Today I want to conclude looking at the fourth letter letter in the acronym T.U.L.I.P. and the doctrine of Irresistible Grace, also known as Effectual Calling. In Part 1 we defined Irresistible Grace is and looked at 2 common misconceptions and objections. So now let’s look at what the bible says about Irresistible Grace?
#1- John 6:36-40,
“36 But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. 37 However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. 38 For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. 39 And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. 40 For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”
Jesus makes it clear that those he’s speaking to do not have a faith unto salvation. But he immediately tells them, that the one whom the Father’s given Him will come to Him and Christ will never reject them (36-37). Some of you will say “Well the Father gave him every person in the world.” According to the text this is impossible. Since it says “that those whom the Father has given him will be raised on the last day.” So this rules out all unbelievers. This is indisputable that those whom God elects he effectually calls unto salvation. Why is it indisputable? Because Jesus will “raise them up at the last day.”
#2- John 10:25-29
“25 I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”
Jesus confronting more people who do not believe. He flat out tells them the reason they do not believe is not because they don’t have enough information, it’s because they are not His sheep. This is where Irresistible grace and Unconditional Election converge. He says in verse 27, that those who are elect before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1) or as Jesus calls them, “My sheep,” when they hear the voice of Jesus, what do they do? They follow Him. You have to do some serious exegetical gymnastics to make this say anything, except that Jesus effectually calls and saves the elect. Because when they hear the voice of the shepherd they follow Him.
“But Irresistible Grace Can’t Be True Because We Can Resist!”
Calvinists absolutely believe you can resist God, but it’s clear from the Scriptures that there comes a point that when God freely chooses to overcome the sinner’s resistance. God proclaims, “No Longer!” and God triumphs in the heart of the rebellious sinner. It’s all God! We weren’t the ones who overcame our spiritual deadness. We didn’t overcome our rebellion. We didn’t overcome our spiritual blindness. No it was God that overcame it all! If you are a follower of Jesus today, praise God that the Holy Spirit drew you to Himself by making Christ and the gospel so compelling to you, that your resistance was destroyed, and you freely came to Him, received Him and placed your faith in Him. The Father took away our spiritual deafness so that we would hear the voice of the Shepherd and follow Him.
#3- John 6:43-44
“43 But Jesus replied, ‘Stop complaining about what I said. 44 For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up.‘” In John 6 the people don’t like hearing this and the start complaining, and what does Jesus say to them? He tells them knock it off and quit complaining and he proclaims to them the same thing again with more detail. Jesus tells them that no one will be saved unless the Father draws them and shows them the beauty of Jesus. Only if this happens will Christ raise them up on the last day.
We learn 3 truths from Jesus’ conversation in John 6.
#1– You will not come to Christ, without the Father drawing you to Him.
#2– This implies that everyone who has came to Christ did so because of the Father’s drawing them.
#3– All glory for your salvation, belongs to God because He began it in eternity past, and He at point in your past effectually called you to His Son and one day, the work He began in you, He will complete (Phil. 1:6). Soli Deo Gloria!