The Distinguishing Grace Of God
I Corinthians 4:7
I have some difficulty with the term "common grace". Perhaps the idea of common, or universal benevolence and mercy might be acceptable. But there is nothing common, in the sense of ordinary or universal, about the grace of God. The grace of God is reserved for and bestowed upon his elect. It is grace alone that discriminates and distinguishes God's elect from the rest of Adam's fallen race. The man who raised the question, "Who maketh thee to differ?" answered it. "By the grace of god I am what I am!" Here are five mighty, effectual acts of grace by which God distinguishes his elect from all others and saves them.
ELECTION (II Thess. ) - God has chosen from eternity a people whom he will save. They are "vessels of mercy, which he afore prepared unto glory." Loved with and everlasting love, chosen in sovereign mercy, and predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ, all the elect must be saved.
REDEMPTION (Gal. ) - The common teaching of universal redemption is as unbiblical as it is nonsensical. Nowhere in the Bible are we told that Christ redeemed all men. If all were redeemed, none would go to hell. If Christ died for all and all are not saved, then he died in vain for some. blasphemy! Christ laid down his life for and redeemed his sheep. And all who were redeemed by his blood shall be saved by his grace.
REGENERATION (Eph. 2:1-5) - By nature all men are spiritually dead. None can awaken themselves or give themselves faith. The only way the dead can live is if God gives them life by the sovereign, saving power of his Holy Spirit. Those to whom he gives life live.
PRESERVATION (John ) - Multitudes profess faith in Christ, but are in time overcome and destroyed by trials and temptations. True believers cannot be lost. They are kept in life and faith by the power and grace of God.