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Grace according to Westminster

WCF ch 5:6 VI. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous judge, for former sins, doth blind and harden; from them he not only *withholdeth his grace*, whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon their hearts; but sometimes also *withdraweth the gifts* which they had; and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasion of sin; and withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan; whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, even under those means which God useth for the softening of others.

Apparently, gifts and grace are not the same things….

LC Q. 63. What are the special privileges of the visible church?
A. The visible church hath the privilege of being under God’s special care and government; of being protected and preserved in all ages, notwithstanding the opposition of all enemies; and of enjoying the communion of saints, the ordinary means of salvation, *and offers of grace by Christ to all the members of it in the ministry of the gospel*, testifying, that whosoever believes in him shall be saved, and excluding none that will come unto him.

Apparently, sitting under the means of grace, i.e preaching of the gospel is considered a grace that both the elect and reprobate partake.

Q. 68. Are the elect only effectually called?
A. All the elect, and they only, are effectually called; *although others may be, and often are, outwardly called by the ministry of the word*, and have some common operations of the Spirit; who, for their willful neglect and contempt of the *grace offered to them, being justly left in their unbelief, do never truly come to Jesus Christ*.

Grace is offered to the reprobate….

Q. 75. What is sanctification?
A. Sanctification is a work of God’s grace, whereby they whom God hath, before the foundation of the world, chosen to be holy, are in time, through the powerful operation of his Spirit applying the death and resurrection of Christ unto them, renewed in their whole man after the image of God; having the seeds of repentance unto life, and all other *saving graces*, put into their hearts, and those graces so stirred up, increased, and strengthened, as that they more and more die unto sin, and rise unto newness of life.

The distinction between a common grace and saving grace is made by Westminster…

Q. 113. What are the sins forbidden in the third commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the third commandment are, the not using of God’s name as is required; and the abuse of it in an ignorant, vain, irreverent, profane, superstitious, or wicked mentioning or otherwise using his titles, attributes, ordinances, or works, by blasphemy, perjury; all sinful cursings, oaths, vows, and lots; violating of our oaths and vows, if lawful; and fulfilling them, if of things unlawful; murmuring and quarreling at, curious prying into, and misapplying of God’s decrees and providences; misinterpreting, misapplying, or any way perverting the word, or any part of it, to profane jests, curious or unprofitable questions, vain janglings, or the maintaining of false doctrines; abusing it, the creatures, or anything contained under the name of God, to charms, or sinful lusts and practices; *the maligning, scorning, reviling, or any wise opposing of God’s truth, grace, and ways*; making profession of religion in hypocrisy, or for sinister ends; being ashamed of it, or a shame to it, by unconformable, unwise, unfruitful, and offensive walking, or backsliding from it.

The maligning of God’s truth and grace….

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