Reformed Catechism Week 27 Resources

Week 27 Question:

Are all people, just as they were lost through Adam, saved through Christ?

Week 27 Answer:

No, only those who are elected by God and united to Christ by faith. Nevertheless God in his mercy demonstrates common grace even to those who are not elect, by restraining the effects of sin and enabling works of culture for human well-being.

Week 27 Verse: Romans 5:17

Commentary

Common grace is the term applied to those general blessings which 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…. It is not a saving influence, nor is it a redemptive influence, but it is a part of God's purpose…. If the Holy Spirit were not operative in men and women in this general way, human beings, as a result of the Fall and of sin, would have festered away into oblivion long ago…. Next to that is what is generally described as culture. By that I mean arts and science, an interest in the things of the mind, literature, architecture, sculpture, painting and music. Now, there can be no question at all but that cultivation of the arts is good. It is not redemptive, but it improves people, it makes them live better lives. Now, where do all these things come from? How do you explain men like Shakespeare or Michelangelo? The answer from the Scripture is that all these people had their gifts and were able to exercise them as the result of the operation of common grace, this general influence of the Holy Spirit.

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899–1981). A Welsh medical doctor and Protestant minister, Lloyd-Jones is best known for preaching and teaching at Westminster Chapel in London for thirty years. He would take many months, even years, to expound a chapter of the Bible verse by verse. Perhaps his most famous publication is a 14 volume series of commentaries on Romans.

From "Creation and Common Grace" in Great Doctrines of the Bible, “Volume 2: God the Holy Spirit” (Wheaton: Crossway, 2003), 24–25.

Video Commentary

NCC Q27: Are all people, just as they were lost through Adam, saved through Christ? from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

Supporting Scriptures

Psalm 2:12; Matthew 7:14; John 1:12-13; John 3:16; John 3:18; John 3:36; Romans 11:16-21; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Hebrews 4:2-3; Hebrews 10:39

Prayer

From all my lame defeats and oh! much more
From all the victories that I seemed to score;
From cleverness shot forth on Thy behalf
At which, while angels weep, the audience laugh;
From all my proofs of Thy divinity,
Thou, who wouldst give no sign, deliver me.

Thoughts are but coins. Let me not trust, instead
of Thee, their thin-worn image of Thy head.
From all my thoughts, even from my thoughts of Thee,
O thou fair Silence, fall, and set me free.
Lord of the narrow gate and needle's eye,
Take from me all my trumpery lest I die.

C. S. Lewis (1898–1963). A fellow in English literature at Oxford University as well as chair of English at Cambridge University, Lewis wrote literary criticism, children's literature, fantasy literature, as well as theology. His most well known works are Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, andThe Chronicles of Narnia. A member of the Church of England, his conversion to Christianity was influenced by his Oxford colleague and friend J.R.R. Tolkien.

From “The Apologist's Evening Prayer” in Poems by C. S. Lewis (Orlando: Harcourt, 1964), 129.