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Grace is Irresistibly Good

Posted by heyrandy on October 8, 2008

Irresistible Grace is the fourth letter in the TULIP acrostic.  It means that those on whom God has bestowed his eternal love will respond to that love by believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  The elect cannot do otherwise.  They do not want to do otherwise.

It may seem that this doctrine is a violation of man’s freedom of choice.  It is not.  Man is free to chose according to his nature.  In the natural, unregenerate state, man always chooses to not believe.  It is man’s natural desire to flee from God.  Man, until changed by divine grace, cannot do otherwise.  It is as if one jumped from an airplane: falling is an inevitable effect.

This why there must be a heart of flesh place into man before man can believe the gospel.  The heart of stone can do nothing other than reject the truth.  The heart of flesh can do nothing other than believe the truth.  It is the nature of the hearts that determines their action.

Irresistible grace is sometimes called effectual calling.  This is a good synonym because it emphasizes the effectiveness of the divine command upon the new heart.  The purposes of God are not thwarted by unregenerate man.  The new heart of man is designed to obey the divine command to believe.  The new heart always does what it is designed to do.

It is this calling, this application of grace, that enables man to respond.  Without such grace, man will give his natural response: rejection.  We see this in the account of the encounter of Nicodemus with Jesus in John 3.  Jesus explains how the new birth is necessary.

The effects of the new heart are given to us in Ezekiel 11:19-21:  “And I will give then one heart, and put a new spirit within them.  And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them.  Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.  But as for those whose hearts go after their detestable things and abominations, I will bring their conduct down on their heads,” declares the Lord God.

Here the effects of the new birth are evident: walking after the ways of God.  Also evident are the effects of not having a new birth: their “hearts go after their detestable things and abominations.”  It is a matter of will; it is just that nature determines will.  It can be no other way.  Will is not neutral.  It is determined by one’s nature.  This is why grace must be applied to the heart before the proper response to the gospel can be made.  With out this calling, this irresistible application of grace,  we would always go after “detestable things and abominations.”

The doctrine of irresistible grace follows from the doctrine of total depravity.  Since man is in a state of total helplessness, man cannot extricate himself.  Man requires what only God can give.  Let us be thankful that God does give it to those He loves!

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God is Sovereign in Human Salvation

Posted by heyrandy on January 1, 2008

When some of my Christian friends and I discuss the matter of divine sovereignty, they usually object when I assert the biblical teaching on God’s electing grace. My friends object that it is “unfair” for God to chose some to eternal life and not to choose others. Since we all are agreed that the Bible is the word of God and is authoritative in all matters, I have developed a list of question about those biblical texts that I think most clearly address divine sovereignty is salvation.

 

a) What is the relationship of evangelical obedience (faith and repentance) to regeneration? b) Does faith cause regeneration, or does regeneration cause faith and repentance? c) From where does evangelical obedience come? d)Is it self-generated or is it a gift from God? e) What is the meaning of Jn. 1:12-13? f) Is not human will excluded?

    a)What is the state of natural man with regard to spiritual things? b) Is fallen man just injured, or is he in a worse state? c)What state? d) How is this state changed? e)What is the meaning of Jn. 3: 19-21? f) Relate this passage to Rom. 8:7-8. g) How can natural man do anything to please God? h) What is the meaning of 1 Cor. 2:14? i)Why is it that he “cannot (not “will not”) know them”? j) What process is it that enables the natural man to regard the the preaching of the gospel as other than foolishness?

 

    a) Is it fair for God to give to some what He does not give to others? b) How does the gospel apply to the devil and his angels? c) What choice do they have? e) What choice did Lazarus have? (Jn. 11) f) What does this resurrection show? g) Why was only one man healed in Jn. 5? h) Why do only some of the dead hear the voice? h) Are any more dead than others?

 

    a) Where in scripture are the terms “world”, “all”, etc., used in a sense other than a universal? b) Why did he hate Esau? c) What is meaning of Prov. 16:14?

     

    a) If God will draw all men to himself, why do they not come? b) It does not say I will make it possible for all men to be drawn, but I will draw. d) Why were not many of the high and noble called? 1 Cor. 1:26 e) What are the implications for Jn. 12: 32?

 

    a) What is the meaning of Mt. 11:20-24? b) If they would have repented, why were the miracles not preformed there? c) How does Rom. 9:14-23 apply? d) Does this show that prescience is as determinative as predestination? e) If the Sodom residents had repented they would have been there; so why was the appointed method, foreknown to be successful, not used? f) Were they “vessels of wrath appointed for destruction”?

     

    a) What is the meaning of Jn. 10:26? b) If unbelievers are children of the devil who want to do the works of their father, how do they become sheep who can believe? c) Note: it does not say believe to become a sheep. d) Why? e) What is the meaning of Acts 13:48?

     

    a) Why was Isaiah sent to preach to people who were unable to believe? b) How is this text used in Jn. 12:40?

     

    a) What is the meaning of passages such as Prov. 21:1? b) Does God only direct the hearts of kings? c) One must believe from the heart, but how can one believe until the stony heart is changed to one of flesh (Ezk. 11:19, 36:26; Jer. 24:7)

     

    a) What is the relationship of 2 Cor. 4:4 to creation? b) What is it that produces light? c)How is it that light is produced in one person and not in another? d )What do natural men do to and with the light? What did Adam and Eve do once they sinned? Why?

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