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What is the Doctrine of Invincible Grace?

Category Articles
Date September 10, 2010

What is the Doctrine of Invincible Grace?

God converts and calls men . . . according to his own purpose and grace, which is given us in Christ Jesus (2 Tim. 1:9). David Dickson

The Lord never applies his grace of purpose to gain a soul but he prevails. James Durham

The grace of God does not find men fit for salvation, but makes them so . . . The whole work belongs to God, who . . . makes the will of man righteous. Augustine

Grace never works to will and leaves the man unwilling. James Durham

We are born with our backs upon God and heaven, and our faces upon sin and hell, till grace comes and . . . turns us. Philip Henry

Saving grace makes a man as willing to leave his lusts as a prisoner [is willing to leave] his dungeon. Thomas Brooks

Sovereign grace can make strangers into sons. Charles Haddon Spurgeon

God does not just provide for the possibility of salvation, he ensures its effectual application on our behalf. Terry L. Johnson

Grace is power . . . it energizes; and what [spiritually] dead men need is energizing, such energizing as raises the dead. Benjamin B. Warfield

The first quickening of the [spiritually] dead must begin with God. A. A. Hodge

The Spirit of Christ tames us, and from wild and savage beasts forms us to be mild sheep. John Calvin

This is a mercy immediately flowing out of the fountain of God’s electing love, a mercy never dropped into any but an elect vessel. John Flavel

In regeneration the will is cured of its utter inability to will what is good. Thomas Boston

The subject of regeneration is an elect sinner; a sinner, else he needed it not; an elect one, else he obtains it not. William Bagshawe

Scripture Proof:

Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power. (Psa. 110:3)

Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth. (James 1:18)

As many as received him [Christ], to them gave he power to become the sons of God . . . which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13)

I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts. (Heb. 8:10)

What Do Arminians Teach About This Doctrine?

The Arminians . . . [aver] that the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit in conversion is not invincible, but is suspended . . . on the will of man. Christopher Ness

The Arminians . . . aver that saving grace is tendered to the acceptance of every man, which he may or may not receive, just as he pleases. Christopher Ness

What Practical Lessons Does This Doctrine Teach?

Grace does not run in the blood . . . a sinner begets a sinner, but a saint does not beget a saint. Matthew Henry

Saints become so not by their first birth but their second. William Bagshawe

We do not decide for Christ and thereby receive grace and salvation. It is just the opposite. God . . . ‘opened our hearts’ (Acts 16.14) to receive the Gospel by faith. Terry L. Johnson

Truly all our hope is in free grace alone. William S. Plumer

Cry aloud for distinguishing grace . . . though you are unworthy to receive it, the Lord is free, purely free, wholly free in giving it. William Bagshawe

The ‘deepest cleft’ separating people calling themselves Christians, Warfield claimed, is that which distinguishes the ‘naturalistic’ conception of salvation held by some from the ‘super-naturalistic’ conception held by others. The naturalistic vision, which he designates ‘autosoterism’ (self-salvation) . . . contends that men can save themselves, that is to say, that their native powers are such that men are capable of doing everything that God requires of them for salvation. The supernaturalistic vision . . . insists that men are incapable of saving themselves and that all the powers essential to the saving of the soul must come from God. [By the 16th Council of Carthage (418)] it was once for all settled that Christianity was to remain a religion, and a religion for sinful men, and not rot down into a mere ethical system, fitted only for the righteous who need no salvation. Robert Reymond (A New Systematic Theology, 1998, p 468.)

Taken with permission from ‘A Concise Calvinistic Catechism’, compiled by John Brentnall, in Peace and Truth, 2010:3, the magazine of the Sovereign Grace Union.

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