I: Irresistible Grace
The fourth doctrine in our discussion on the doctrines of grace focuses on how we interact with the grace of God. The doctrine of irresistible grace teaches that those on whom God sets his affection and draws to Himself will ultimately come to salvation. In other words, if God has decided to save you, you will be saved!
Now many people will argue that there are many people in this world tho resist God’s grace. Some believers will even say that they themselves resisted God’s grace in their lives and resisted the drawing of the Holy Spirit. I don’t disagree with that and the doctrine of irresistible grace wouldn’t disagree with that either. This doctrine doesn’t teach that people may not resist for a time. It does, however, teach that all those that are called by God will ultimately come to salvation. In other words, if God has set His affection on you, you may run at first but you can’t resist God’s grace forever. In the words of Francis Thompson the ”hound of heaven” will find you.
When the Holy Spirit moves in someone’s life they can’t help but be drawn to God. We see this in John 6:37 when Jesus says, “All that the Father gives Me will come to me….” Those whom the Spirit is calling will not be able to completely resist the call because the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit results in a heart that is awakened to the things of God and drawn to Him. We know that without this awakening no one would seek after God (Romans 3:10-19). When the Spirit has opened the eyes of an individual, God is so glorious and beautiful and attractive that their souls are drawn to Him and He becomes simply irresistible.(I know this opens a can of worms regarding the order of the events of salvation but that’s a discussion for another time).
Suffice it to say, those whom God is calling will ultimately come to Him. When God has set His affection upon you, you will ultimately come to Him even though you may resist for a while. The doctrine of irresistible grace teaches that you cannot and will not resist for ever.
It should be evident how this illustrates God’s grace and brings Him greater glory. Without the Spirit’s work in our hearts we would ultimately resist God forever. However, the Spirit works in such a way that God, in the face of Jesus Christ, becomes so immensely beautiful and glorious to us that we are unable to resist the desire to seek after Him and run to Him for mercy. As Jesus said, all those who are called will come.