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Page 143

God's internal call can also be named His inward, irresistible, effectual, or efficacious call.

    The Westminster Shorter Catechism defines the Holy Spirit's internal calling in the following manner in Question and Answer 31:

    Q. What is effectual calling?
    A. 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.

    The godly minister, Rev. T. Doolittle, when preaching to his congregation on the Holy Spirit's internal call, asked if any of his catechism students could answer the Shorter Catechism's question, "What is effectual calling?" using the pronouns "me" and "my" for "us" and "our."

    A solemn silence followed; many realized the seriousness of the question. A young man stood up which heightened the felt importance and anticipation of the moment. By grace, with deep conviction, he clearly stated, "Effectual calling is the work of God's Spirit, whereby, convincing me of my sin and misery, enlightening my mind in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing my will, He doth persuade and enable me to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to me in the gospel."

    The resulting effect was deeply moving on the entire congregation and many eyes were bathed in tears.

    Can you, by grace, personally answer this question as this young man did?

God's internal call is not simply an extension of His external call. God's internal call has the following distinctives:

    1. It refers to the Holy Spirit's almighty, efficacious, saving work.

    2. It flows from the Father's electing grace, the Son's redeeming grace, and the Holy Spirit's applying grace.

    3. It results in an eternal change of states in the elect; it is a calling which will never be taken back or lost.

The Holy Spirit's internal, saving calling is spoken of frequently in Scripture. The verses on the following page provide some examples.

  • Efficacious - That which is effectual, which produces the desired effect or result


    Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.

    - Romans 8:30

    But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingbiock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

    But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

    - 1 Corinthians 1:23-24

    And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing, words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

    That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

    - I Corinthians 2:4-5

    For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost.

    - I Thessalonians 1:5a


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