I – Irresistible Grace

I’m staying home this week to spend some time with our new baby, as well as to try and catch up on a bunch of projects that seem to have been on the back burner for way too long. One of those projects is to finish blogging through the 5 points of Calvinism, so my hope is to tackle Irresistible Grace in this post and to finish things up with the Perseverance of the Saints tomorrow. For the rest of the series you can click here.

In the book The Five Points of Calvinism the authors define Irresistible Grace in the following way:
Simply stated, this doctrine asserts that the Holy Spirit never fails to bring to salvation those sinners whom He personally calls to Christ. He inevitably applies salvation to every sinner whom He intends to save, and it is His intention to save all the elect.
In any discussion of Irresistible grace, it’s important to distinguish between the Efficacious Call and the General Call of the gospel. While many are called to the gospel, through personal evangelism, through the preaching of God’s Word, through missionary efforts, etc. there are few who are chosen to actually believe the gospel (Matthew 22:14). This is why you can have a believer witnessing to two unbelievers where one responds in faith, while the other rejects. Both unbelievers received the general call to repentance but only the one who believed received the efficacious call, which can not be resisted.
A number of texts come to mind in regards to this doctrine:
John 6:37 – All that the Father gives me will come to , and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
John 1:12-13 – But to all who did received him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
Romans 8:30 – And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
One of the most practical aspects of this doctrine is the powerful effect that it has on our evangelism. If God is the one who irresistibly calls, the responsibility of the Christian is simply to present the gospel and be used of God to bring the truth to the unbeliever’s heart. In essence this allows the Calvinist to sleep at night knowing that God is sovereign and that his responsibility is simply to be faithful to present the gospel and allow God to do the calling.
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March 31 2008 08:12 pm | Doctrines of Grace

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