Common Grace

Whenever it is pointed out that such a system of orchestrated grace is “unfair,” unkind, cruel and equals inexplicable favoritism, Calvinists point out that fallen man “deserves nothing but His just wrath.”  However, if the depravity of fallen man is prescripted, predetermined and immutably decreed for man which he can only do, by a will imposed on him by an external force, then he does not deserve wrath, but deserves only pity, by being bullied by a higher power. That’s Calvinism, and it’s abhorrent how any Christian mind could conceive of such irresistible brutality committed on lesser creatures. Thankfully, though, Calvinism is false, and is an aberrant root of Gnosticism that we can safely reject in favor of true John 3:16 theology.

John Calvin comments on Romans 5:15: “Paul makes grace common to all mennot because it in fact extends to all, but because it is offered to all. Although Christ suffered for the sins of the world, and is offered by the goodness of God without distinction to all men, yet not all receive Him.” (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries: Romans and Thessalonians, pp.117-118, emphasis mine)

Calvin adds: “Hence, we conclude that, though reconciliation is offered to all through Him, yet the benefit is peculiar to the elect, that they may be gathered into the society of life. However, while I say it is offered to all, I do not mean that this embassy, by which on Paul’s testimony (II Cor 5:18) God reconciles the world to Himself, reaches to allbut that it is not sealed indiscriminately on the hearts of all to whom it comes so as to be effectual.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.149, emphasis mine)

​The primary text that Calvinists use in order to demonstrate “Common Grace” is Matthew 5:43-48: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 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. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Calvinist, George Whitefield: “And so it is, but not his saving mercyGod is loving to every man: he sends his rain upon the evil and upon the good.” (A Letter from George Whitefield to the Rev. Mr. John Wesley, emphasis mine) 

What’s “rain” in comparison to Christ? Does the mutually agreed, universal loving will of the Father not also extend beyond that which is temporal?

George Whitefield: “I believe the doctrine of reprobation, in this view, that God intends to give saving grace, through Jesus Christ, only to a certain number, and that the rest of mankind, after the fall of Adam, being justly left of God to continue in sin, will at last suffer that eternal death which is its proper wages.” (A Letter from George Whitefield to the Rev. Mr. John Wesley, emphasis mine) 

So God is loving toward every man, but only in terms of those things that don’t add up to much? In what way would God love those whom He allegedly decreed to “pass by” and are “justly left of God”? 

One member of The Society of Evangelical Arminians comments: “For the Calvinist who wants to call God ‘loving’ to the reprobate for giving them temporal blessings’ but not eternal blessings, Jesus disagrees: ‘What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?’ (Mark 8:36)” (SEA)

Question:  What is Common Grace?

Answer:  For Calvinists, it differentiates between an efficacious Irresistible Grace for the Calvinistically elect, in contrast to a purposely ineffective, non-efficacious Common Grace to the Calvinistically non-elect.