One call...or two

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Iconoclast, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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    The design of this thread is to examine the theological and biblical question does an Effectual call exist...or is there only one general call.

    Several questions have been raised as to if there exists different "calls' in scripture.

    Allan just posted this response and has raised some good questions...lets see how much we can agree on....and where we differ and why.

     
    #1 Iconoclast, Oct 8, 2012
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  2. 12strings

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    Fix the quote function....quick...there might be still time to EDIT!
     
  3. Iconoclast

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    Thanks....I would have been shot on sight for that one:laugh::laugh::wavey:
     
  4. Iconoclast

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    Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling
    1._____ Those whom God hath predestinated unto life, 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.
    ( Romans 8:30; Romans 11:7; Ephesians 1:10, 11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14; Ephesians 2:1-6; Acts 26:18; Ephesians 1:17, 18; Ezekiel 36:26; Deuteronomy 30:6; Ezekiel 36:27; Ephesians 1:19; Psalm 110:3; Song of Solomon 1:4 )

    2._____ This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man, nor from any power or agency in the creature, being wholly passive therein, being dead in sins and trespasses, 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, and that by no less power than that which raised up Christ from the dead.
    ( 2 Timothy 1:9; Ephesians 2:8; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:5; John 5:25; Ephesians 1:19, 20 )

    3._____ Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit; who worketh when, and where, and how he pleases; so also are all elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.
    ( John 3:3, 5, 6; John 3:8 )

    4._____ Others not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet not being effectually drawn by the Father, they neither will nor can truly come to Christ, and therefore cannot be saved: much less can men that receive not the Christian religion be saved; be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature and the law of that religion they do profess.
    ( Matthew 22:14; Matthew 13:20, 21; Hebrews 6:4, 5; John 6:44, 45, 65; 1 John 2:24, 25; Acts 4:12; John 4:22; John 17:3 )



    ONe of the points in question will obviously be point number four:

    Others not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet not being effectually drawn by the Father, they neither will nor can truly come to Christ, and therefore cannot be saved[/B
     
    #4 Iconoclast, Oct 8, 2012
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  5. MorseOp

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    There is going to be an inherent problem with this discussion. No matter what those who believe in the doctrines of grace are going to say about God's will of decree and predestination, those terms are going to be defined by Arminians according to their understanding and vice versa. In other words it will be an apples and oranges debate. That said, I will put a toe in.

    Romans 8:30 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.

    Whether it is the "God looking down the corridor of time" interpretation, or Skan's corporate view of election, both do injustice to the text. Predestination is something that God does without human involvement. It is also not predicated on any human action past, present, or future.

    Ephesians 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

    God self-consulted according to His own purpose. God's purpose is as eternal as God Himself. Predestination, and its resulting effectual call, is God ordained, God initiated, and God completed.

    The general call is not the effectual call.

    Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

    God's command to repent is not dependent on man's ability to actually do so. I may preach the Gospel to all who will listen (general call), but only those whom the Father has called will be able to respond to the effectual call.
     
  6. Iconoclast

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    Another big issue is ...what are we called for? what is the purpose of any special call.

    We should be able to agree on what we are called to be in this life...that might help explain the call....like here
    Romans 1:7
    To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    1 Corinthians 1:2
    Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their's and our's:

    2 Timothy 1:9
    Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

    Who does the calling?

    Are all men called to this?

    Was the calling made effectual by the word and Spirit?

    Are all men everywhere called?

    Are there men who never hear any call?
     
    #6 Iconoclast, Oct 8, 2012
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  7. zrs6v4

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    Alan said, "I agree with what you have above and specifically that the 'calling' is an identifying marker of the elect.. however this does not negate that others were called as well but never came."

    I believe I see what he is doing here. Take Romans 8:30 for example. Even though it lists that the elect are 1. predestined 2. called 3. justified and 4. glorified he is saying that the passage does not mean that the calling is unique and specific to the elect like the other three terms listed.

    It isn't that the call is different but rather is distinguished between a simple outward and general call to all men based on how the elect are effected when they hear the gospel. So what is important about Romans 8:30 is not that the call is separate than any other type of call but rather it is included in a chain of guaranteed statements regarding the elect: They are all predestined, all called, all justified, and all glorified. For one who is elect to get from the point of being predestined to justified they must have something happen that effects all of them in a like manor to guarantee they are all justified. It is not just a freak accident of their own faith and circumstances but rather all based on the will of God and His doings.

    So in response to Alan's statement, many are called but there is something unique that happens to someone who God has chosen to save that doesn't happen to those who aren't saved.
     
    #7 zrs6v4, Oct 8, 2012
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  8. Skandelon

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    Zrs, it is simply a perspective shift regarding how we understand the intent of the author when speaking about predestination and election. Leo Garrett, in his well known Systematic Theology, wrote this on the subject:

    "From Augustine of Hippo to the twentieth century, Western Christianity has tended to interpret the doctrine of election from the perspective of and with regard to individual human beings. During those same centuries the doctrine has been far less emphasized and seldom ever controversial in Eastern Orthodoxy. Is it possible that Augustine and later Calvin, with the help of many others, contributed to a hyper individualization of this doctrine that was hardly warranted by Romans 9-11, Eph. 1, and I Peter 2? Is it not true that the major emphasis in both testaments falls upon an elect people -- Israel (OT) and disciples or church (NT)?"​

    When you read something from a more corporate or general perspective it avoids many of the dilemmas created by the overly individualized application.

    For example,

    God elects Israel (a nation) generally speaking...
    God calls 'every creature' (the world) generally speaking...
    God predestines believers (the church) generally speaking...to be justified, sanctified, and glorified.

    This doesn't mean individuals aren't in view, it just means that intent of the author is looking at the group generally speaking. This approach is the same all the way through chapter 8, 9, 10 and 11. If you don't believe me, then lets go verse by verse through chapter 11 with your individualized interpretation and see where that gets you.
     
  9. MorseOp

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    Election is corporate only in the sense that all those who are called become part of the body of Christ; the church. Each saint is called individually even though they are called into the body.

    2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;

    Believers are often addressed corporately ("To the church of God which is at Corinth"; "To the churches of Galatia"; "To the saints who are at Ephesus") because the instructions contained in the letters of the New Testament applied to the church, whereas the Gospel is only effectual to the elect.
     
  10. Skandelon

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    Again, I challenge you to apply your individualized approach in Romans 11 and see where that leads. At least in our perspective we apply the SAME hermenutic through the entire book, whereas you are forced to go from individualized interpretation to a corporate one. Plus, our perspective doesn't create all the dilemmas and apparent contradictions that your approach does.
     
  11. Allan

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    quick drive posting (dinner time here with the family)

    Before we begin, there is one question that HAS to address for any valid debate to continue.


    What is the "Calling/Call" that we are discussing? In other words, let us first define what we mean we speak of the 'call'. Without this, we will be talking past one another. The should be the same, whether effectual or not.. if what they are are different calls (as in different messages) please explain.. if they are the same call but different workings on the people in question - we can understand that point. I'm wanting to make sure of what the message is, in which the call is calling people to.

    I believe the call is the gospel message of salvation of which no man can understand or acknowledge as plausible unless God reveal man's sin, His righteousness, and The Judgment to come and thus repentance and belief/faith are mandatory. Since it is God doing the work of revealing. it is an inward working and do to God being the one doing the work it is therefore a spiritual work, as man can not do or come to the knowledge of his accord or will.

    I do not hold that the calling is regeneration.

    Regeneration is being made alive and in Christ which cannot happen apart from justification, and which does not happen apart from faith.

    Gotta jet.. hope we can first come to agree (after you all place your understanding) to what we are discussing BEFORE we discuss when and how it happens :)
     
    #11 Allan, Oct 8, 2012
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  12. percho

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    I was just going to ask. Is the call specifically for granting salvation or is the call for another purpose which requires salvation. Such as. Acts 15:14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

    God, himself through Christ is calling for a purpose that we see in verse 17 as being kings and priests to rule with Christ in seeking the residue of man.

    And even though I know you and I will disagree, I believe this to be in the kingdom of God the world to come of Heb. 2:5.

    I would like to insert a thought here. Of what, Order of priesthood will we be?
     
  13. Skandelon

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    Why would you call an inward work of regeneration by which our nature is transformed and we are reborn a "CALLING" in the first place? Don't Calvinists believe that regeneration simply awakens the elect to the gospel's call? If so, why would regeneration be referred to as a "call" in some passages as Calvinists argue? Wouldn't the gospel be the ONLY actual calling even in the Calvinist camp?

    I think this has to do with the concept called "gospel regeneration."
     
  14. Van

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    Analysis

    Romans 8:30 indicates God predestined either individuals or corporately those to be redeemed, to some condition or circumstance. Calvinism claims it means individuals were predestined to be saved. If you go back to verse 28 we see that whom God foreknew, he predestined. So our first word of total disagreement as to meaning is foreknew. I say it means those God's plan of redemption had as a target group, i.e. believers to be redeemed, were known corporately before creation when God formulated His plan. Now what was this foreknown group predestined to? To be conformed to the image of Jesus. So the text seems clearly to invalidate the claim they were predestined to salvation, but rather those saved were then to be conformed to the image of Christ.

    Second, the assertion God cannot predestine based on a condition is ludicrous. Calvinism's view is based on a condition, those individually elected were predestined. So that assertion fails in every way.

    Next we have Ephesians 1:11. But lets back up again to Ephesians 1:5 which says we are predestined to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ. Again Calvinism claims adoption refers to being spiritually placed in Christ, but Paul uses the term to refer to our bodily resurrection at Christ's second coming. So again, the word "adoption" is claimed by Calvinism to mean one thing, but contextually it means our bodily resurrection, not our initial salvation. So viewed this this light our predestined inheritance is our adoption, our bodily resurrection.

    Since neither verse refers to being predestined to salvation, the assertion these verses support the effectual call, i.e. irresistible grace, is without support.

    The last verse, Acts 17:30 says God says "all men everywhere should repent." No mention of God saying all men able to repent due to irresistible grace will be compelled to repent. Why should men repent, because the time is limited and the evidence of raising Christ from the dead is available to consider.

    So yet again, Calvinism rewrites a verse that supports the ability of "all men" to repent of their own volition, provided their hearts are not hardened to the point of spiritual inability.
     
  15. Iconoclast

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    So...in this verse we see that God has predestined people who are spoken of as "called"....these same individuals who are predestined ,and called, are justified......:thumbs::thumbs::wavey::thumbs:

    So...whatever this calling consists of...it does not include ...ALL MEN...... Does anyone see here that All men everywhere are predestined, called, justified, or glorified????
     
  16. Iconoclast

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    When Allan makes this statement he sees some agreement as far as it refers to the elect. I think when he makes this statement he is thinking of the gospel being preached to all men....that the word preached is preached to a group of persons and that this call is equal.
    In the other thread he made a similar observation...saying the difference was in the hearers. Allan can explain himself...but he is the closest to agreement with many of us who post.
     
  17. Iconoclast

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    I agree with most of your statement. The part I bolded is what is at question. Is there a general call to all men....and is that all there is???
    Or is there a special work of the Spirit that accompanies that call with giving the hearer a new heart...so he can welcome this call....resulting in being the "effectual call"???
     
  18. Iconoclast

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    I believe we are called to salvation from sins reigning power. I believe we are called to Kingdom living here and now, salvation is but the beginning of our new life....I believe hebrews 2 is part of what we are called to...reigning with Jesus as Kings and priests now and into eternity.
    We are priests in Jesus...our great high priest...we offer sacrifice:
    and here:


    12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

    2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

    3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.[/QUOTE]:wavey::wavey:
     
  19. Iconoclast

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    Skan,

    We are called....to the Kingdom of God. Salvation from sin is wonderful and necessary...but it is only the beginning of what God has for us.


    Forget the debate/discussion for a minute...look at vs.18 Paul speaks of the HOPE OF OUR CALLING.
    While being called out of darkness to light...we have an expectant HOPE of our Calling.....

    This is where we should eventually find agreement as believers....what is the nature of this HOPE...which promises...and what is our responsibility to live up to this HOLY CALLING...
    This suggests to me that we are called to Kingdom.....now-

    12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

    13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
     
    #19 Iconoclast, Oct 9, 2012
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  20. Iconoclast

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    As we examine several of the passages...I think we can see that the calling is not just the gospel preached resulting in salvation...but to all it is the gospel of the Kingdom under the heavenly reign of the King.

    This alone suggests to me of necessity at least two calls...general and outward....inward and effectual. The call seems to involve more than salvation .
     

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