"THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE MOST SURELY BELIEVED AMONG US"(Continued)
"Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us"-Luke 1:1
Irresistible grace is most surely one of the things believed among the Saints in every age. Grace is simply unmerited favor; blessings bestowed upon the undeserving. Irresistible means that the objects of God's grace are completely passive in the blessings and benefits bestowed. It must be that way. How else could proud and stubborn rebels ever be brought to the place that they would call upon God and reverence His Son? John Newton, the writer of the beloved hymn, "Amazing Grace", was arrested by the Holy Spirit while at sea engaged in the ignoble profession of slave trading. He was not attending a church, nor was he sitting under the sound of the gospel when his heart was convicted concerning his sin. That power was irresistible. The divine influence of the Holy Ghost convicted his conscience to such a degree that it changed his whole career. The irresistible influence of the Holy Ghost could humble such a man to write, "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see."
How great is God's grace! How meritoriously it is represented in Christ Jesus our Lord. We see it in His death. Did you ask for Jesus to die for you? Was it your good works that commended Him to His cross? Nay, rather it was for our sin that He must go, "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly"-Romans 5:6. Were not all of the benefits of His suffering irresistible? Had we been there would we not have been affected by the crowd and our own voices heard among the throng, "Away with this man; crucify Him!" Should we not be thankful that this grace and His atonement is irresistible?
It is equally observed in His love. Isaiah knew of it and wrote, "The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." Precious thought. The Lord loved us when we were yet without strength and unredeemed. His love did not change when Adam fell and his posterity polluted. It was love that carried Him to the cross. It was love that endured the afflictions. It was love that drew His elect from death to life; from the drowning waters of perdition to the solid foundation of His inheritance among the Saints. This love is equally irresistible and full of grace.
Irresistible grace is equally observed in God's effectual call. There is a distinctive difference between the gospel call and the effectual call. The gospel call comes from the mouth of men. It may be refused. It may fall upon the unregenerate ear. It may fall upon those who do not have the mental faculties to comprehend and understand. It can not give life, but it does have great power, "it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth". It affects believers. It convicts us of our sin; shows us our position in Christ; saves us from false doctrine; from false prophets; from the may snares of Satan; and gives us a vision of Christ, His holiness and the world to come. That is powerful stuff!
The effectual call comes from the mouth of God. Isaiah writes: "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it"- Isaiah 55:11. Note, "MY MOUTH" and "IT SHALL ACCOMPLISH". That is irresistible grace! It is referred to as a spiritual resurrection (John 5:25). It is a quickening, (Ehesians 2:1). It is a new birth, (John 3:8). It is an act of creation, (II Cor. 5:15). Let us rejoice in the fact that God can change the darkest heart; He can turn the proudest rebel; and He can cleanse the foulest sin. Such power is not found in the mouths of mortals. God's grace is irresistible.
Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, in Donaldson, where God is sovereign, and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Visit our web page at www.primitivebaptist.org/donaldson/ Singing begins at 10:30 each Sunday morning followed by preaching at 11:00.
By His mercy and grace,
Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor