06 October, 2019

Dr. Gary North on Matthew 5:44-45



(Source: Dominion & Common Grace: The Biblical Basis of Progress [Tyler, Texas: Institute for Christian Economics, 1987], 204-205, 26; italics North’s)


The question arises: How does God view those who are not predestined to eternal life? Does He regard them with some degree of favor, or none, during their earthly lives? Do they as “creatures as such” or “men as such” become the recipients of his love or favor, “after a fashion”? Is the unregenerate vessel of wrath in some way the object of God’s favor to “clay in general”? The Synod of 1924 said yes. Hoeksema said no. Hoeksema was correct ...

... It is understandable how such verses [as Matthew 5:44-45, et al.] in the absence of other verses that more fully explain the nature and intent of God’s gifts [e.g., Ps. 69:22; 73:18-20; 92:7; Prov. 3:33, et al.] could lead men to equate God’s favor and gifts. Certainly it is true that God protects, heals, rewards, and cares for the unregenerate. But none of these verses indicates an attitude of favor toward the unregenerate beneficiaries of His gifts. The attitude of favor is simply assumed .... [If] favor is understood as an attitude favorable to the unregenerate, or an emotional commitment by God to the unregenerate for their sakes, then it must be said, God shows no favor to the unrighteous.




[NB: What North states in that last section could easily be applied to the word “grace”: “If GRACE is understood as an attitude favorable to the unregenerate, or an emotional commitment by God to the unregenerate for their sakes [AS WHAT THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE MEAN BY THE WORD TODAY WHEN THEY SPEAK OF “COMMON GRACE”], then it must be said, God shows no GRACE to the unrighteous.”]












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