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Westminster Confession of 1646: Of Effectual Calling

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Chapter X. Of Effectual Calling

I. All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased, in His appointed and accepted time, effectually to call, (Rom 8:30; Rom 11:7; Eph 1:10-11); by His Word and Spirit, (2Th 2:13-14; 2Co 3:3, 6); out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ, (Rom 8:2; Eph 2:1-5; 2Ti 1:9-10); enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God, (Act 26:18; 1Co 2:10, 12; Eph 1:17-18); taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh, (Eze 36:26); renewing their wills, and, by His almighty power, determining them to that which is good, (Eze 11:19; Phl 2:13; Deu 30:6; Eze 36:27); and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ, (Eph 1:19; Jhn 6:44-45): yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace, (Sgs 1:4; Psa 110:3; Jhn 6:37; Rom 6:16-18).

II. This effectual call is of God’s free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man, (2Ti 1:9; Tts 3:4-5; Eph 2:4-5, 8-9; Rom 9:11); who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, (1Co 2:14; Rom 8:7; Eph 2:5); he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it, (Jhn 6:37; Eze 36:27; Jhn 5:25).

III. Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit, (Luk 18:15-16; Act 2:38-39; Jhn 3:3, 5; 1Jo 5:12; Rom 8:9); who worketh when, and where, and how He pleaseth, (Jhn 3:8): so also are all other elect persons who are uncapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word, (1Jo 5:12; Act 4:12).

IV. Others, not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, (Mat 22:14); and may have some common operations of the Spirit, (Mat 7:22; Mat 13:20-21; Hbr 6:4-5); yet they never truly come unto Christ, and therefore cannot be saved, (Jhn 6:64-66; Jhn 8:24): 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 laws of that religion they do profess, (Act 4:12; Jhn 14:6 Eph 2:12; Jhn 4:22; Jhn 17:3). And, to assert and maintain that they may, is very pernicious, and to be detested, (2Jo 1:9-11; 1Co 16:22; Gal 1:6-8).

DISCLAIMER: Creeds, catechisms, and confessions do not replace Scripture, nor the authority of Scripture. The creeds, catechisms and confessions are included herein for purposes of reference. Blue Letter Bible aims to provide resources that cover a range of traditional, orthodox, conservative Christianity, for the benefit of all of our users. The inclusion of the creeds, catechisms, and confessions does not necessarily mean that the ministry agrees with each and every point in each, since some are coming from different Christian perspectives of faith, practice and worship. The user may find them useful as tools to assist in understanding or teaching the Scriptures, since they were drafted based upon Scripture. Used in their proper context, they can continue to aid us as much today as they did for our forefathers in centuries past.


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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