In addition, the Bible principally teaches that God’s grace is discriminative, free, absolute, eternal, efficacious, and immutable. Again, there is nothing common about God’s grace.
If one believes in the common grace notion, they must prove from the Greek or Hebrew text where God's grace is applied to reprobates. Moderate Calvinists, Arminians, and Amyraldians will appeal to Matthew 5:45 to argue that God provides common grace to reprobates because it states that “…He [God] makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:43-48 has nothing to do with grace. Consider the following reason why:
Sure, rain and sunshine are particular aspects of God’s providence. But Matthew 5:43-48 says nothing about God pouring out His overtures of grace upon reprobates, and it says nothing about particular aspects of God’s love in this life for all without exception. The reference to rain and sunshine does not deduce that God is bestowing love or pouring out grace. If it thunders outside, does this mean that God hates everyone in the whole word? Of course not.
There is nothing common about grace. Again, every time God's grace is mentioned in Scripture, it is always salvific in its character. Therefore, when men argue that grace is common, they are injecting their own deluded presuppositions into the text, and are grossly redefining the meaning of a salvific doctrine [God’s grace]. Study church history to see what kind of men are notable for redefining soteriological terms. They are called heretics.
Also, denying the common grace myth is not hyper-Calvinism. What is a hyper-Calvinist? A hyper-Calvinist is one who restricts the preaching of the gospel to those they feel are elect by appealing to the Calvinistic doctrine of election. This heresy must be rejected! Christians must believe in the indiscriminate and promiscuous preaching of Christ to all without exception. Moderate Calvinists who borrow from Arminians to affirm their common grace myth will accuse Christians of being hyper-Calvinists who reject the common grace delusion. This should be expected. Arminians have always relied on petulant allegations to discredit Reformed preachers who unashamedly affirm election and reject common grace. Moderates will do the same.
Many affirm the common grace myth because of the following: (1) they do not understand the doctrine of grace because they have not studied it, and have never been taught how it is biblically defined; (2) they are theological liberals who believe God’s grace and love is universal, or they affirm cheap grace (i.e., prevenient grace).
Grace is the most important doctrine in Scripture. Paul tells us why in Romans 3:24: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (emphasis mine). In regard to the doctrine of grace, don’t twist it, don’t redefine it, and don’t ever denigrate God by referring to His grace as non-soteriological [common].
If the wicked have nice things, good health, and air to breath, one should not regard this as a testimony of God’s love for all without exception or say this is common grace. Consider Asaph in Psalm 73. He saw the prosperity of the wicked (vs. 3), and noticed that they had health, food, and riches. The psalmist said, their “strength is firm” (vs. 4), “their eyes bulge with abundance and have more than heart would wish” (vs. 7), and said the ungodly are “always at ease; they increase in riches” (vs. 12). Was this an example of the so-called common grace notion? Absolutely not. This was an example of God’s judgement! The psalmist said that God set them in “slippery places,” He “cast them down to destruction,” He consumed them “with terrors,” and He shall “despise their image” (vs. 18-20). It’s amazing how context reveals everything.