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Understanding Common Grace (Acts 14:16-18)

November 3, 2019 Speaker: Bob DeWaay Series: Acts of the Apostles

Scripture: Acts 14:16-18

As Paul and Barnabas had preached in Lystra, the pagans projected their polytheistic worldview onto them and wanted to make offerings and to worship them as gods. This prompted Paul to preach repentance and explain the Creator/creation distinction. Part of his speech included that previously God had “permitted all the nations to go their own ways.” The freedom that the Gentiles had to plant their crops, enjoy the creation, and live on God’s earth even though they did not worship Him is rightly called “common grace.” We explain the difference between common grace and saving grace. God’s wrath is still directed against sin, but for those under common grace the execution of that wrath is delayed until future judgment. For those who repent and turn to Christ, they are saved from God’s wrath now and for eternity. We cover other passages that teach common grace including part of Paul’s address to the Athenians in Acts 17. Jesus also taught that we ought to be kind to those around us because God is kind to ungrateful and evil men. We have a robust discussion about how God is providentially ruling the world during this dispensation. This includes nations with borders and civil law.

Class slides and handout available under the Downloads tab.