1689 Baptist Confession: Effectual Calling

The doctrine of God effectually calling His children is difficult for us to fully understand. However, this teaching is revealed to us in Scripture to a certain degree, and reminds us of our dependency on God for everything. It is a small glimpse into the inner and sovereign workings of our mighty and Holy God. I was on top of a large hill yesterday looking down on the city of Hot Springs. I thought about how small all of the cars looked and everything on the ground. Then I realized that there isn't one particle or molecule that exists in the entire universe without God knowing or directing its course. He knows the hairs on every head, and He provides for the sparrows! He is sovereign in salvation too.


10.1 Those whom God1 has predestined to life,2 he is pleased (in his appointed and accepted time)3 to effectually call4 by his Word5 and Spirit.6 He calls them out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ.7 He enlightens their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God.8 He takes away their heart of stone, and gives to them a heart of flesh.9 He renews their wills, and by his almighty power causes them to do what is good.10 He effectually draws them to Jesus Christ,11 yet in such a way that they come completely freely, for they are made willing by his grace.12
(1) Rom 8:28-29
(2) Rom 8:29-30; 9:22-24; 1Co 1:26-28; 2Th 2:13-14; 2Ti 1:9
(3) Joh 3:8; Eph 1:11
(4) Mat 22:14; 1Cor 1:23-24; Rom 1:6; 8:28; Jude 1:1; Psa 29; Joh 5:25; Rom 4:17
(5) 2Th 2:14; 1Pe 1:23-25; Jas 1:17-25; 1Jo 5:1-5; Rom 1:16-17; 10:14; Heb 4:12
(6) Joh 3:3,5-6,8; 2Co 3:3,6
(7) Rom 8:2; 1Co 1:9; Eph 2:1-6; 2Ti 1:9-10
(8) Act 26:18; 1Co 2:10,12; Eph 1:17-18
(9) Eze 36:26
(10) Deu 30:6; Eze 36:27;
(11) Joh 6:44-45; Eph 1:19; Phi 2:13
(12) Psa 110:3; Joh 6:37; Rom 6:16-18
10.2 This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not on account of anything at all foreseen in us. It is not made because of any power or action in us,1 for we are altogether passive in it, we are dead in sins and trespasses until we are made alive and renewed by the Holy Spirit.2 By this [regeneration] we are enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it, this power being none other than that which raised up Christ from the dead.3
(1) 2Ti 1:9; Tit 3:4-5; Eph 2:4-5,8-9; Rom 9:11
(2) 1Co 2:14; Rom 8:7; Eph 2:5
(3) Joh 6:37; Eze 36:27; Joh 5:25; Eph 1:19-20
10.3 Infants1 dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit who works when and where and how he pleases.2 So also are all elect persons regenerated who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the word.
(1) WCF: Elect infants
(2) Joh 3:8
10.4 Those who are not elected, even though they may be called by the ministry of the Word and may experience some common operations of the Spirit,1 cannot be saved because they are not effectually drawn by the Father, therefore they will not and cannot truly come to Christ. Much less can those who do not profess the Christian religion be saved,2 no matter how diligently they order their lives according to the light of nature and the teachings of the religion they profess.3
(1) Mat 13:20-21; 22:14; Heb 6:4-5; Mat 7:22
(2) Joh 6:44-45,64-66; 8:24
(3) Act 4:12; Joh 4:22; 17:3


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