Posted in , , ,

The Lugnut

14 September 2012 by Matt Gumm

Q. 67. What is effectual calling?
A. Effectual calling is the work of God's almighty power and grace, whereby (out of his free and special love to his elect, and from nothing in them moving him thereunto) he doth, in his accepted time, invite and draw them to Jesus Christ, by his Word and Spirit; savingly enlightening their minds, renewing and powerfully determining their wills, so as they (although in themselves dead in sin) are hereby made willing and able freely to answer his call, and to accept and embrace the grace offered and conveyed therein.

It may be tempting to dismiss effectual calling as simply a systematic lugnut that keeps the wheels of Calvinism from falling off.  But when I can look back and see my own sin and the deadness of my heart of stone, I recognize that how far I was from God, and His enemy, not His friend, until He graciously and lovingly directed my path so that I was brought to the end of myself, and the beginning of life with him.

At the risk of turning this answer into “what does it mean to me,” I want to suggest that there’s a real need to understand what’s being said here, even if you’d never call yourself a Calvinist. We are the ones who are forgiven much; we are the ones who see the work of the Triune God to save us.

Effectual calling is that work in great detail, involving all three persons of the Trinity, and rightly understood, it should move us beyond scholastic doctrinal orthodoxy to true love, joy, and affection for our salvation and our Savior.