Saturday, February 6, 2010

#14) The 5 Points of Calvinism (Part 4) – Irresistible Grace

Last week we learned about Limited Atonement. We learned that God does not fail in His will to call people to Him as He does not call every person. Tonight, we will be going over the fourth point; irresistible grace. Each point of TULIP really focuses on a single person in particular. Total Depravity focuses on the fallen nature of man. Unconditional Election focuses on the Father electing some to Himself out of His own grace and mercy. Limited Atonement focuses on the Son dying only for those whom the Father has given to him. Irresistible Grace focuses on the third Person of the Holy Trinity; the Holy Spirit. It focuses on the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. Just as the Father and Son do not fail in their parts, the Holy Spirit is equally as free of failure.

Ask congregation if they believe one can reject the call of God.
Review flyer.

Despite the common belief that the power to choose or reject lies with man, it is my goal to show what Scripture has to say about it; that the Holy Spirit never fails to regenerate those whom have been called by the Father and given to the Son. It is not on our timeline but rather, in His time.

Ask congregation what they believe defines a calling.

John 7:37
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.”

Matthew 11:28
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

John 1:11-12
He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Revelation 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

Revelation 22:17
The Spirit and the bride say, "Come " And let the one who hears say, "Come " And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

With verses like those, it is easy to see how one could conclude that man’s salvation ultimately rests in his own hands. Even the beloved John 3:16 seems to point it out. However, the one thing we need to notice is that, while inviting people, it never says they will come. In fact, Scripture is quite clear that only the Elect will come.

This is because of the 2 different types of calls. The calling described above is the External Call. It is made without distinction. Many are called by it but just as many can reject it. This is because it is outside our very nature to comply to it.

John 8:44a
You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father

The other type of call is Inward Call also known as the Effective Call. The Effective Call is the only call that results in salvation. Without it, we would all perish as we have no good within ourselves.

Westminster Confession of Faith
All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased, in His appointed and accepted time, effectually to call, by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God, taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by His almighty power, determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ: yet so, as they most freely, being made willing by His grace.

The Spirit no doubt has a role in salvation. The question is how much of a role do you believe He has?

Romans 8:14
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

1 Corinthians 2:10-13
For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

1 Corinthians 12:3
Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

All salvation comes through the Holy Spirit. Apart from the Spirit, there is no salvation. It is only through regeneration that one can have faith. It is only through becoming a new creature in Christ, that one can have faith.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Deuteronomy 30:6
Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.

Ezekiel 36:26-27
Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

It is only by the Spirit that one can possibly know and understand the Word of God. This knowledge is not made known to everyone. Rather, it is only made known to the Elect of God.

1 Corinthians 2:14
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

Matthew 11:25-27
At that time Jesus said, "I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”

Luke 8:10
And He said, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that SEEING THEY MAY NOT SEE, AND HEARING THEY MAY NOT UNDERSTAND.”

Ephesians 1:17-18
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

As was stated earlier, there is an External Call and an Inward Call.

The Five Points of Calvinism, pg 61
The gospel invitation extends a general outward call to salvation to all who hear the message. In addition to this external call, the Holy Spirit extends a special inward call to the Elect only. The general call can be, and often is, rejected, but the special call of the Spirit cannot be rejected; it always results in the conversion of those to whom it is made.

Romans 1:6-7
among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:30
and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

In Romans 8:30, we see a distinction being made between the external call and the inward call. Obviously, not all who hear the Word are predestined, justified, and glorified. Only God’s Elect, those who are inwardly called, can claim these things.

Romans 9:23-24
And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.

Galatians 1:15-16
But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood,

Ephesians 4:4
There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;

2 Timothy 1:9
who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,

Hebrews 9:15
For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

1 Peter 1:15
but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;

1 Peter 2:9
But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Again, God only calls inwardly those whom He has predestined before the foundation of the world. None who hear His inward call can resist it. The Spirit never fails in this call to bring the Elect to the Father through the Son. Everything is from God and succumbs to His sovereign will. Outside of it, there is nothing.

Isaiah 55:11
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

John 3:27
John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.

While Irresistible Grace is a Biblical doctrine, it has led to many erroneous beliefs over the years. Many of the false beliefs stem from a lack of understanding of the 5 points of Calvinism. A proper Biblical understanding does nothing more than take grace and boasting from ourselves and redirects it to its appropriate Subject; God. It helps us to understand the sovereignty of God. One of the most dangerous false beliefs that has stemmed from the ignorant is fatalism. Fatalism is “The false belief that since all events are predetermined by God, man should do nothing because his actions will not be of any consequence”. This is in direct violation of Scripture.

1 Peter 1:15
but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;

1 Peter 1:15
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

Why should one continue to give the external call to those around him even if it already decreed who will believe and who won’t? Why should one even try if everything is done by God and nothing lies within man in and of himself? Why should one even try to live a holy life if God has declared him justified? The answer is simple. BECAUSE GOD HAS COMMANDED IT. What greater reason does one need?

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