CALVINISM: IRRESISTIBLE GRACE
DISCLAIMER: The material in this article may offend those with other viewpoints. This article is not meant to offend or cause any emotional harm to anybody. I have written this piece to both share my experiences with this topic and to hopefully help others who are interested in this doctrine. And if you'd like to make the most of this article, go grab your dusty Bible under that lamp and follow along. May you be blessed in reading this as I did in writing it.
As weâ€™ve discussed in the prior portions of this series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) on Calvinism (also known as the Doctrines of Grace), this can be a hard pill to swallow. As Iâ€™ve laid claim, I struggled with this subject for years before coming to the reality of what Scripture teaches. And itâ€™s quite understandably one of the most difficult to embrace, yet beautiful to apply.
And again, as weâ€™ve expressed, Calvinism is easiest understood as an acronym, specifically, the acronym TULIP. TULIP stands for:
- Total Depravity
- Unconditional Election
- Limited Atonement
- Irresistible Grace
- Perseverance of the Saint
Many people claim that you can pick and choose which of these you believe to be true, but a true Calvinist will understand that you canâ€™t have one without the other. You canâ€™t be a 4-point Calvinist. You canâ€™t be a 1-pointer. The only possibility is either you believe all 5 points or you believe none. When weâ€™re finished with this series, hopefully you will see why this is true. I believe itâ€™s true because each subject plays off of the other. Without one, the rest fall. But I digress. Letâ€™s move on.
When we discuss this term in regards to somebodyâ€™s salvation, we mean this: the Holy Spirit, when He so desires, can make His influence irresistible.
This doctrine never assumes that the Holy Spirit is never resisted. Scripture is clear on that topic. Stephen, in Acts 7:51, calls the Jewish leaders stiff-necked people because they always resist the Holy Spirit. So why do we believe in Irresistible Grace? Well, the Bible teaches this. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is resisted by many people, but at other times creates an influence that cannot be resisted. God can overcome any and all resistance, even to save somebody.
This is where we get a connection between Total Depravity and Irresistible Grace. If Total Depravity is true, then we need Irresistible Grace to overcome the constant rebellion in our hearts. Nobody would be saved without God making His influence irresistible, because we are always resisting. So the only way for us to be saved is for God to be sovereign and to conquer our unrepentant hearts and make us repentant.
If you do not believe this, then you cannot believe in Totally Depravity. If you do not believe in Totally Depravity, then you believe that there is some good inside of us that allows us to choose God, therefore allowing for irresistible grace to be null and void. But Scripture is clear about Total Depravity. Go and read for yourself.
This is the best part. Grace is completely grace because God overcomes our rebellious heart and gives us what we donâ€™t want. He gives us Himself. And even though we donâ€™t want Him, we will. God changes our hearts without us being able to do anything about it, and provides a heart that loves and desires Him. This is good.
When your child is sick and doesnâ€™t want medicine, will you allow him to continue in that sickness, even though you know better? God looks down on us and will not let us choose hell over Him. He wants us and He wants to share Himself with us. We may not know how great this option truly is, but God does, and He will give us the medicine because He loves us. And thatâ€™s grace
Grace: undeserved merit or reward.
Although you may not agree with this doctrine, you have to conclude that itâ€™s beautiful.
1.Â Â Â Â We are totally sinful and deserve the worst punishment imaginable
2.Â Â Â Â God loves us and desires for us to be with Him
3.Â Â Â Â God comes to Earth, takes our punishment, and provides atonement for those He loves
4.Â Â Â Â God overcomes our rebellious hearts and creates a new heart that loves and worships Him
5.Â Â Â Â No matter what, God is for us. Godâ€™s loves is unconditional and continues on forever.
6.Â Â Â Â The proof that you are truly a child of God lies in God persevering you to the end of your life.
Itâ€™s all about Jesus. He did it all. Will you believe?
* If you were offended by this article, I am sorry, but it most likely wasn't me doing the offending. Jesus said that the truth will offend. In our modern day, people are do zealous about being seekers of the truth, but they never want to be people who have found the truth. Let's be people who find the truth and share it with others. We only have one life to live. Live it well...with eternity in mind.
* If you are personally struggling with issues of this kind, I would LOVE to be able to help in any way that I'm able. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You are more than welcome!