Effectual Calling

THE 1689 BAPTIST CONFESSION

CHAPTER 10

Chapter 10 - Paragraph 1

In God‟s appointed and acceptable time, He is pleased to call effectually,1 by His Word and Spirit, those He has predestined to life. He calls them out of their natural state of sin and death to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ.2 He enlightens their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God.3 He takes away their heart of stone and gives them a heart of flesh.4 He renews their wills and by His almighty power turns them to good and effectually draws them to Jesus Christ.5 Yet He does all this in such a way that they come completely freely, since they are made willing by His grace.6
8:30; Romans 11:7; Ephesians 1:10, 11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14. 2 Ephesians 2:1-6. 3 Acts 26:18; Ephesians 1:17, 18. 4 Ezekiel 36:26. 5 Deuteronomy 30:6; Ezekiel 36:27; Ephesians 1:19. 6 Psalm 110:3; Song of Solomon 1:4.

 1 Romans

10:1 – Author of the Call
 In

God‟s appointed and acceptable time, He is pleased to call effectually, by His Word and Spirit, those he has predestined to life… these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. – Romans 8:30

 and

“In this respect calling is an act of God's grace and power just as regeneration, justification, and adoption are. We do not call ourselves, we do not set ourselves apart by sovereign volition any more than we regenerate, justify, or adopt ourselves. Calling is an act of God and of God alone. This fact should make us keenly aware how dependent we are upon the sovereign grace of God in the application of redemption. [cont.]”

“If calling is the initial step in our becoming actual partakers of salvation, the fact that God is its author forcefully reminds us that the pure sovereignty of God's work of salvation is not suspended at the point of application any more than at the point of design and objective accomplishment.”

10:1 – Author of the Call
 In

God‟s appointed and acceptable time, He is pleased to call effectually, by His Word and Spirit, those he has predestined to life…
we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. – 2 Thessalonians 2:13,14

 13 But

“It is God the Father who is the specific agent in the effectual call. This aspect of Biblical teaching we are too liable to overlook. We think of the Father as the person of the Trinity who planned salvation and as the specific agent in election. And we think properly when we do so. But we fail to discern other emphases of Scripture and we do dishonour to the Father when we think of him simply as planning salvation and redemption. [cont.]”

“The Father is not far removed from the effectuation of that which he designed in his eternal counsel and accomplished in the death of his Son; he comes into the most intimate relation to his people in the application of redemption by being the specific and particular actor in the inception of such application.”

10:1 – Means of the Call
 In

God’s appointed and acceptable time, He is pleased to call effectually, by his Word and Spirit, those He has predestined to life…
our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. – 1 Thessalonians 1:5

 for

10:1 – Means of the Call
 In

God’s appointed and acceptable time, He is pleased to call effectually, by His Word and Spirit, those He has predestined to life…
we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. – 2 Thessalonians 2:13,14

 13 But

“This powerful act of God is often referred to as effective calling, to distinguish it from the general gospel invitation that goes to all people and which some people reject. This is not to say that human gospel proclamation is not involved. In fact, God’s effective calling comes through the human preaching of the gospel...”

“There is the general call and there is also the special call. There is an external voice of Christ, which we may call his ministerial voice in the preaching of the gospel. The Scriptures are His word, and ministers His mouth... He that heareth them, heareth Christ. That is the external voice of Christ. There is also an internal voice of Christ, consisting not in sound but in power; and between these there are two remarkable differences. [cont.]”

“... First, the external or ministerial voice of Christ is but the organ or instrument of conveying His internal and efficacious voice to the soul: in the former He speaks to the ear, and by that sound conveys His spiritual voice to the heart. The second difference is that the external voice is evermore ineffectual when it is not animated by that internal spiritual voice. It was marvelous to see the walls of Jericho falling to the ground at the sound of ram’s horns. [cont.]”

“… There was certainly more than the force of an external blast to produce such an effect: but more marvelous it is, to see at the sound of the gospel not only weapons of iniquity falling out of sinners hands, but the very enmity itself falling out of their hearts.

10:1 – Recipients of the Call
 In

God’s appointed and acceptable time, He is pleased to call effectually, by His Word and Spirit, those he has predestined to life…
Lord] has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity. – 2 Timothy 1:9

 [our

10:1 – Transition of the Call
 …He

calls them out of their natural state of sin and death to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ…

 God

is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. – 1 Corinthians 1:9

10:1 – Transition of the Call
 1 And

you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

10:1 – Transition of the Call
 4 But

God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, – Ephesians 2:1-6

10:1 – Transition of the Call
 9 who

has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, – 2 Timothy 1:9-10

10:1 – Operation of the Call
 …He

enlightens their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God… a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. – 1 Corinthians 2:14

 But

10:1 – Operation of the Call
7

but we speak God‟s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;…13 those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. – 1 Corinthians 2:7-13

10:1 – Operation of the Call
 …He

takes away their heart of stone and gives them a heart of flesh… I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. – Ezekiel 36:26

 Moreover,

10:1 – Operation of the Call
 …He

renews their wills and by His almighty power turns them to good and effectually draws them to Jesus Christ…

I

will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. – Ezekiel 36:26

10:1 – Operation of the Call
 44 No

one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, „AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.‟ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. – John 6:44-45

10:1 – Operation of the Call
 and

what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might – Ephesians 1:19 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. – Philippians 2:13

“That this change is radical is proved from the fact that, as shown above, it consists in the implantation of a new governing principle of life; from the fact that it is a “new birth,” a “new creation,” wrought by the mighty power of God in the execution of his eternal purpose of salvation; and that it is necessary for the most moral and amiable as for the morally abandoned”

10:1 – Operation of the Call
 …Yet

He does all this in such a way that they come completely freely, since they are made willing by His grace.

 All

that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. – John 6:37

10:1 – Operation of the Call
 16 Do

you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. – Romans 6:16-18

General Overview of Effectual Calling
 Its  Its  Its  Its  Its

Author: “God” (The Father) recipients: “those He has predestined to life”

occasion: “In God’s appointed and acceptable time” efficacy: “call effectually” means: “by His Word and Spirit”

 Its
 Its

transition: “out of their natural state of sin and death to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ”
operation: “enlightens… takes away… renews… yet… they come completely freely”

Chapter 10 - Paragraph 2

This effectual call flows from God's free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in those called. Neither does the call arise from any power or action on their part;7 they are totally passive in it. They are dead in sins and trespasses until they are made alive and renewed by the Holy Spirit.8 By this they are enabled to answer this call and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it. This response is enabled by a power that is no less than that which raised Christ from the dead.9
2 Timothy 1:9; Ephesians 2:8. 8 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:5; John 5:25. 9 Ephesians 1:19, 20.

 7

10:2 – The Effectual Call’s Agency
 This

effectual call flows from God's free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in those called… by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; – Ephesians 2:8

 For

10:2 – The Effectual Call’s Agency
 He

saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit – Titus 3:5 has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity – 2 Timothy 1:9

 who

10:2 – The Effectual Call’s Agency
 11 for

though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God‟s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls… 14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. – Romans 9:11,14-16

10:2 – The Effectual Call’s Agency
 …Neither

does the call arise from any power or action on their part; they are totally passive in it…

 No

one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. – John 6:44

10:2 – The Effectual Call’s Agency
 …They

are dead in sins and trespasses until they are made alive and renewed by the Holy Spirit…

 because

the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so – Romans 8:7

10:2 – The Effectual Call’s Agency
 even

when we were dead in our transgressions, [God] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), – Ephesians 2:5 truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. – John 5:25

 Truly,

10:2 – The Effectual Call’s Agency
 …By

this they are enabled to answer this call and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it…

 “this
 But

call” = gospel call

thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed – Romans 6:17

“This effectual call is prior to any human response… Though the call is prior to faith, there is no time gap. Those who are called believe immediately. John Murray commenting on Rom. 1:1617[For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…] well remarks: [cont.]”

“This informs us that salvation is not accomplished irrespective of faith. Hence the salvation with which Paul is going to deal in this epistle has no reality, validity, or meaning apart from faith… The priority of effectual calling and of regeneration in the ordo salutis should not be allowed to prejudice this truth either in our thinking or in the preaching of the gospel. It is true that regeneration is causally prior to faith. But it is only causally prior and the adult person who is regenerate always exercises faith. [cont.]”

“Hence the salvation which is of the gospel is never ours apart from faith… The person who is merely regenerate is not saved, the simple reason being that there is no such person. The saved person is also called, justified, and adopted.”

10:2 – The Effectual Call’s Agency
 …This

response is enabled by a power that is no less than that which raised Christ from the dead.

 Therefore

we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. – Romans 6:4

10:2 – The Effectual Call’s Agency
 19 and

what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

– Ephesians 1:19-20

“This is how effectual calling accomplishes so much, and make no mistake, effectual calling is a supernatural act of God. I know of those who seek miracles along with gospel preaching, and while I do not impugn their motives, nor deny God is free to perform such miracles, I think they overlook the supernatural character of the gospel itself and fail to realize that in gospel preaching the power of God is present unto salvation. In reality, though not so visible or sensational, effectual calling is even more miraculous than a physical healing. [cont.]”

“In effectual calling, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is present. Evangelists and those who have been effectually called would do well to note the amazing power of God present in his work of effectual calling. The resurrection power of God is present and active in effectual calling. Indeed, what a wonderful free and special grace is present in the Father’s effectual calling.”

1689commentary.org A Layman's Commentary of the 1689 Baptist Confession

10:2 – An Example
A

woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. – Acts 16:14

Chapter 10 - Paragraph 3
 Elect

infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit,10 who works when and where and how he pleases.11 The same is true of every elect person who is incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.
3:3, 5, 6. 11John 3:8.

 10John

Chapter 10 - Paragraph 4

Those who are not elected will not and cannot truly come to Christ and therefore cannot be saved, because they are not effectually drawn by the Father.12 They may even be called by the ministry of the Word and may receive some ordinary working of the Spirit without being saved.13 Much less can any be saved who do not receive the Christian religion, no matter how diligently they live their lives according to the light of nature and the teachings of the religion they profess.14
6:44, 45, 65; 1 John 2:24, 25. 13Matthew 22:14; Matthew 13:20, 21; Hebrews 6:4, 5. 14Acts 4:12; John 4:22; John 17:3.

 12John

10:4 – Non-elect Hearers
 Those

who are not elected will not and cannot truly come to Christ and therefore cannot be saved, because they are not effectually drawn by the Father… one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. - John 6:44

 No

10:4 – Non-elect Hearers
 And

He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” - John 6:65

10:4 – Non-elect Hearers
 …They

may even be called by the ministry of the Word and may receive some ordinary working of the Spirit without being saved… many are called, but few are chosen. - Matthew 22:14

 For

10:4 – Non-elect Hearers
 20 The

one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. - Matthew 13:20-21

10:4 – Non-elect Hearers
 4 For

in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.

10:4 – Non-elect Hearers
 7 For

ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; 8 but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned. 9 But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. - Hebrews 6:4-9

10:4 – Non-elect Hearers
 …Much

less can any be saved who do not receive the Christian religion, no matter how diligently they live their lives according to the light of nature and the teachings of the religion they profess. there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. - Acts 4:12

 And

10:4 – Non-elect Hearers
 You

worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. - Acts 4:12 is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. - John 17:3

 This

10:4 – Non-elect Hearers
 13 for

“WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” 14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!” - Romans 10:13-15

Effectual Calling
THE 1689 BAPTIST CONFESSION

CHAPTER 10