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Two Kinds of Grace, describe and define the differences between the two kinds of grace: common grace and special grace with special focus on the undeserving nature of grace.
(2) God’s grace brings things people need and like
(3) God’s grace delivers to everyone everywhere
Theologians have defined two kinds of grace: common grace and special grace.
God’s common grace has all three points (see on right). God brings His kind treatment to everyone.
Special grace, however, differs from common grace on point #3. Special grace brings favor only to a targeted group of recipients. For example, we can find a great number of passages speaking to this topic. I mention one that I discovered during my personal study that day.
“Behold, days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will fulfill the good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and the house of Judah. ‘In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth” (Jeremiah 33:14-15).
God’s special grace is like common grace but only targets a selected group of people. It only fulfills points #1 and #2 above. As an example of special grace, God in Jeremiah 33:14-15 made special promises to Israel. The Israelites in no way deserved this favor. They had left the Lord and were being judged. Many were slain and others taken to Babylon as slaves.
However, the Lord on His own reached out and made a promise to those same people. God’s mighty sovereign power was at work and greatly helped the people in a way they needed. The Lord, however, did not make this promise to everyone but only to Israel. We will observe God’s selective or special grace found in many other places throughout the Bible.
God’s grace, whether it be God’s special grace or common grace, is undeserving. We saw that in the verses in Jeremiah where the people of Israel totally rejected God, but the Lord did not reject them. ￼
Most of our problems and misunderstandings stem from thinking that God needs to or must treat certain people extra special. The truth is that no one is so good so to be able to demand God’s grace.
When we pray, for example, we pray in Jesus’ Name. Not our own. We can only come before God in Jesus, but when there, we can ask anything in His Name according to His will and He will give it.
The testimony of the scriptures confirms that we are all sinners and strayed from God. We are naturally in rebellion against God and His ways (see Galatians treatment of the flesh as in contest with the Spirit).
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988