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Effectual Calling and the God of Means

Teachings on the effectual call seem to elicit the same objection by opponents of the doctrine.  Why should we preach if God Himself brings His effectual call in His own way?  Doesn't this truth nullify the mission of the church?  At best these question come out of a sincere heart that seeks to grapple with the ultimate truth conveyed in this doctrine in comparison to the practical exercise of ministry.We can subsume those two objections under the same heading of reconciling ultimate truth and practical means.  The plain answer to the questions subsumed under this heading is, God is a God of means. The LORD sees the whole mass of damned humanity in the same state of helplessness.  In loving kindness He comes to those who He has marked out before the foundation of the world, seeing them imprisoned in sin and dead.  The LORD the Spirit issues a summons that not only issues a warrant on the recipient to respond, it also enables response.  Beloved saint Charles Wesley penned the following stanza that communicates the effectual call.

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature's night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray-
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Daniel Whittle describes the doctrine in his hymn "I Know Whom I Have Believed":

I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing us of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.

God has purposed to open the heart of the elect enabling them to understand and respond savingly to the Gospel [Acts 16; 1 Corinthians 2].  Additionally, the LORD has ordained the means by which people are brought to faith. 

Posted by ChristCentric on Tue, Apr 17 2012 20:50:00

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