In our last discussion on this topic, Part 10, we took a look at the work of the Trinity in salvation and considered the gospel call. In this post we’ll see what the Scriptures have to say about the efficacy and application of God’s grace.
The Spirit, working through the Word, causes the sinner to be born again.
3) Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
4) Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?"
5) Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6) “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7) "Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
8) "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit
for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.
1 Peter 1:23
Also consider: John 1:12-13; 1 Pet. 1:3; 1 John 5:4
Like Lazerus being brought back to life through the command of the Lord, so the Spirit brings the spiritually-dead to life.
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.
even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)
When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions
Although the external call is often rejected, the internal call is effectual and therefore cannot be rejected.
and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity
2 Timothy 1:9
After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
1 Peter 5:10
Also consider: Rom. 1:6-7, 9:23-24; Gal. 1:15-16; Eph. 4:4; Heb. 9:15; Jude 1; 1 Pet. 1:15, 2:9; 2 Pet. 1:3; Rev. 17:14
Salvation is through God’s sovereign will and therefore cannot be resisted nor thwarted.
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.
Also consider: John 3:27, 17:2; 1 Cor. 3:6-7, 4:7; Phil. 2:12-13; 1 John 5:20
As we’ve seen, Scripture does not support the Arminian doctrine of Resistible Grace. The Spirit, working through the Word, causes the sinner to be born again, bringing him from death to life. Just as babies cannot chose not to be born, and Lazarus could not resist the resurrecting work of Christ, so men cannot—and will not—resist the sovereign work of God in salvation.
Stay tuned for part 12!
Labels: Calvinism vs. Arminianism