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Irresistible Grace

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Sermon Notes

Grace Part 2: Irresistible Grace

Introduction

How did you become a Christian?

GOD saves sinners

Grace = undeserved favour

Definition of irresistible grace: God’s grace overcomes our resistance and rebellion against God, renews our wills and brings us to faith in Jesus Christ so we can be saved.

  1. Overcomes our resistance
  2. Renews our wills
  3. Brings us to faith in Jesus Christ

 

1. Overcomes our resistance

Our natural condition of resistance and rebellion against God means that we need God’s grace.

Ephesians 2:1-9

Dead people cannot bring themselves to life. And dead people do not want to become alive because they don’t know they are dead.

The example of a man in a pit

But God’s grace is so powerful that it can overcome our resistance and rebellion against him and bring people to life.

1 Corinthians 1:22-24

In order to overcome our resistance the external call of the gospel needs to be joined with an internal call in the individual. When this happens there is no rebellion and resistance that God’s grace cannot overcome.

The example of John Newton

2. Renews our wills

In order for us to believe in Jesus and be saved our will needs to be changed so that we want to believe in Jesus when we hear the gospel. Saving grace penetrates our will and regenerates it.

Biblical evidence for regeneration

  • Titus 3:5

It is described as a taking away of the heart of stone

  • Ezekiel 36:26-27

It is described as being made alive

  • John 5:24
  • Ephesians 2:5
  • Colossians 2:13
  • Romans 4:17

It is also described as rebirth

  • John 1:12-13
  • John 3:3-8
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • Galatians 6:15
  • Ephesians 2:10
  • 1 Peter 1:3, 23
  • James 1:18

The example of eating slugs

Just as we didn’t choose to be born the first time, it is something that happened to us. So this second birth/ regeneration is not our choice, neither do we cooperate with God but it is entirely the work of God (monergism). God implants the principle of new spiritual life in our souls effecting an instantaneous change in the whole person.

2 Corinthians 4:4-6

3. Brings us to faith in Jesus Christ

Regeneration is a bringing from spiritual death to spiritual life. This work of God in our souls comes before faith in Jesus Christ. In fact this work of God gives us the ability to respond to the message of the gospel with faith. However, the two things usually happen so close together that from our perspective it is hard to tell any time difference.

  • The example of Lydia in Acts 16:14
  • John 6:44, 45
  • John 6:65
  • Acts 11:18
  • 2 Timothy 2:24-26
  • 1 John 5:1

Salvation is entirely a gift of God. We know we have received this gift when we believe in Jesus Christ. Faith in Jesus Christ is the outward evidence of God’s hidden, inward work of regeneration. Once we have come to faith in Jesus Christ we know we have been born again. 

The following verse from the hymn ‘And can it be’ expresses this work of regeneration really well.

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and natures night
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray
I woke the dungeon flamed with light
My chains fell off my heart was free
I woke went forth and followed Thee

Bible Passage

Ephesians 2:1–10 (Listen)

By Grace Through Faith

2:1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body1 and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.2 But3 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—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Footnotes

[1] 2:3 Greek flesh
[2] 2:3 Greek like the rest
[3] 2:4 Or And

(ESV)