Although, as we stated, special grace receives the prime emphasis, nevertheless we can speak of grace in a broader sense, hence of common grace. The Word of God gives us liberty to do so, when it speaks of grace being bestowed upon the ungodly, which does not lead to salvation. "Let favor (Dutch: genade, which is grace) be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness". (Isa. 26:10) "Turning the grace of God into lasciviousness." (Jude: 4)
The confessions also speak of common grace, although they do not use that name. Thus in Article 14 of the Belgic Confession of Faith, the innate knowledge of God is called a few remains of the image of God in which man was created. These few remains are left in all men after the fall. Common grace is also indicated in Article 35, where we read, "Now those, who are regenerated, have in them a twofold life, the one corporal and temporal, which they have from their first birth and is common to all men." Also the Canons of Dort speak of common grace under the Third and Fourth Heads of Doctrine, Art. 4. Calvin was the first in this, and was followed by a long line of orthodox theologians, with which God has richly blessed the Church of the Netherlands. Also the Walcheren Articles deal with common grace in the first chapter. There is therefore no objection to speaking of common grace, provided that we insist against all those that hold the universal doctrine of redemption, that the blood of Christ was shed only for the elect, and the application of it was given only to the elect.