To Calvinists, What is 'Irresistible Grace'?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by DeafPosttrib, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. DeafPosttrib

    DeafPosttrib
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    To Calvinists:

    I ask you, what is 'Irresistible Grace'?

    Does it mean that, God forces person to be saved? I want to curious, in your definition, what it means, and also, please show us scriptures apply to 'Irresistible Grace'. So, we will discuss on it. Thanks.

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 -Amen!
     
  2. pinoybaptist

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    with all due respects, your question presupposes that irresistible grace is applicable to all mankind.
    It is not.
    Irresistible grace applies only to the elect, just as particular atonement applies only to the elect.
    Your best example of irresistible grace would be Paul who was deadset to kill off the church but crumpled like a wet piece of paper when touched by the Master's hand, and indeed he spoke of this as an example to all the elect:

    I Timothy 1:16 - Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

    But, again, I am not a Calvinist, so the Calvinists may have a different answer.
     
  3. russell55

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    Irresistible grace means that God is able to overcome our rebellion and effectually bring us to faith when he wills to do so.

    No, it means God successfully convinces them of the beauty of Christ and the incomparable beauty of the gospel. The person being saved is entirely willing to be saved, but he is willing because of God's work of grace in his heart accomplished by the Spirit.

    Scripture? There is lots of it. I'll just give you a couple of my favorites.

    John 6:44: No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day.

    Given the grammar of this verse, the him who is drawn is the him who is raised on the last day. This is a drawing that ensures that the person will be saved, since everyone drawn in this way is raised by Jesus in the end.

    1 Corinthians 1:23-24: ...we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

    The particular call mentioned here is a successful one. In general, the preaching of the gospel is percieved as foolishness or as something offensive, but to those who are called in this way, the gospel message is seen as the power and wisdom of God. Those who are called in this way is convinced of the wisdom of the gospel. This sort of call is effectual because it does away with resistence to the gospel message.

    2 Timothy 2:24-25: And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth....

    The repentance that leads to salvation is a gift from God, and what is repentence but the ceasing of resistence to the truth? If God gives repentance, it is the same as taking away our resistance to him.
     
  4. Rippon

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    I prefer the wording of "effectual calling " . Obviously many resist the Holy Spirit . But the ones He wants -- He gets . There is no conflict between John 12:32 and John 6:37,39, and in particular 44 and 65 . Those who are drawn are all drawn irrevocably by the Father to Christ . There is no "Aw , it's a shame I couldn't quite attract a number of them."
     
  5. skypair

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    False interpretation. It is the ones who COME that are raised. God has to draw them that come but, in Christ, He "draws" everyone, 12:32!

    The "called" in this case are everyone that heard Paul's gospel. Christ is the power (sign to the Jews) and wisdom of God (to the Gentiles) whoever you are and whether you believe or not! Paul, in the context, is telling the Corinthians that preaching the gospel, not baptizing according to men's wisdom, was the believer's calling. "But we preach..." says "don't tailor the gospel," it is already tailored for ALL.

    Here's the gist of it -- "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of [Calvin]; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? ... 15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name."

    How many are "called" and "baptized" in the name of Calvin? IOW, is Calvin another way into heaven ("election") than the one that was preached for 1500 years before Calvinism? or than 1200 years before Augustine? Basically, by Cephas and Apollos putting the focus on themselves, they were taking the focus off the gospel of Christ (which many claim that Calvinists do today)! "Election" takes the focus right off the cross and right on to "am I elect?"

    Here's another misappropriated passage lifted from context. In this case, Paul was telling Timothy that some believers would be snared by foolish and unlearned questions" (such as "Am I elect?" rather than "Can I be saved?") laid by Satan who would take them captive by his will. Paul is saying that "in a great house, there are vessels of honor and dishonor" and those who are deceived (Calvinists, for instance) dishonor the house (church). Ideally we would treat such with kindness and patience gently teaching and correcting them thereby hoping that God will lead them into knowledge of the truth and repentance from their error.

    skypair
     
    #5 skypair, Jul 24, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2007
  6. russell55

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    Yes the ones who come are raised, but it's also all the ones who are drawn who are raised. Look at the Greek text. All the ones drawn are raised. In this passage, there is no one lost between the drawing and the raising that Christ does on the last day, so we can conclude from that that everyone drawn in this way comes to Christ.

    John 12 is a whole other context. Why would you let what the word means in that context define what it means in this context?
    No, the called in this case are those who are being saved. Look at the context. Look at the statement in verse 18 and compare it to this one. They are exactly parallel statements and so we can use them to define words and phrases for us:

    the word of the cross (verse 18)
    the preaching of Christ crucified (verse 23)

    is folly to those who are perishing (verse 18)
    is a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles (verse 23)

    but to us who are being saved (verse 18)
    but to those who are called (verse 24)

    the power of God (verse 18)
    the power of God and the wisdom of God (verse 24)

    In this particular text, being called is parallel to being saved. Those called in this way, in the way the word is used in this passage, are being saved.

    These are not believers. These people are in "the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will."

    You made this part up. It says they are snared by the devil, but it doesn't even mention questions. Why would you say they were snared by questions when the passage says no such thing?
    More stuff you have made up and dropped into the text.

    Perhaps in this section he is referring to the vessels of dishonor from that earlier section. But the vessels of dishonor in the previous section are not believers, either, are they? It is only those of honor who are set apart as holy. These people are in the church, but they are not true believers.

    More made up stuff you dropped into the text.

    Not quite. You've twisted the order in the text and wiped out the relationship set out in the text between God granting repentence and them coming to the knowledge of the truth. It's God granting them repentence that leads them to the knowledge of the truth, not God leading them to knowledge of the truth. The repentence given by God is the cause of the knowledge that they come to. And the repentence given by God is there only hope for escaping the devils snare, and it is there only hope for coming to a knowledge of the truth. The repentence given by God is their only hope for salvation.

    When you have to drop things from other passages into the text and twist word orders and relationships between the words to get your interpretation, your interpretation is most likely wrong.

    But we've had these discussions before and they are fruitless, so I hope you won't mind if I don't respond to you again on this thread. I'm busy, and my intent was simply to answer the questions in the opening post.
     
  7. Lou Martuneac

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    Calvinism teaches that the Holy Spirit extends a special inward calling, but only to those elected to salvation. Through this calling the sinner is irresistibly drawn to Christ and the Spirit causes the sinner to cooperate. The lost man may have no desire for Christ, no interest in the claims of the gospel, but he has no choice in the matter. Because he has been unconditionally elected for salvation the Spirit puts the choice in his mind, and compels him to respond to the gospel invitation. This irresistible grace cannot be rejected and does not depend on man’s cooperation.

    The ability of individuals to reject Christ's offer of salvation answers Calvinism’s irresistible grace. The Bible teaches that man can be reproved over and over, and resist the working of the Holy Spirit in his heart. What was your experience? Did you accept Jesus Christ the first time you heard the gospel? Or was it like so many others: several exposures to the gospel over a period of years until you finally realized you were lost, without hope, and that you needed and desired to be saved. Many believers would tell you they were not converted the first time they heard the gospel or read a gospel tract. In fact, very few people are saved at the time they are first exposed to the gospel. There are undoubtedly cases such as that, but those cases are very few. Normally a man will hear the gospel several times, initially reject the free “gift” before finally accepting Christ.

    Proverbs 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

    Notice the word often in Proverbs 29:1. God is not in the business of making one invitation, giving only one opportunity to be saved. A man can “harden his neck” even after many reproofs by God.

    John 5:40 Ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life. This verse teaches that men can and do reject Christ.


    LM
     
  8. TCGreek

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    Hi Lou,

    1. Jesus says, "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out" (John 6:37). The Elect will always come to God because of Effective Calling.

    2. We cannot assume that because a person first resisted and then later yields that that experience destroys The Effective Calling of the Spirit. Each person's conversion experience is different. That narrative of Acts demonstrates that well, so too has church history.

    3. Let's not be too scientific about it and thereby limit God. When and under what circumstances God decides to call out the elect, it is wholly up to Him. C.S. Lewis in his Suprise By Joy puts it this way,

    "In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape?"

    4. Let God do the God stuff!
     
  9. pinoybaptist

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    Your assumption here is that all of God's words are directed to and for the benefit of mankind in general.
    I am sorry, but this is not a correct assumption.
    How can a man be reproved by God except he first be under the hearing and instruction of the Word of God ?
    Yet you and I know that not all of mankind are under the hearing and instruction of the word of God, or will ever be.
    Not in Solomon's time, not in Paul's time, and certainly not in our time.
    The Bible itself tells us that "whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning....."
    "Our" being in a general sense those who are of Christ, and in particular, those to whom Paul penned these words.

    Proverbs 29 is most certainly applicable to a believer, but certainly not to one.
     
    #9 pinoybaptist, Jul 24, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2007
  10. pinoybaptist

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    should read:

    Proverbs 29 is most certainly applicable to a believer, but not to one who is not.
     
  11. skypair

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    Blessings, Russ

    This passage speaks of the ones who DO come. That is not to say that there are not some who are drawn and DON'T come, is it. So not all who are drawn come (receive Christ) but all who come are raised.

    John 12 is a whole other context. Why would you let what the word means in that context define what it means in this context?
     
  12. skypair

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    Lou,

    Good support for what J.I. Packer calls the "CONVINCING" of the Holy Spirit that leads to regeneration and faith. Time and again we have to "mull it over" before we at last repent and "join the elect of God."

    However, there may be a group who think they didn't "mull it over." Who think that they were "elect" all along and who made no decision for Christ. That is the paradigm I am getting from Calvinism. That they were "born into the family" at birth and have only to be shown their "pedigree."

    skypair
     
  13. Hardsheller

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    And the Answer is - "That unexpected Holy Ghost Power than enabled me to say "Yes" to Jesus Christ when left to my own I would have said "No."

    "Amen" said Saul after his Damascus Road Experience.
    "Amen" said the Philippian Jailer after God Rocked the Jailhouse.
     
  14. pinoybaptist

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    I wanted to leave you alone after telling you to "g'wan and believe what ya'll wan' b'lieve", but I couldn't resist this.
    Not to be argumentative for the sake of being argumentative, but the elect are born elect, and saved, but unregenerate by virtue of their being born thru the lineage of Adam in this plane called time.


    Rev. 17:8 says
     
  15. skypair

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    HS --- I'm thinking (I've suggested this before) that the "Holy Ghost Power" enables BELIEVERS by filling them. That is, they hear the gospel, believe, and because they believe are filled with the Spirit Who causes them to repent and be regenerated. Yes, salvation is by the power of the Spirit. No, that power does not make us believe but it does cause us to repent and receive Christ and regeneration and faith!

    What do you think of that explanation? Filling, not indwelling, leads to belief and repentance. Are you familiar with the difference?

    skypair
     
  16. skypair

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    That is true. They were elect from before creation BUT being elect was not what saved them was it.

    skypair
     
  17. Jkdbuck76

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    This has caused me to think about the Eleven that believed and at the end of His ministry, Jesus breathed on them and said "Receive ye the Holy Ghost."
    I'm just confused, that's all. The Eleven believed before He breathed on them.
     
  18. pinoybaptist

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    No. Being elect is not what saved them. Mercy did (Titus 3:5). And mercy is only for the elect, whose names were written in the Lamb's Book of Life from the foundation of the world, just as the blood of the Lamb of Glory is only for them. It cannot ever be effectual to one who is not God's sheep from the foundation of the world.
     
  19. skypair

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    Ah, but here's the catch --- they believed like OT saints. They believed just like John the Baptists disciples in Acts 19:1-6 -- they had never heard of receiving the Spirit on account of belief in the risen Christ.

    But look... now standing before them was the risen Christ! They newly believed on this too!

    Your observation is a good one though. Some will say that the church began with the 11 right there in John 20. But one thing -- they had to RECEIVE the Spirit. He didn't sneak up on them and regenerate them without them knowing and accepting Him. Of course, now we just believe we will receive the baptism of the Spirit and indwelling along with salvation, don't we?

    Good thinking, buck! :applause:

    skypair
     
  20. pinoybaptist

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    The eleven believed because they were regenerate, born from above, children of God.
    When Christ breathed on them, it was not to cause their regeneration, but rather to give them spiritual vigor for the task that lay ahead of them, the preaching of the gospel, the discipling of men, and all the trials, tribulations, and such that they to whom the task of witnessing for Christ had been given.

    They were, as children of God, indwelt by but not filled with the Spirit.
     

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