Effectual Calling and Regeneration

Theologians often speak of regeneration, the work of the Holy Spirit to bring someone to the new birth. But the Westminster Standards speak of effectual calling as the work of the Spirit to give people new hearts, enlightening their minds and renewing their wills. Are effectual calling and regeneration the same thing? If not, how do they relate? In this episode, we discuss the relationship between these two aspects of the ordo salutis.

Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling

1. All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, he is pleased, in his appointed and accepted time, effectually to call, by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God, taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and, by his almighty power, determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ: yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace.

2. This effectual call is of God’s free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man, who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it.

Watch roughly the first half of this episode on YouTube.



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Genesis 17:9–14 — The Sign of the Abrahamic Covenant

Here we seek to answer three questions: First, “What is the meaning of circumcision?” Second, “What is the purpose of circumcision? and third, “To whom is circumcision to be applied” We conclude that the sign of faith is to be applied to believers and their children.

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1 Corinthians 1:10–17 — Divisions in the Church

Paul appeals to the believers at Corinth to be united, and admonishes them to abandon their factionalism. Paul reminds them that he did not do anything among them that would draw attention to himself, but rather he pointed them entirely away from himself and directed their attention and affection to Christ alone.

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Hosea 1:4–9 — Disobedient Children

Israel was called God’s son—a status under threat here in Hosea—as graphically demonstrated in the naming of Hosea’s children. God’s pending divorce of Israel points to the only way for God’s elect to be saved. The warnings in Hosea are for God’s people today that we may examine ourselves to be sure we are in the faith.

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