Friday, 31 December 2010

Grace

I recently learned the difference between common Grace & saving Grace (go me!). It may be really obvious to everyone other than me but if not, here’s my definition:
Common Grace = the gifts from God (such as life, health and good fortune) to everyone regardless of whether they’ve accepted him into their lives or not.
Saving Grace (as the name suggests) = the gift from God of salvation to his followers.
Also, if you’re interested, Mercy can be defined as not getting what we do deserve (i.e. negative consequences) whereas Grace is getting something (positive) we don’t deserve (or could never earn).

Some people ask the question ‘why do bad things happen to good people?’ and there are two elements to this, the first being: how do you define what makes a person good or bad? Biblically, no one is good by God Standards (our standards are irrelevant!). The second element to the aforementioned question is the flipside: ‘why do good things happen to bad people?’ and the answer to this is: common grace.
As a side-note, bad things happening to ‘good’ people and good things happening to bad people flies in the face of those still believing in Karma.

There defiantly was common grace in the Old Testament (otherwise criminals wouldn’t have had good health or liars would die upon opening their mouths – that’s what life would be like if Karma were to exist) however, a lot of people wrongly assume that there was no saving grace prior to Jesus being born (at the start of the New Testament) as he hadn’t died yet to save people that existed before his birth.
People who make this assumption tend to label God as unjust and unmerciful and these labels would be accurate if indeed the assumption was true but, thankfully, it’s not and I’ll explain why:

God is the same yesterday, today and forever - God is unaffected by time as he works outside of it; it is his creation. Jesus is God and as such he works outside time also (aside from when he came to earth as a human). When Jesus died for all our sins he really did die for them ALL – past, present and future. He’s able to do this because time is only relevant while on earth.
If he’s able to remove our past sins, which he is, then he can remove the past sins of others regardless of what point in time they lived as it is irrelevant to him.

I believe 1st Corinthians 10 verses 1 - 4 is an implicit reference to the fact that what happened in the Old Testament was affected by Christ’s life and death (implicit because that wasn’t the main point of what Paul was saying).