Sung Psalm 14 (note none of the unregenerate do good)
Reading II Kings 10:11,17,28-36
The instance of Jehu doing “well” in the eyes of God (II Kings 10:30) brings up the contested issue of “common grace”. Jehu did well but he was clearly an unbeliever (see verses 28 and 31). God would avenge his work (Hosea 1:4) and hence it was sinful. Was Jehu, and are the reprobate wicked recipients of grace?
The Three Points of Common Grace (Kalamazoo synod of C.R.C. 1924)
- Grace is universal because God offers salvation to all and desires to save all.
- God restrains sin.
- Unregenerate gifted men can do civil good.
The latter two points inspired the life work of Abraham Kuyper as a Christian leader and politician and Louis Berkhof was also a proponent.
The Heidelberg Catechism LD 33 defines good works as, ” Only those which proceed from a true faith, are performed according to the law of God (out of love-JK), and to His glory; and not such as are founded on our imaginations or the institutions of men.” (Rom.14:23).
Also W.C.F article 16 (7) “Works done by unregenerate men, although for the matter of them they may be things which God commands; and of good use both to themselves and others: yet, because they proceed not from an heart purified by faith; nor are done in a right manner, according to the Word; nor to a right end, the glory of God, they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, or make a man meet to receive grace from God: and yet, their neglect of them is more sinful and displeasing unto God.”
Jehu was a master soldier and excellent leader and we cannot accurately say what his motives were but we think they would include egotistical pride, doing his job well and perhaps even pleasure from being an executioner. If “common grace” is human giftedness and abilities then Hitler, Mao and Bill Gates are clearly recipients and ultimately the man of sin who will rule the world namely Antichrist will be the most gifted man ever! A recipient of God’s grace? I hardly think so! Men are the recipient of PROVIDENTIAL GIFTS but all their actions, even if they benefit mankind, are sinful in God’s eyes.
Lessons for believers:
- Pray that God would purify our motives.
- Do all things, even the most mundane, heartily and to the glory of God. (Col.3:23, Luke 16:10 and 19:17).
- Our good works are to be a witness (Matt.5:16) hence need to work and play among the godless.
- Remember the antithesis.
- Grace is always particular (it brings salvation hence has the same recipients as those for whom Christ died, namely the elect).