Chapter 10: Of Effectual CallingThe 1647 Westminster Confession of Faith
1. All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, he is pleased, in his appointed and accepted time, effectually to call,a by his Word and Spirit,b out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ;c enlightening their minds, spiritually and savingly, to understand the things of God;d taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them an heart of flesh;e renewing their wills, and by his almighty power determining them to that which is good,f and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ;g yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace.h
a. Rom 8:30; 11:7; Eph 1:10-11. • b. 2 Cor 3:3, 6; 2 Thes 2:13-14. • c. Rom 8:2; Eph 2:1-5; 2 Tim 1:9-10. • d. Acts 26:18; 1 Cor 2:10, 12; Eph 1:17-18. • e. Ezek 36:26. • f. Deut 30:6; Ezek 11:19; 36:27; Phil 2:13. • g. John 6:44-45; Eph 1:19. • h. Psa 110:3; Song 1:4; John 6:37; Rom 6:16-18.
2. This effectual call is of God’s free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man;a who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit,b he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it.c
a. Rom 9:11; Eph 2:4-5, 8-9; 2 Tim 1:9; Titus 3:4-5. • b. Rom 8:7; 1 Cor 2:14; Eph 2:5. • c. Ezek 36:27; John 5:25; 6:37.
3. Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit,a who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth.b So also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.c
a. Luke 18:15-16 and John 3:3, 5 and Acts 2:38-39 and Rom 8:9 and 1 John 5:12 compared together. • b. John 3:8. • c. Acts 4:12; 1 John 5:12.
4. Others, not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word,a and may have some common operations of the Spirit,b yet they never truly come unto Christ, and therefore cannot be saved:c much less can men, not professing the Christian religion, be saved in any other way whatsoever,be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature and the law of that religion they do profess;d and to assert and maintain that they may is very pernicious, and to be detested.e
a. Mat 22:14. • b. Mat 7:22; 13:20-21; Heb 6:4-5. • c. John 6:64-66; 8:24. • d. John 4:22; 14:6; 17:3; Acts 4:12; Eph 2:12. • e. 1 Cor 16:22; Gal 1:6-8; 2 John 1:9-11.