5 points, God's Glorious Sovereignty in Salvation: Irresistible Grace

Debbie Ruhl is currently leading a discussion of John Piper’s book, Five Points: Towards a Deeper Experience of God’s Grace, on Monday evenings through the month of June. We thought it might be helpful for her to blog about the material, helping all of us understand more clearly what is known as Reformed Doctrine or Calvinism. 


In the previous post, we took a good, hard look at our natural selves: that before we were saved we were certainly "dead in our trespasses and sins…children of wrath like the rest of mankind” (Ephesians 2:1-3). Needless to say, dead people are DEAD: they cannot turn toward God, renew their own hearts, or breathe life into their spirits. This really is the bad news of the gospel, isn’t it? But the rest of Ephesians 2 tells us the GOOD NEWS:

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:4)
Even when we weren’t looking for Him, God came and found us: he called us out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9)! It’s the call of our loving shepherd, Jesus, who took it on himself to find us in our wandering:

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).
Look at the last part of that verse: “and they follow me.” This is not the possibility of salvation : this is the assurance of salvation!

God has changed our hearts so we want to follow Him. This is what is meant by irresistible grace. It’s that call from the Lord that is so loving, so powerful, so beautiful, SO IRRESISTIBLE that we have to say YES, I love you too!!!!!! This is exactly the call that Song of Solomon speaks of:
“My beloved speaks and says to me: ‘Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away…’” (Song of Solomon 2:10).
How can you say “no” to the one person who loves you perfectly and fully?!?! Another way to look at is in the birthing language that Jesus uses:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
Can a baby will NOT to be born? Of course not! A baby cannot decide when he will be born any more than he willed himself into being. Nor can a baby resist his mother’s birthing pains. This is another way to look at irresistible grace: God’s will to save sinners—to give them a new birth—cannot be thwarted (Job 42:2).
But what about people who say “NO” to God—and there are many who do: they resist God’s call to salvation, don’t they? This is where we must admit that Scripture does not give us all the answers. Somehow, Scripture seems to point to a special, heavenly call that results in salvation apart from the general call to salvation that is given to everyone:

“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out…No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day…” (John 6:37, 44).

Ladies, let this knowledge fill your heart with worship!!!! You have been given to Jesus by God the Father Almighty through grace that is inexpressible, undeniable, and IRRESISTIBLE!!! Even before you knew Him or loved Him, Jesus called you out of darkness: you are His lovely bride and He delights in you!!

Soli Deo gloria!

A little about Debbie:
Debbie is a secretary/receptionist at Redeemer Church. She and her husband, Isaiah, live with their two dogs just a stone's throw away from the church, but somehow they still end up at least 5 minutes late on Sunday mornings. Debbie loves to sing, read, tutor math, encourage people, and listen to her husband tell stories. One day, she and Isaiah want to live on the family farm in North Carolina with a big garden, lots of kids, and the laundry hanging out on the line.