†1 Corinthians 1:26
The call of God is described in many ways in doctrinal and theological works: The Internal Call - The Effectual Call - The Irresistible Call - The Call of Grace. All those terms are good and accurate. But it is always best to understand Bible doctrine in Bible terms. So, let me show you how the call of God is described and explained in Holy Scripture.
1 Peter 2:9 reads, "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light." The call of God, the internal, effectual, saving call of grace is a call out of gross darkness into Godís marvelous light. As in the creation of the world, God commanded the light to shine out of darkness, so in the new creation of grace God the Holy spirit shines in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6).
††††††††††† Before God saved us, we were like all other men, engulfed in the gross darkness of our own depraved hearts and spiritual ignorance. Godís elect, in their state of nature, before they are converted, are just like all other men, totally ignorant of all things spiritual. We were ignorant of God: his holiness, his justice, and his truth. We were ignorant of† ourselves: our depravity, sin, guilt, condemnation, spiritual inability, spiritual ignorance, and our spiritual death. We were totally ignorant of the Lord Jesus Christ as he is revealed in the gospel. We knew nothing of his person, his righteousness, his atonement, his satisfaction of justice as our Substitute and Surety before God, or the necessity of it. We had absolutely no discernment of the Lordís body. We were totally ignorant of both sin and righteousness. We thought both were outward works of either good or evil. We had no idea that both are inward principles. We had no idea that God alone is righteous, and that God alone can make sinners righteous. In short, we were completely ignorant of the Scriptures, the gospel of the grace of God, and the salvation revealed in Godís Holy Book.
††††††††††† Now, by the effectual call of the Holy Spirit, the eyes of our understanding have been opened; we are now made to see light and walk in light as the children of light. Godís people are children of light. They no longer grope about in darkness. They have the unction of the Spirit, causing them to know all things. Believers have the mind of Christ, enabling them to understand all things (Pro. 28:5; 1 John 2:20; 1 Cor. 2:15-16). Believers understand the truth, believe the truth, and receive the love of the truth. Goats butt against the truth of God. Sheep rejoice in it. Tell them of Godís wondrous providence and grace, and their eyes will dance with joy. Tell them of their sin, and they will confess it with broken heart. Tell them of Christ and his special, effectual atonement, and they will bless God. Tell them of free, irresistible grace and salvation by it, and they will say, ďTell us more!Ē
Being taught of God, regenerate, enlightened, saved sinners have the ability to distinguish things that differ. They know the difference between grace and works. They know the difference between free grace and free will. We have been called out of darkness into Godís marvelous light.