Does John 6:44 Teach Irresistible Grace?

I found a new blog to peruse and found this post.  Since this is an issue that I am struggling with it immediately caught my attention.  It starts out by examining Sproul’s discussion of the word “draws” in John 6:44 then progresses to a brief discussion of prevenient grace.  It has me thinking again.  Check it out yourself at the link below. 

Arminian Perspectives: Does John 6:44 Teach Irresistible Grace?


7 Responses to Does John 6:44 Teach Irresistible Grace?

  1. David Hewitt says:

    Well, part of it is the issue of regeneration and faith and the “ordu salutis”. I skimmed over the article, and unless I am mistaken, there is a fundamental misunderstanding of how one is “drawn” by God. Sure, the word is also used to suggest dragging, but the point that Calvinists make is not that God drags someone against such a person’s will.

    The point is this for the Reformed community: God does indeed draw someone before they will come to Him. This drawing is not a “dragging against their will” but an effectual calling that has in fact changed the person’s will so that they will indeed be saved and place faith is Christ for salvation.

    Some of the commenters also, I think, confused a little the issue of the part of regeneration in salvation. Regeneration in and of itself is not the whole of salvation, though it is a part of it. The writers of Scripture used the term salvation to refer to the whole process at times or part of it. Context will determine what exactly is intended of course. So, when Scripture says that we must believe in order to be saved, to what does it refer? No Calvinist would object to that statement of course; rather, we would simply understand it to mean that the salvation experience requires faith for it to happen. When someone truly believes, that person is truly saved. Why does a person believe? The reason is that a person is regenerated and then immediately believes; some would go so far to say that there isn’t a time lapse of any kind, and that there is merely a logical order between the two. I’m more inclined to think of more a millisecond or so in between them. 🙂

    Anyway, I hope I have helped the discussion a little and not muddled things further. The Classical Arminians seem to handle the text of Scripture a bit more carefully, but there is still something not right about it. Modern “Arminians” have departed significantly further of course, but it’s late and I don’t want to go in to it now. 🙂

    However, especially since Dr. White was mentioned in the comments on that post, I figured I’d mention him here too. 🙂 This link will get you his exegesis of John chapter six where he takes it the entire way through. Reading the text in the order it is presented without chopping it up in any way is an important hermeneutical principal we are all tempted to ignore at times….sometimes without realizing it.

    In any case, God bless you brother as you study His Word.



  2. Pastor Glenn says:

    Of course “irresistible” can have two meanings. One meaningo fo force that cannot be physically denied and one meaning of something so attractive one wouldn’t want to walk away from it. It find my wife irrestible, but she doesn’t force me in any way. Such is the incredible grace, love and sovereignty of God — so beautiful one would never resist it when God reveals himself. Thai s is drawing.


  3. Tom says:

    Hi Pastor Glenn,

    Thank you for your comment. The first time I read it I thought, yes that makes sense but then I reread it a couple times and I have one observation. Webster’s defines irresistible as “impossible to resist”. In your examples only one fits this definition. The attraction to your wife is not truly irresistible….meaning you could choose to resist if you wanted to. The fact that you don’t want to is not the same thing.

    Irresistible grace applies to those who God chooses to free from being slaves to sin. RC Sproul’s Willing to Believe really helped me on this point. See page 204. All men are slaves to sin and when God chooses to liberate them from their slavery there is force involved. No free will is violated. Sproul says “It is a strange thing to deem the liberation of an enslaved will as a violation of freedom. It is God’s work of freeing, not violating, that is in view.”

    I hope this helps.


  4. kangeroodort says:

    Thanks for pointing your readers toward my blog and discussing my post. I would love to see what your readers think of my argument against the priority of regeneration in the ordo salutis. I have yet to see a Calvinist tackle this argument. Perhaps you or some of your readers are up to the task. Here’s the link:

    God Bless,


  5. Tom says:


    No problem, actually I regularly check out your blog to see what you are discussing. I don’t read every post but I do read the ones that catch my attention.

    I have also addressed the order of salvation in my blog. It is an interesting topic and worthy of much attention.


  6. Devin says:

    The scriptures is simple and understandable that no one can come to jesus without God drawing him or her to his son ..Its similar to saying that no one can come to Jesus party without an invitation from God..The scriptures of the bible are a mystery to the unbelievers and evildoers thats why jesus use parables to the people and expalin them to the desciples..WAKE UP people! Just because God created everybody and everything does not mean he have to save everybody and etc ..Just because God created roses doesn’t mean he dislike daisies…God told isiah that ” only a remnant will be saved ” even tho they were the chosen people at that time … God’s will and judgement is a mystery period so just pray that your flight will not be in the winter…The king who didnt feed lazarus did not go to hell cause he didnt obey the 10 commandmants , he went to hell cause the evil of neglecting the poor .. WAKE UP people…God is a sovereign God meaning what he says in Romans 9:15-16…Jesus says the least thing you do can get u into hell and the lake of fire ..He said the least you could have done while i was in prison was to feed, clothed and comfort me while i was in there…he will say ” I never knew you ” ..One more thing , Revelation 13:8 and 17:14 speaks about the elect and no-elect even before the world was created that names were already there in the book of life ..So you do the math a lot of things jesus said were true but there were a few other conditions were meant to be met during the chiristain walk …We are saved by GRACE and not by how much charity you do or smiles you dish out a day or how hard you work on the job ..Good works shows godly character, good stewardship and rewards in heaven but not for salvation along with blessings if God wants to give them ..WAKe Up people…I hope this is helpful in any way …Peace


  7. If you want to see a reader’s feedback 🙂 , I rate this post for four from five. Detailed info, but I have to go to that damn msn to find the missed parts. Thank you, anyway!


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