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Page 124

Why must God's gifts of common grace be clearly distinguished from His gifts of saving grace? If this separation is not clearly maintained, what will take place?

Why will the most remarkable evidences of God's common grace in the lives of sinners not renew or turn their hearts to God?

    His grace ever since I was born. My parents are Christians. God cared for our health and welfare. I've always known right and wrong. Our entire family has a very good reputation in the community. I've always attended a Christian church and school. I have a clear conscience and that's why I like to tell everyone that I'm a Christian and how great the Christian life is!"

    Examine Mark's answer carefully. Is each reason he gave for believing he is a true Christian a gift of common grace or of saving grace? What misleading danger results from not clearly distinguishing God's saving from His common grace?

    A two-mile (3.2 km) bridge with 85 spans ranging up to 245 feet (75 m) extended across the mouth of the River Tay as it flowed into the North Sea. During a strong windstorm one night, unnoticed by anyone, several girders of the bridge were broken by the wind and waves. A late-night passenger train traveling across the bridge plunged into the rushing waters far below. The exact number of deaths could never be determined, but all passengers on the train lost their lives.

    Prior to crossing the bridge, the train stopped at a small station. During this brief pause, a passenger walked out on the exposed rear platform of the train which was built on the caboose. The strong wind blew his hat off his head, and as he chased it down the tracks, the train pulled away.

    When he realized the train was leaving, he turned and ran after the train, but he was too late and could not catch up to it. Angrily, he returned to the station, missing both his hat and the last train for the night. Grumbling, he settled down there to sleep and wait for the next train in the morning.

    Can you imagine his shock and deep sense of awe when he discovered the following morning that he was the only passenger on the train to be saved?

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