QUESTION: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COMMON GRACE AND SAVING GRACE?
Study References: Ephesians 2:8, Matt. 7:9-10
Common grace as the name implies is a grace accorded or given to all men. Romans 3:23 says; "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" and Romans 6:23 says; "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. If we sin we deserve punishment. Therefore, anything that we receive from Him other than punishment is grace, an undeserved reward. This is what theologians refer to as God’s common grace. Common grace is broad and includes things such as waking up in the morning, having a good day at work, children being born, the food we eat, etc…
Jesus talked about common grace in Matthew 5:45; "that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." This was also spoken of in Psalm 145:9; "The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made."
On the other hand, God’s saving grace is only found in and through Jesus Christ. God’s common grace can and does pave the way for His saving grace and often times that require a messenger to point it out. This is what the apostle Peter said in 2 Peter 3:9; "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." We should live each day thankful for God’s common grace, and be joyful and in desperate need of His saving grace.