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Page 125

    Many others can also relate remarkable stories of their lives being preserved from accidents, violent crimes, sicknesses, or other disasters. Due to these outstandingly clear evidences of God's preserving of their lives, they believe that they have God's favor and will be saved by Him eternally.

    While this story, and many others like it, are miraculous, are they unusual workings of God's common or saving grace? Not clearly distinguishing God's saving grace from His common grace can produce misleading presumptions. How?


Presuming saving grace from God's common gracious dealings is a dangerous, misleading falsehood. To be saved, we need our hearts to be renewed by the saving grace work of the Holy Spirit. We need to experience repentance (misery), faith (deliverance), and obedience (thankfulness), and the fruits of true love to God and others must be evidenced in our lives.

There is also an opposite danger regarding this doctrine - that of despising God's gifts of common grace. The following two stories illustrate this error:


    "These common grace blessings do not really matter," one man argued with another. "My health, prosperity, church, the Bible, and all other outward gifts do not profit me, unless the Holy Spirit savingly applies His Word in my heart."

    "They will not profit you spiritually and eternally, you mean," the second man corrected. "God is Creator of both body and soul. Your health is a precious and gracious blessing. You have not deserved this; it is given in grace. Did not Jesus frequently restore people's health in a most gracious manner? Did God not grant prosperity to many individuals and kings in the Bible? Are not His Word and church precious means of grace He has graciously given to us? While temporal blessings are not eternal, they are temporal blessings and may never be despised."

    Why must the blessings of God's common grace be deeply valued? Why must they never be equalled or mixed with saving grace blessings, however?

Can you relate biblical examples of persons who experienced great miracles of God's common grace and yet remained strangers to the workings of God's saving grace?




 

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

- Romans 7:24-25a

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down,and cast into the fire.

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

- Matthew 7:19-20

 




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