Of Effectual Calling.
Chapter 10, Paragraph 1.
“Those whom God hath predestinated unto Life, he is pleased in His appointed, and accepted time, effectually to call by his word, and Spirit,…”
Romans 8:30, 11:7
2 Thessalonians 2:13,14
God’s will and decree concerning the elect has been set since the beginning. As the confession states in chapter four:
Those of mankind that are predestinated to life, God before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, has chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of his mere free grace and love;…
So it is not as if God is playing Bingo with humanity, picking people each day to be elect. They have already been chosen.
But although the elect have been chosen since eternity past, their conversions happen at different points in history. It is not as if all elect persons become Christians on their eighteenth birthday, in some rite of passage that can be celebrated along with registering to vote. As part of his decree, God has appointed that each believer is called out at a time appointed by, and pleasing to, Himself. This conversion occurs for some when they are young children; for others, when they are old. The circumstances will vary, but all will experience the same calling by the Holy Spirit.
This calling is effectual: it achieves its purpose of converting the sinner. Should that surprise us, when it is the Spirit Himself, through the preaching of His word, that draws sinners to Himself? We can be confident in our evangelism that no one is beyond the ability of God to come to saving faith. The elect are out there, and will come to Christ in God’s timing. We must strive to be faithful to share the gospel, and trust that God will use it to grow His people.
Questions to Consider
- At what ages and circumstances were the Christians around you converted?