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Irresistible Call in Ephesians

Just as we—that is, Christians—were united with Christ in his death and resurrection, so we must see our regeneration as irresistible. If Christ was raised, so, inevitably, were we.


Regeneration is a divine resurrection of a spiritually dead soul. By the sovereign power of God, the sinner is raised to life so that he is able to respond to the Holy Spirit’s call to believe on Christ:

But 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. —Ephesians 2:4–6

No corpse can raise itself from the grave. Neither can any spiritually dead sinner believe upon Christ. God must act sovereignly to make the sinner spiritually alive before he can exercise saving faith. Hodge writes, “The Greek word translated ‘to make alive’ means ‘to impart life.’ In the New Testament it almost always refers to the giving of the life of which Christ is the author. . . . The resurrection, the making alive, and the raising up of Christ’s people were in an important sense accomplished when He rose from the dead and sat down at the right hand of God. The life of the whole body is in the head, and therefore when the head rose, the body rose.”

—Steve Lawson, Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2006), 423.

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Posted  in: Charles Hodge · Ephesians · Foundations of Grace · Steve Lawson
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