I’m so sorry to let so much time go by without posting, let alone right in the middle of a series on the five points of the doctrines of grace. I never wanted to be “that blogger” that let so much time slip away, yet here I am, several months later with no excuse. Life gets in the way, and unfortunately, I let it! It’s ironic that I stopped right between “Limited Atonement” (point 3) and never persevered to get to the “Perseverance of the Saints” (point 5)!
Hey, maybe completing this series on my part may serve as an analogy of that biblical principle – no matter what, falling away or otherwise, God’s elect will eventually persevere. (lol)
So onwards and upwards.
If you look backwards to the last few posts, you will notice that they build upon each other. The Depravity of Man, Unconditional Election, and Limited Atonement all construct into the solid doctrine of God’s salvation:
- If men are unable to save themselves due to their fallen nature (The Depravity of Man – Eph. 2:1), and
- If God has purposed to save the elect through no merit of their own (Unconditional Election – Romans 9), and
- If Christ has accomplished the salvation of the elect, (Limited, or Particular Atonement – John 6:37-38)…
Then it is logical that God must also provide the means for calling them into the salvation He has already given them:
After all, why would He leave any work undone? Remember Philippians 1:6: “…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”, and also Romans 8:30, “And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified”.
This brings us to the fourth point of the points of grace: Irresistible Grace.
Why does the term “Irresistible Grace” mean, especially since many don’t respond to God’s gift of salvation, but instead reject it?
We begin by explaining that there are two calls: An outward call, and an inward call.
The outward call is the one that is audibly heard. It is the words uttered to the masses. It can and may do a number of things. It can inspire, perhaps bring reflection or respect, but one thing it cannot do is save. It is simply the general message that summons the hearer.
For the Gospel to bring about salvation, the outward call must be accompanied by the inward call of the Holy Spirit, for (as the Bible states), He is the one that draws them to Himself. (John 6:44). This refers not to a moral or intellectual change, but to a heart change. It is a true-to-the-core spiritual transformation, the spiritual difference between life and death. Note Jesus’s words to Nicodemus when he described this rebirth:
“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit” (John 3:6)
When God stirs a heart to Himself, that call is said to be irresistible. That is, it cannot be frustrated or thwarted. While some may argue that it is possible to resist God’s (inward) call, to say “no” to a true stirring by the Holy Spirit and walk away, I must ask: have you ever heard of a baby that has successfully resisted its own live birth and stayed in the womb? You see, spiritual birth is as real as physical birth. We can no more resist our own spiritual rebirth than a baby can stop himself from being born.
It is also interesting to point out that it is precisely because of our stubborn nature that God MUST have an influence that is greater than man’s resistance.
Note this scripture: “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God”. (1 Corin. 2:14)
If we cannot, in our natural state, say “yes” to the Holy Spirit, how is it that anybody has said “yes” at all?