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Understanding Common Grace, an expository message from Matthew 5:45, shows how God's grace helps the good and evil as well as provides three components to the definition o 'common' grace.
As we closely look at Matthew 5:45, we see that these kind favors are bestowed upon both those who do good and evil. They are upon the good because God wants to bless their lives. He wants to give them a life in which they sense God’s good hand upon their lives.
But surprisingly, these blessings are also upon the evil. The word evil here describes the wicked people who have revolted from God’s authority and insist on carrying out lifestyles that suit themselves.
We would expect to see a withdrawal of God’s kindness from their lives. But no, we see that God in some ways treats the good and evil the same, though both are relative terms.
God has purposed His kind treatment upon both good and evil so that all might sense His true and glorious position and character. God really wants to bless mankind. We see this in the Garden in the way God designed it.
One pastor defined grace in this way,
"Unearned, undeserved, and absolutely necessary favor from God, that can empower and motivate us to live a transformed life for God." - Hugo Cheng
We need to better understand what comprises common grace. There are three elements to understand common grace. All three are important.
(1) God’s grace exerts God’s sovereign power
God actively influences our affairs in life by bringing His goodness in our lives. God uses His mighty power to make the sun to rise and the rain to fall.
(2) God’s grace brings things people need and like
God purposes on bringing a great amount of goodness into our lives. We often live in ignorance to it, but everywhere we might turn are items that signify God’s great care for us.
(3) God’s grace delivers to everyone everywhere
God brings this kind treatment to everyone, whether they have done good or evil.
The main application for our lives is rather obvious. Since God structures the world in such a way that the wicked receive His benefits just as the righteous do, so we ought to go out of our way to reflect God’s purposes through our heart choices. We will in fact love the evil people, our enemies, even if they have not done good.
If God would position Himself to regularly treat the wicked in these kind ways, then we need to imitate Him and kindly treat our enemies.
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988