Mastered by Matchless Love

THE SWEET EXPERIENCE OF IRRESISTIBLE GRACE Sinclair Ferguson: Since the day I became a Christian as a 14-year-old boy, I have never had any reason to doubt the truth to which the expression “irresistible grace” points. I had read the Bible daily from age 9 to age 14, and if one thing was clear to me, it was my inability to trust in Christ. The “grace” I needed was not sufficient grace to enable me to cooperate with it, but irresistible grace that would resurrect me. But personal experience is no ultimate foundation for a doctrine, and there seem to be many would-be thought-changers sufficiently upset about “irresistible grace” to want to resist it vigorously. Whether they know it or not, they tend to appeal to the same verses of Scripture as the Remonstrants of the seventeenth century (now commonly known as Arminians). Stephen is still believed to have virtually settled the issue since he told the Sanhedrin that they “always resist the Holy

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Irresistible Grace

John Piper in Bloodlines: We have seen this in regard to our humanity-wide depravity (point one of Calvinism), and in regard to Christ’s atonement of a people from every race and tribe (point three of Calvinism), and in regard to God’s gracious, unconditional election of a people out of this depravity and through this atonement (point two of Calvinism). And we have seen that the way we participate in that salvation is through justification by faith alone. This faith comes into being through conversion—that is, through being united with Jesus by faith so that we die with him and rise with him to a new life of faith and love. … God overcomes our depravity and our rebellion and grants us the gift of faith and repentance. This is often called irresistible grace. We believe that when Christ died to obtain his church (Eph. 5:25), he obtained for her not only the grace that results from faith (like forgiveness and

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