Irresistible Grace or Efficacious Grace

Irresistible Grace is something new to me. I have always been associated with Prevenient Grace from the Arminian Theology. But I am looking into Irresistible Grace by the Calvinsim Theology. Irresistible Grace is not like Prevenient Grace as taught in most churches and in the Walk to Emmaus Community.

Irresistible Grace or Efficacious Grace

Irresistible Grace or Efficacious Grace

(God the Holy Spirit drawing)

Irresistible grace (or efficacious grace) is a doctrine in Christian theology particularly associated with Calvinism, which teaches that the saving grace of God is effectually applied to those whom He has determined to save (the elect) and, in God’s timing, overcomes their resistance to obeying the call of the gospel, bringing them to faith in Christ.1

Prevenient grace is a Christian theological concept rooted in Arminian theology, though it appeared earlier in Catholic theology. It is divine grace that precedes human decision. It exists prior to and without reference to anything humans may have done. As humans are corrupted by the effects of sin, prevenient grace allows persons to engage their God-given free will to choose the salvation offered by God in Jesus Christ or to reject that salvific offer.2

The Two Theologies

One form of Grace is based on Christian theology which is based on Calvinism Theology (Irresistible Grace) while the other is Arminian Theology which is based on Catholic theology (Prevenient Grace).

Arminian Theology is based on theological ideas of the Dutch Reformed theologian Jacobus Arminius (1560–1609) and his historic supporters known as Remonstrants.3

Calvinism Theology (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice of John Calvin and other Reformation-era theologians.4


The Irresistible Grace is also represented in the acronym for TULIP. It is one of the 5 Points of Calvinism. It is actually the fourth point of Calvinism.

Simply put, the doctrine of irresistible grace refers to the biblical truth that whatever God decrees to happen will inevitably come to pass, even in the salvation of individuals. The Holy Spirit will work in the lives of the elect so that they inevitably will come to faith in Christ.”3

TULIP Acronym 5 Points of Reformed Theology



This comes into play because man is dead in their sin and trespasses and needs to be regenerated, born again. Regeneration is a work of the Holy Spirit. Until the Holy Spirit draws those who are elect and they will have the changed desire from God. Only God can make us a new creation.

With Irresistible Grace it gives credit to God while Prevenient Grace gives credit to man.

How can I have faith? Only by the regeneration work of the Holy Spirit!

People dismiss this doctrine because they believe in free will over God’s Grace.

God saves the man

When God determines to save a man, that man is saved! Neither that man himself nor the devil, nor the wicked world are able to prevent his salvation. When God’s grace operates to save the sinner, that grace will triumph in the salvation of that sinner.6

This goes to once saved always saved, as if you are truly saved as in the elect in this case, then nothing will pluck you from the hands of God. If you fall, this is is simply saying you were never born again. You may have though you were, but you weren’t.

Charles Spurgeon Quote

“We believe, that the work of regeneration, conversion, sanctification and faith, is not an act of man’s free will and power, but of the mighty efficacious and irresistible grace of God.”

Bible Verses

John 6:37-39 King James Version (KJV)

37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

John 6:44-45 King James Version (KJV)

44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father,

John 6:65 King James Version (KJV)

65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

John 6:65 King James Version (KJV)

65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

1 John 2:19 King James Version (KJV)

19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

Comments are welcome if you wish to add more to what Irresistible Grace is.


1. WikiPedia (Irresistible Grace)
2. WikiPedia (Prevenient Grace)
3. WikiPedia (Arminianism)
4. WikiPedia (Calvinism)
5. Got Answers
6. Reformed Free Publishing Association


Total DepravityUnconditional ElectionLimited Atonement |  Irresistible Grace |  Perseverance of the Saints

About the Author

Author: Steve Patterson

A Christian Blogger that enjoys blogging about the Bible, Theology, God, Jesus Christ, Christian Music, Family, Cats, Odd Holidays, sewing and much more. I have been blogging since 2004, however, I have been blogging on Courageous Christian Father since 2012. I enjoy listening to Christian Music. I am married with 1 daughter, 2 step-sons and a step daughter.

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