“God Hath Called Us”
1 Corinthians 7:15
It is very important, if we are to understand the character of the effectual call, (the call of grace), that we understand at the outset that it is a divine call. It is a work of God (1 Thess. 2:12; 4:7; 2 Tim. 1:8-10). As in all other aspects of grace and salvation, all three Persons in the Holy Trinity are engaged in this call of grace.
Sometimes it is ascribed to God the Father. He has called us by his grace and revealed his Son in us. He has called us unto the fellowship of his Son. He called us by his Son, Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:15, 16; 1 Cor. 1:9; 1 Pet. 5:10). Sometimes the call of grace is ascribed to God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. He is represented to us as Wisdom and as the eternal Logos (God the Word), who calls us to life and faith in himself (Prov. 1:20-33; 8:1-4). God’s saints are described as “The called of Jesus Christ” (Rom. 1:6). However, this call of God is set before us in the Scriptures primarily as that which is the office work of God the Holy Spirit, that blessed Comforter sent by the Father and the Son to reveal the things of Christ to the elect. "There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling"; called by the one Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God. It is God the Spirit who gave us life, who illuminated our hearts and minds, revealed Christ in us, and brought us into the liberty of the Sons of God. It is God the Spirit who brings chosen, redeemed sinners to Christ, creates faith in them, and speaks peace to their hearts through the blood of Christ, and teaches believing sinners to live in the blessed hope and expectation of eternal glory with Christ.
The effectual call is a divine work, arising from and accomplished by the will of God alone. It is not in any way or to any degree dependent upon or determined by the works of man (2 Tim. 1:9) or the will of man (Rom. 9:16). This is not a mere fine point of theological orthodoxy. It is vital. If you make the call of God to be dependent upon or determined by the works of man or the will of man, you make man his own savior. Such doctrine cannot be tolerated! “It is the Spirit that quickeneth. The flesh profitteth nothing” (John 6:63).
Because this effectual call is God’s work and God’s work alone, it is always an irresistible call. I hope you have learned to love the term “irresistible grace”. Grace that can be resisted is not grace at all. A call that can be resisted will never save anyone. It is only irresistible grace that makes doomed, damned, dead sinners willing in the day of God’s power!
The call of the Spirit is an irresistible call, because when God works, none can hinder. When God calls, sinners, who are dead in trespasses and sins, rise out of their graves of sin and live at his omnipotent, all commanding voice; just as Lazarus came forth out of his grave at the call of Christ. That call cannot be resisted which carries with it life-giving, resurrecting power! This irresistible call of the Holy Spirit is issued to God’s elect with the very same power that was exerted in raising Christ himself from the dead (Eph. 1:18-20). This blessed call of the Spirit is an irresistible call because it is the saving operation of God’s effectual, irresistible grace. It is by this irresistible call of God that chosen, redeemed sinners are caused to approach unto him (Psa. 65:4).