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Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Holy Spirit and Common Grace

"That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world" (John 1:9).

It is the Holy Spirit who is responsible for what is called "common grace." Let me give you some definitions of what that means. Common grace is the term applied to those general blessings that God imparts to all men and women indiscriminately as He pleases - not only to His own people, but to all men and women, according to His own will. Or, again, common grace means those general operations of the Holy Spirit in which, without renewing the heart, He exercises a moral influence whereby sin is restrained, order is maintained in social life, and civil righteousness is promoted. That is the general definition. The Holy Spirit has been operative in this world from the very beginning, and He has had His influence and His effect upon men and women who are not saved and who have gone to perdition. While they were in this life and world they came under these general, non-saving operations of the Holy Spirit. That is what we mean by common grace.

Now, how does the Holy Spirit do this? Well, there are various answers to that question. You will remember that we are told in the prologue of John's gospel about "the true Light, which lighteth every man" (John 1:9). It does not matter how you translate that verse. " ... the true Light, which ligheth every man that cometh into the world," says the King James Version; "the Light that lighteth every man was coming into the world." says another. This light (that Christ puts in every person) is a kind of natural light, natural understanding. It is the light that is in the conscience, and there is that light of conscience in every person born into this world. Now that is one of the operations of the Holy Spirit in what is called common grace. It is a light that comes from Christ, because He is the Head of the human race, but it is the Holy Spirit who puts that light into everyone who is born.

A Thought to Ponder: Common grace is the term applied to those general blessings that God imparts to all men and women indiscriminately.

~Martyn Lloyd-Jones~

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