I have multiple friends and family who misunderstand the doctrine of irresistible grace. They see in scripture the call to make a choice to believe the gospel. They love to couch this unwilling conversion as an almost kicking and screaming and dragging out thought course of Lee into belief. This is not the argument of irresistible grace. It zoomed out since they do go from not wanting God to one in God and that process can be called irresistible, but the point of clarity is that conversion is irresistible to the will, but how exactly is that term applied in the effectual calling of nonbelievers?
In Corinthians 4, we have Paul discussing our exact topical effectual calling. The categorical breakdown of these doctrines follows as such: The larger category doctrinally his conversion, underneath that category things for option wise, the option we are choosing is not the Armenian idea of attempted calling but the reformed alternative of a factual calling. The subcategory under that is a doctor in address by this article, namely irresistible grace. Another way of streamlining these ideas is in sentence form. Some people are converted into belief in Christ, the reform reasoning that happens is that God effectively calls from nonbelief to belief. God is the initiator and accomplishes this act of grace in a way that is irresistible. Indulge me for one more way of placing this doctrine. It is only to your benefit to see it from multiple illuminated angles. The Calvinist doctrine of Hermatology (Theology of Sin) says that the extent of the fall of man left him in such a helpless state spiritually towards God that they were in need of divine intervention in their personal trajectory to get them on a divine word course instead of their deceived course towards evil and the punishment for evil, namely hell. The way I always think about it is the Israelites were in bondage to such a powerful and totalitarian system that apart from Dubai and adventure via the personal Moses, the Israelites would have corporately stayed in their bondage to the pharaoh. So, also, every man while on the flesh or in bondage to their father the devil. The spiritually enslaved people have no hope of freedom from the bondage of the spiritual ruler of this world Satan, apart from a divine act. His rule over them is so total that they themselves are doubly blind. Their blindness is not singly blind like the Israelites. The Israelites were merely singly blind because they knew they were enslaved and wanted to be free. On the other hand, nonbelievers are enslaved and have no idea they are. Unbelievers are blind and blind to their blindness. They are not crying out to God to save them but are in total lockstep with the pseudo-willing enslavement. So now the groundwork has been laid. You have been caught up on the connection of the dock, these doctrines and a spiritual situation of all lost mankind. (Side note: This is why nonbelievers are referred to as lost. Man was originally created to worship and glorify God. We get this especially from the Westminster and London Baptist catechism. What is the chief end of man, to glorify God and enjoy him forever. Man is born lost to this original design.
When our non-Calvinist dissenters hear us argue for this total inability to believe, and they hear us speaking of irresistibility, they naturally assume that the paradigm of your disability is course of nature, almost like a minion black snapping to a different way of thinking that is void of reasoning, will, and persuasion. This right here is finally the front lines of the argument. This is the trench warfare where one can find the scholars barricaded, and there is a chasm that neither party can cross. My proposition is a kind of compatibility, where the two parties can happily shake hands and say that the battle over the doctrine of conversion is over. Another analogous way of putting the situation is it appears we are back to back in two rooms that face each other and share a joined access point, this being a door, that is baby-locked from both sides with the same exact keyhole and the same key to unlock either side.
Pay attention very carefully to what I am about to say. Here is where I make my stand, and here is a thesis of the argument. I think the key is the fact that God is able to irresistibly save us in a way that we willingly choose him. God is able to do this because it is not the wheel that is being irresistibly moved by the course of active God but instead, the veil that has been laid upon our spiritual eyes is taken away, and we are able to see the irresistible one for the first time. Another way of putting it is how Paul lays it out in certain Corinthians 4, starting at verse 3,
“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, and who’s case the God of this world (the devil) has blinded The minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see The light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (skip verse 5), For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the one who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the KNOWLEDGE of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:3,4,6).
As Paul says here, the problem is the veil. It is assumed in the text that once the veil is taken away, there is an undeniable experience of Christ that cannot go back on. A parallel type of one-way event-like experience, like this would be most of Trina seeing God’s glory, Isaiah seeing God and feeling holy, the transfiguration of Christ on the mountain, disciple on a Emmaus road at the end of their journey, Paul being a nice office horse in Crice, asking him why Paul is prosecuting his church, and the first event of this kind where a lack of knowledge of divine things as a parent and there is known from that moment forward is when Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Bible says that their eyes were opened, and they registered that they were naked for the first time and from that day forward.
This is the paradigm shift that we all should see. We are available to Christ. That’s when Christ is talked about or thought about by perishing persons who see a false or improperly limited version of Christ through the veil placed on their hearts. One guy brings someone through the process of conversion, and he is merely removing the obstruction to see Christ for who he is. So did the perishing one have the ability or know that he is valid? No, he did not know?
So God technically did something that we did not want done, which is remove the veil. Let me tell a story to try and bring this to a minor stainable level. What if someone’s vision had been below par all their life and they had never been told this fact? I say that I am an eye doctor and noticed that this man is struggling to see the color of the light at the intersection. I follow that person and walk up behind them and, against their will, put glasses on their face. When I put those prescription glasses on their eyes against their will, they are able to see the world and all its fullness.
Did I go against their will to take the king away from their lack of sight by adding an instrument that would help them see? Yes, I did actively get their will, but once the glasses were on their eyes, did the man truly choose to believe that up until this point, he was a slave to the veiling of his lack of vision? Yes, he did recognize the fact that he had a lack of vision. The empirical evidence that he had seen a subpar vision/version of the world became undeniable. In the same way, the perishing ones are ignorant that they are looking at an insufficient Christ, but once the limiting factor is removed, they cannot go back. From that moment of unveiling forward, therefore, in perception of the truth. So if you’re following my reasoning, you should be asking yourself, why the word irresistible then? Then I would answer that this is where I want to shift the emphasis of that word from being irresistibly Porsche against our will, instead of the irresistible Ness is Jesus himself. He is the irresistible one. Another way of saying this is God removes a veil so that we can see the irresistible product, Christ himself. Once we see the infinitely amazing, we are compelled to believe in him. Now we must ask, in that moment, could we choose to reject Christ? And I would answer back with a question on my own. Could Moses see the detail of God’s robe and say that it was not God? Could Isaiah see the glory of God and say, ‘No, you are not God’? Could Paul see Christ when he was knocked off his horse and deny that it was his Lord? If you say they could see God and his glory in a physical way and reject that he is God, then you logically must say God is incompetent and, therefore, is not God because in all those cases, God was attempting to reveal Himself. In those moments God’s goal was to show who he was in a physical sense to be seen by his audience. If God could attempt to physically reveal himself before our eyes and fail to achieve His will in this, we have two options. 1. God has no idea how to appear before the very eyes he made 2. God failed to make eyes that can see him. Which, if you say that God is inept and revealing himself to our minds physically and spiritually, then you have God giving us an impossible dilemma. This dilemma is that he created something that was meant to have a relationship with its creator as its primary purpose and is designed in such a way that they are unable to. That is not only a logical fallacy but for those of us who have experienced conversion, and we have experienced who God is, we would testify that we have spiritually seen the Lord, not only that day but since then.
In summary, every person who has come to faith in Christ made a choice, but we irresistibly did it because Christ himself is irresistible, not because we were forced against our will irresistibly. This allows for the sovereignty of God acting in a way that he is never limited, thwarted, or failing to accomplish his will while still allowing for the choice and agency of man in choosing Christ by faith once I see Christ for who he truly is. Does in the main place where it seems like the will of God in the will of man coming to conflict and one feels compelled to pick one or the other they need to do so is unnecessary. There's initially a violation because he did not get our permission to take away the veil? Yes, but if he does not take away the veil, every single person would willingly continue on our wrath-filled course that we were set on, the sinful flesh. Another way of putting it is, there are only two persons that can remove the veil from our spirit. 1. The Devil 2. God . The devil put the veil there in the first place because he does not want us to see God. So that leaves us with God being our only hope of having the veil removed so that we can see our irresistible Savior and trust in Him.
Tim is a Christian author. His worldview that informs his writing is Calvinist, Baptist, and Libertarian. His main series is his Christian picture book series, "About God for Kids", where he discusses the attributes of God in a way kids can digest. He also wrote a Christian Romance novel, libertarian book for beginners, and Christian coloring books. He graduated with a Bachelor's in Biblical Studies from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
He has written a book on freedom called “Are You Free” (If you are into listening to books I have it in audio also, Are You Free Audiobook )and he has written multiple children’s books about God. Be Sure to check out the podcast version of the blog, Labor for Truth Podcast. And check out “The Truth About” YouTube Channel. You can find his works at his amazon author page, https://amazon.com/author/timbankes. He even has a free digital eBook on how God is the creator. Get your free copy today at, Greater Creator .Also If you are into Christian Fiction, he has made his first book in his Futuristic Christian Fiction series free, Her Dying Wish
Some of my other favorite books on these subjects that are great for beginners are: