Just as there’s more to Calvinism than the five points of Calvinism, so there’s more to the doctrines of grace than the doctrines of grace.  Or, to put it another way, there are many more doctrines of grace than just the five associated with the five points of Calvinism.

In fact, I would argue that every doctrine is a doctrine of grace; every truth of God is an expression and demonstration of the grace of God.

The doctrine of creation is a doctrine of grace. That God created the world is an act of sheer grace. The Westminster Confession of Faith puts it simply: “It pleased God” to create the world and everything in it (WCF 4.1). He didn’t need the world, He didn’t need us, and yet He made a world and He made us. And what a world He made, and what a humanity He made. The whole earth is full of His glory. Yes, but it is also full of His grace.

The doctrine of providence is a doctrine of grace. God could have made everything and then walked away. But He didn’t, not even after sin entered into the world. God not only made the world but graciously sustains it, provides for it, and governs it, and all His creatures. He makes the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the righteous and the unrighteous. And He’s working all things together for the good of His people. Is that not a doctrine of grace?

The doctrine of revelation is a doctrine of grace. God has not only blessed us with general revelation but with special revelation. He could have hidden Himself and left us to grope in the dark. But, instead He has given us a full and sufficient a saving revelation of Himself in His inspired and inerrant Word. The Westminster Confession of Faith again traces it all back to “It pleased God…” (WCF 1.1).

I could go on and on: the grace of justification, the grace of adoption, the grace of sanctification, the grace of assurance, the grace of the sacraments, the grace of repentance, and so on. See how many doctrines of grace there are? And we haven’t yet touched the the doctrines of grace. There are way more doctrines of grace than the doctrines of grace.

  • Pingback: October 13, 2015 Christian Briefing Report | Truth2Freedom's Blog

  • lunbri

    Hi Dr. Murray, I love your “there’s more than” discussions so far!

    I’m curious about your use of grace here. I know there is debate post-Meredith Kline regarding grace only being “undeserved” or even “ill-deserved” favor, but I’m not trying to stir that pot (I’ve read with profit your review of Merit in Moses series).

    Creation is certainly an act of God’s goodness, undeserved kindness, voluntary condescension, etc., but is it grace in the sense that Jesus bought it for us in the atonement? Yes, God’s providence toward believers is gracious, but doesn’t God’s providence extend to reprobate as well? Is this where His common grace comes into play? The same questions apply to revelation; for the unbeliever, general and special revelation serve to bring condemnation, correct?

    So is there a way you are using grace here that highlights how it is received by the elect? Or maybe with regard to humanity pre-creation, in the decrees of the eternal God?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

    • David Murray

      I’m not quite sure what you’re driving at. Can you clarify your questions a bit more, otherwise I think I may end up trying to answer what you’re not asking.

      • lunbri

        Yeah, no, that is fine Dr. Murray! It probably wasn’t the best worded question! Sorry about that. Thanks for your time and keep up the great writing.

  • Pingback: Browse Worthy: Boning Up on Our Doctrine | Gentle Reformation