Common grace.

If the whole word is under the curse of sin, how can there be so much

The doctrine of common grace first developed by Calvin: It curbs the destructive power of sin, maintains in a measure the moral order of the universe, thus making an orderly life possible,

It should be remembered that there is only one grace. There are not two different kinds of grace as attributes of God. Common grace as well as saving grace is God’s demerited favor to sinners. That means we do not deserve it and God gives us free gifts, favor when we deserve his punishment. What is the difference then? The difference is that the saving grace removes the guilt, power and presence of sin while the common grace curbs and restrains the influence of sin. These natural blessings showered upon mankind are all because of God’s common grace! God preserves this world and allows people to develop high degree of science and art and culture. This is all because of God’s grace! God makes sure that people develop the natural life and

The definition of common grace is twofold: “Those general operations of the Holy Spirit, whereby He, without renewing the heart, exercises such a moral influence on man through His general or special revelation, that sin is restrained, order is maintained in social life, and civil righteousness is promoted or Those general blessings, such as rain and sunshine, food and drink, clothing and shelter, which God imparts to all men indiscriminately where and in what measure it seems good to Him.

Distinction between common grace and special(saving) grace

1.The special grace is only granted to the elect and not to the reprobate. The common grace is bestowed upon all men indiscriminately and the decree of election and reprobation has nothing to do with its measure because we often observe that the wicked possess a greater measure of common grace and natural blessings of life than the pious.

2.Special grace removes the punishment of sin and changes the inner life of man and sanctifies him from the pollution of sin through the supernatural operation of the Holy Spirit. Common grace, however, doesn’t effect a salvation! It only has restraining effects on sinful human nature and it does not renew human nature.

3.Special grace is irresistible. When the Holy Spirit renews our heart, we most freely come to Christ in faith and repentance and believe the gospel. However, common grace is resistible and often resisted by unbelievers and the universal offer of salvation is rejected by men who is averse to faith and repentance and in bondage to sin. It is ineffectual unto salvation, why? because it leaves the heart unchanged.

C.Common Grace and the Atoning Work of Christ

 

If Adam earned it?

Systematic Theology (Berkhof) – p.496, 265 comparison. Little bit confused.

If Adam earned it?

Christ merited all the blessings of salvation for us and these blessings are applied to us through the union. It’s only in Him that we enjoy blessings of effectual calling, regeneration, conversion, justification, sanctification, perseverance, and glorification. This union is mediated through the Holy Spirit and it is the Spirit of Christ who applies the objectively accomplished work of redemption to His body, His Church.

Pastor James talked about Christ earning everything for us. He said it’s like a winning lottery but he asked it’s no use if we do not cash it. And this is the work of the Holy Spirit who “will glorify me [Christ], for he will take what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16:14).

What if the first Adam had fulfilled the conditions of the covenant of works? Let’s just suppose that Adam had earned the eternal life as our representative. How do we subjectively experience and enjoy this blessing? Here, prof. Berkhof seems to say ” There was the tie of a common life between him and all his progeny, and this made it possible that the blessings of the covenant of works, if these had eventuated, could have been passed on to the whole organism of mankind in an organic way” (Berkhof p.496)

Why do we have to be born again? Because we cannot make ourselves believe in Christ. We are spiritually dead that we should be born of God, should be born again. Could have it been possible that if Adam passed the probation period we would enjoy covenant blessings just by natural birth? Presupposing Adam was already in a federal union with all his offspring, would have we been possible to enjoy the blessing just by natural birth? I think it’s very likely but can be perfectly sure about this? Does the Bible imply it?

If we can enjoy the blessings earned by Adam by means of natural birth,

I’m presupposing the federal relationship between Adam and his offspring. .

The sin of Adam would not have passed to his offspring if he was not in the covenant of works established by God.

The blessings of Adam would not have passed to us if he was not in the covenant of works.

I’m not sure. God doesn’t say anything. The only thing we are sure is that Adam had sinned and his sin is imputed to us because he was our representative head. We also sinned in Adam. His original sin and corruption is passed on to us because he was our head. And just like this, we are able to enjoy the blessings of Christ through the union with Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

Transition to the work of the Holy Spirit

General and Special Operations of the Holy Spirit

Origin of life, its maintenance, and its development depend on the operation of the Holy Spirit. “Life giving Spirit”

Extraordinary exhibitions of power, feats of strength and daring are also referred to the Holy Spirit. Also,

Intellectual insight, ability to understand, It is the Holy Spirit who gives people understanding. All the great scholars and professors are given insight and understanding by the Holy Spirit. Also artistic skill!

The Relation between the general and the special operation of the Holy Spirit

General operation and special operation of the Holy Spirit. The general operation regards the life of the natural creation whereas the special operation of the Holy Spirit is about the new life that is born from above. The Holy Spirit certainly works within unbelievers but it only concerns their natural lives. In the creational sphere, not the recreational or redemptive sphere.

The Holy Spirit restrains the influence of sin among individuals and in the society so that people can do what is outwardly good and right in relations to each other and to develop the talents with which they were endowed at creation.

“In the former He originates, maintains, develops, and guides the life of the natural creation, restrains for the present the deteriorating and devastating influence of sin in the lives of men and of society, and enables men to maintain a certain order and decorum in their communal life, to do what is outwardly good and right in relations to each other, and to develop the talents with which they were endowed at creation. 

In the latter, on the other hand, He originates, maintains, develops, and guides the new life that is born from above, is nourished from above, and will be perfected above, — a life that is heavenly in principle, though lived on earth.”

The work of Holy Spirit in creation is made subordinate to the work of redemption even though the general operation has its own significance!

C.The Holy Spirit as the Dispenser of Divine Grace

Biblical use of the term grace: Jesus Christ who is full of grace confers the grace of Jesus Christ on us.  Grace is an active communication of divine blessings by the inworking of the Holy Spirit, out of the fullness of Him who is “full of grace and truth.”

The grace of God in the work of redemption

“It is God’s free, sovereign, and undeserved favor or love to man, in his state of sin and guilt, which manifests itself in the forgiveness and deliverance from its penalty.” (The definition of the redemptive grace) Christ as the Mediator is the living embodiment of the grace of God. And every blessings that Christ merited for us.

Also, the favor of God as it is manifested in the application of the work of redemption by the Holy Spirit.