Effectual Calling is the call of the Gospel taking effect.
The call of the Gospel is often ignored, in spite of its free offer and wonderful terms that sinners might have peace with God and eternal life.
Sometimes the call of the Gospel to follow Christ has a temporary effect, as Jesus taught in the Parable of the Sower. When it has a spiritual and lasting effect, we call it Effectual Calling.
So what happens to make it effectual?
A permanent response is effected by the Holy Spirit of God accompanying the Word of God. The apostle Peter explained the difference as they “have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven” 1Pe 1:12.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism explains it:
“Effectual calling is the work of God’s Spirit, whereby, convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel.”
There are four other matters in this work of the Holy Spirit to be discussed:
- conviction of sin and misery,
- enlightening the mind in the knowledge of Christ,
- renewing the will, and
- persuading and enabling sinners to embrace Jesus Christ.
I plan future blogposts to discuss each in turn.
As for the Free Offer of the Gospel, there is an explanation of this here.