Does The New Testament Teach Irresistible Grace?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Martin, Jul 16, 2005.

  1. Martin

    Martin
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    Does The New Testament Teach Irresistible Grace?

    To answer the above question we must first do a brief survey of the Biblical passages that deal with this question. Often those who deny irresistible grace do so based on verses that have nothing to do with the issue its self, or they use human (worldly) reasoning (which is sometimes blasphemous).

    First we must establish if man, on his own, has the power/ability to be saved.

    The Apostle Paul, in Ephesians 2, answers this point very well. Paul makes the point that, before salvation, people are dead in sin (vs1), living in sin (vss2,3), and are children of wrath (vs3). However God, because He is merciful, has made a way by which people are saved (vss4-7). How has God done this? He, through Christ, made us alive and has seated us with Christ in heaven (vs6). This is not done based on human works, but it is totally of the grace of God (vss8-9). The result of this work of God is a new, transformed life (vs10). Therefore it is the conclusion of these verses, and others, that man does not have the ability to save himself. Man is spiritually dead in sin and cannot raise himself to life by religion or noble works. Therefore, according to Paul, we must be saved by God's grace through faith.

    Now, is this faith of us or of God? Ephesians 2:8-9 imply strongly that faith, grace, and salvation are all the gift of God. Our Lord Jesus, in John 6:44, states that people cannot have saving faith apart from the work of God. Notice what Jesus says, "no one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day". Someone will reply, "but he says nothing about saving faith". I will reply, you are wrong. Jesus says everything about saving faith in this verse and context. Notice, in verse 44, that Jesus says only the ones the Father draws to Him will be raised on the last day. Who is that? Those the Father has given to the Son (vs37) and thus those the Son gives eternal life to (Jn 17:2). Therefore being drawn to Jesus by the Father, or coming to Jesus, is another way to say "saving faith". The only person who can have saving faith is the person God grants it to. Human faith is usually mixed with works (etc) and therefore does not save (Rom 4:4-5).

    Now that we have, briefly, laid that foundation lets move on to the question at hand. That is, Does The New Testament Teach Irresistible Grace?

    To answer that question we will turn in our Bibles to John 6:37. Jesus, in the context, is talking to the Jews and they are asking Him to give them the bread of which He spoke (misunderstanding what He was saying). Jesus goes on to explain that the bread He was talking about is not literal bread but rather it is Himself (vs35). However these people, to whom Jesus was talking, would not believe (vs36). Jesus then proceeds to say, "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me...". Let's stop there for just one moment. There are some basic questions that need to be answered.

    Based on the Words of Jesus...

    Q. Who will come to Jesus?
    A. Those the Father gives Him.

    Q. How many of those the Father gives to Jesus will come to Jesus?
    A. All.

    Therefore we must conclude that, in this passage, Jesus was teaching irresistible grace. Why? Because if the Father gives someone to Jesus they will, not might or could, come to Jesus. End of story.

    What will happen to these people? They will no be be cast out or lost but will be raised on the last day (vss37-40).

    There are, of course, objections to this. Most of these objections will not be based on Scripture and are therefore worthless.

    One objection maybe that the Bible teaches that "whosoever will" (Jn 3:16, etc). That is true and irresistible grace does not change that (nor visa versa). Yes "whosoever will" is true, but irresistible grace tells us who will (Jn 6:37, 10:26-30, etc). Anyone who comes to Christ will be saved, but only those the Father has given to the Son will come to Christ (irresistible grace).

    Another objection is not based on Scripture and is as follows: If God irresistibly calls some to salvation why does He not call all?

    The answer....I don't know. That is God's plan and you have no right to question it. Who are you, o arrogant mortal, to question the eternal God of the universe? Who are you, sinful being, to question the wisdom of a Holy God? Just because you can't fully understand something does not mean you have the right to reject it. You don't have that right. You say, but this is your opinion! I answer, no it is not. This is just taking what Jesus said seriously. Why God elects some and not others is not a question we can answer fully on this side of eternity (and maybe not even in eternity itself). However that, in no way, threatens the truth of the teachings of the Lord God Himself in John 6:37 (etc).

    Another objection goes something like this...Show me in Scripture were God irresistibly calls someone. A good answer is Saul (Paul) in Acts 9:3-9. Jesus did not ask Paul what he wanted to do, nor did Jesus ask him permission (God needs no mans permission). Jesus just knocked the man off of his horse, made him blind, and changed his heart. In many ways Paul had no choice in the matter.

    Someone will say, well you are saying God drags folks into the Kingdom against their will!

    No, I am not. What I am saying is that God knocks sinners down and changes their heart so that they want to go to heaven.

    This is a clear teaching of Scripture. It is sad that so much of the church has been so infected with humanism (man is the center) that they will use all the reasoning in the world to avoid this truth (pride).

    In Christ,
    Martin.
     
  2. Wes Outwest

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    I respond by asking you to define Grace, and not merely with the same old, having favor. I want to know what grace is! Then we can talk about whether or not it can be resisted.
     
  3. OCC

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    Do you want to know what Grace is or grace? I'm :confused: [​IMG]
     
  4. johnp.

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    Hello Martin.
    To get from 'at emnity' to a child of God takes force. He interfers with our will which is force. He arrests us. Irresistible Grace must carry the meaning of overwhelming force.


    Wes, Grace or grace is : beneficence or generosity shown by God to man
    Or favour if you prefer! :cool:

    That's all it is. It is God looking with favour and granting mercy in His capacity as Sovereign and as Sovereign has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

    john.
     
  5. 4His_glory

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    Uh wes, what do you want grace to mean? It has, and will always mean undeserved favor.

    Good post martin, personally I like the term "effectual grace" better than irristible grace.

    Preferance... preferance.
     
  6. Jarthur001

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    Charis has various uses
    a object that occasions pleasure, delight, or favourable on to another object

    it can be beauty..or gracefulness of people

    luke 2:40

    or in speech..

    luke 4:22

    or part of the object that gives it

    luke 7:10

    but most of the time in the Bible it speaks of divine favour from God to the receiver.

    in that same light it also tells of those that have Gods grace to them and is in a state of grace..from God

    i think the OLD answer is the best...but if wes does not like that...
    so lets make on up as the meaning was asked from the OP

    "God loving us for no reason at all"

    In Christ...James
     
  7. Martin

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    I am not sure what the definition of grace has to do with this discussion. Why? Regardless of the definition one chooses to use for grace (be it technical or lay level) it is clear that Jesus taught that God brings ALL the Father gives to Him into salvation (Jn 6:37). That is what this discussion is about. Getting caught up in a technical definition of grace is not needed.

    In Christ,
    Martin.
     
  8. prophecynut

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    Those called to salvation love God "because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19). Just like Jacob before he was born and "had done anything good or bad" was loved by God.

    Before Jacob's twin brother was born and "before he had done anything good or bad" was hated by God (Rom 9:11-13).

    Those God loves before the foundation of the earth receive salvation, those who are not the sujects of His love "stand condemned."
     
  9. whetstone

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    The OP was very well written and executed. A+
     
  10. Wes Outwest

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    It is important to have a clear understanding of the very essence of "irresistible grace" before it can be determined whether or not salvation is involved.

    Some claim that God gives to man his grace I need to know if grace can be given and how that "gift is irresistible". That is, can man refuse to receive the "gift" of irresistible grace?

    Let me say this, I do not believe that God gives his grace to man, resistible or not in the form of a transferable commodity that can be called a gift. I believe that God's grace is a behavioral attribute of God toward his creation, not a transferable commodity that he gives to individuals in his creation. Therefore God's grace never leaves the person of God, but instead does indeed offset or counter his justice toward sinful man. I do not believe there are "flavors of grace", or seasons of grace such as Prevenient grace, irresistible grace, etc. I believe there is ONE GOD, and that God has but one grace and that ALL Mankind are within His Grace, thus ALL mankind has the same opportunity under God.

    I believe that Faith is not a Gift of God, but rather an inherent attribute of man resulting from God's creation of man. I believe what the scriptures say about faith in God, that it is the result of knowledge of God received through God's word.

    I believe that Salvation of man is a free gift of God given to ALL who have faith in God.

    I believe that God's grace is resistible else there would be none who end up in the lake of fire. After all, there are those who make the claim that grace saves. If grace saves, and if grace is irresistible, none could escape it. There would be no Great White Throne Judgement of unbelievers.

    I believe that God's grace is resistible, else there would be NO warnings in scripture to persevere to the end, and no encouragement to "keep the faith".

    If Grace were irresistible, Salvation would be universal and inescapeable. We all know that salvation is not universal, and that it is escapeable, thus there is no such thing as irresistible grace.
     
  11. prophecynut

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    WOW! I got A+, first time ever. This will make my mommy feel good, of course I'll have to wait until I get to heaven to tell her. Thanks Whetstone
     
  12. johnp.

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    Hello Wes.
    For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. Eph 2:8-9.

    john.
     
  13. Martin

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    You said:
    Some claim that God gives to man his grace I need to know if grace can be given and how that "gift is irresistible". That is, can man refuse to receive the "gift" of irresistible grace?

    ==When we talk about the grace of God that brings someone to salvation I am forced to say no, it cannot be refused. Why? Jesus said that ALL, not some or most, that the Father gives Him WILL, not might or could, come to Him (Jn 6:37). I see no way around the fact that when God draws a person to Himself God is sucessful in His drawing.
    _____________________________________________

    You said:
    I believe there is ONE GOD, and that God has but one grace and that ALL Mankind are within His Grace, thus ALL mankind has the same opportunity under God.

    ==How do you support this kind of statement in light of John 6?
    ___________________________________

    You said:
    I believe that Faith is not a Gift of God, but rather an inherent attribute of man resulting from God's creation of man.

    ==Again, using Eph 2:8-9, how do you justify that statement?
    _____________________________________

    You said:
    I believe what the scriptures say about faith in God, that it is the result of knowledge of God received through God's word.

    ==Does saving faith come (when the Gospel is heard) from within man or as a result of the work of God (The Holy Spirit) in the person's heart?
    _____________________________________

    You said:
    I believe that Salvation of man is a free gift of God given to ALL who have faith in God.

    ==Who will have faith? John 6:37 tells us that it is those the Father has given to the Son who will come to the Son (ie...have faith).
    ________________________________________

    You said:
    I believe that God's grace is resistible else there would be none who end up in the lake of fire.

    ==How can you justify such a statement in light of John 6:37. It is clear, from the Words of the Lord Himself, that only those the Father gives Him will come to Him (Jn 6:37) and that it is impossible for someone to come to Him otherwise (Jn 6:44). In fact it is clear that there are many who are not given to the Son by the Father (Jn 6:36, 10:26, Matt 7:13-14). The only way your statement could be true is if God said He would save all. However that is not the case. Jesus said that He would give eternal life to those who believe in Him, that is those the Father gives Him (Jn 6:37, 17:2).
    _______________________________________

    You said:
    I believe that God's grace is resistible, else there would be NO warnings in scripture to persevere to the end, and no encouragement to "keep the faith".

    ==Really? I have not seen you comment on passages like John 6:37, 17:2, or other such verses. Irresistible Grace, as such, applies to saving faith and a person coming to Christ. The perseverence of the saints deals with the warnings (etc) not irresistible grace.
    _____________________________________

    You said:
    If Grace were irresistible, Salvation would be universal and inescapeable.

    ==That is a strawman argument (see above).


    In Christ,
    Martin.
     
  14. johnp.

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    Hello Martin.

    Just one thing. The perseverence of the saints deals with the warnings (etc) not irresistible grace.
    Are you saying that there are warnings in the scriptures that are used to keep us from falling? I would disagree with you there if that is what you are saying. He cannot threaten us with Hell since Jesus paid our penalty. 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

    john.
     
  15. Wes Outwest

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    For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. Eph 2:8-9.

    john.
    </font>[/QUOTE]You're wrong for the umpteenth time!
     
  16. Wes Outwest

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    The "gift" in Eph 2:8,9 is "being save". Everywhere else in scripture Salvation is the gift of God to those who have faith in him. Eph 2 is no different.
     
  17. johnp.

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    Hello Wes.
    How can I be wrong it's scripture man.

    For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. Eph 2:8-9.

    john.
     
  18. johnp.

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    For it is by grace you have been saved...
     
  19. Wes Outwest

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    All Faith whether 'saving or not' comes from within the man. Is is what man believes that produces the faith. Faith is not given by any means other than knowledge that can be and is believed. God said, For lack of knowledge my people perish. Those without faith perish!
     
  20. Wes Outwest

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    God reveals to no man, those who will have faith in His son Jesus. I cannot answer your question and neither can you, so why do you ask it? There is no answer among men!
     

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