Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Common Grace

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, 'Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.'" (Mat 5.43-45 ESV)
Have you taken the time to contemplate how good God is to us, to saints and sinners alike? The sun and the rain is given to all of humanity, revealing to all the Triune God's generosity and love. This is often called "common grace". By definition, grace is only grace if it is extended toward someone who doesn't deserve it.

Have you taken the time to contemplate how you can be like God? By loving those who don't love you, you reveal to all the Triune God's generosity and love. I'll call this "reflective grace".

Heed Adam Clarke's words from his Commentary on 5.45b:
He maketh his sun to rise on the evil - 'There is nothing greater than to imitate God in doing good to our enemies. All the creatures of God pronounce the sentence of condemnation on the revengeful: and this sentence is written by the rays of the sun, and with the drops of rain, and indeed by all the natural good things, the use of which God freely gives to his enemies.' If God had not loved us while we were his enemies, we could never have become his children: and we shall cease to be such, as soon as we cease to imitate him.
The question isn't God's love for us; the question is our love for others.

What do you think?