[God] causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matthew 5:45)
When the Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 2:8 that “it is by grace you have been saved,” he was referring to God’s saving grace: the grace that, through Christ, saves human beings from their sins.
Separate from saving grace is the doctrine of God’s common grace: the goodness God shows people regardless of their relationship with or faith in him.
That’s what Jesus was referring to in today’s passage when he said that God “causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good” (Matthew 5:45). Christ was saying that, while God is the source of “every good and perfect gift” (James 1:17), God chooses to give those gifts to “the righteous” and “to ungrateful and evil people” (Luke 6:35).
So, while only Christians are recipients of God’s saving grace, every human being is a constant recipient of God’s common grace.
God does good to you and your atheist co-worker who claims God doesn’t exist, your competitor who lies and cheats, and your boss who slanders the name of Christ. God “sent rain” and food to Mother Teresa and to Hitler.
How should you and I respond to the reality of God’s common grace?
I don’t know about you, but if I’m honest, my first reaction to that truth is anger—a reaction the psalmists are very familiar with (see Psalm 73 and 94 as just two examples).
But common grace also leads me to astonishing awe at the goodness of God. And a profound sense of gratefulness that God was good to me before I was hidden in Christ and that he continues to bless me today when I disobey the One who obediently went to the cross on my behalf.
Throughout this series, I’ll share 5 responses to common grace that lead to uncommon work. Here’s the first: Common grace should leave us dumbstruck at the goodness of God.
Take a moment right now to marvel at the goodness God has shown you and non-believers. And let that remembrance of his grace lead you to extend goodness and blessings to everyone you work with today!