Sunday, March 05, 2006

John Murray: Effectual Calling

John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied, 88-105

Effectual Calling

A. Murray places calling before regeneration.
B. There is a call that is not effectual which is the universal call of the gospel (Matt. 22:14). But the terms used for calling in the New Testament usually refer to the call to salvation (Rom. 8:30; 1 Cor. 1:9; 2 Pet. 1:10). When the words “call,” “called,” and “calling” are used in the New Testament, they are used for effectual calling.
C. God is the author -- “calling is an act of God's grace and power just as regeneration, justification, and adoption are” (pg. 89). (1 Cor. 1:9; 2 Tim. 1:8,9). And it is God the Father who is the “specific agent in the effectual call.” In Romans 8:29 God the Father is distinguished from the Son and then Romans 8:30 states that “he also called” so God the Father is clearly in view as the one who calls (1 Cor. 1:9; Gal. 1:15; Eph. 1:17, 18; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 John 3:1).
D. The nature of the call – when we think of “call” we should think of “summons” since that is closer to the meaning of the word. The summons is effective, it will bring the elect into fellowship with Christ. “There is something determinate about God's call; by his sovereign power and grace it cannot fail of accomplishment. God calls the things that be not as though they were (cf. Rom. 4:17). God's calling is also immutable (Rom. 11:29) and in Romans 8:28-30 calling is part of a unbreakable chain of redemption that begins “in the divine foreknowledge” and is consummated in glorification. The calling is holy, God's people are called to a life that is separate from this evil world (Rom. 1:7; Phil. 3:14; 2 Tim. 1:9; Heb. 3:1 Eph. 4:1) and are to “have no unfruitful works of darkness.”
E. The plan – calling is part of God's plan. “And that plan is his own purpose and grace given in Christ Jesus before times eternal (2 Tim. 1:9; cf. Rom. 8:28)” (pg. 92). The plan of God is not arbitrary but has been set from eternity. “It is in Christ that the plan was devised (2 Tim. 1:9)...The people of God are not contemplated even in the purpose of grace apart from Christ (cf. Rom. 8:29; Eph. 1:4)” (pg. 93).
F. The priority – “calling is the first step in the application of redemption” (pg. 93). According to Scripture it is calling that unites the elect to Christ (1 Cor. 1:9). “And surely union with Christ is that which unites us to the inwardly operative grace of God. Regeneration is the beginning of inwardly operative saving grace” (pg. 93). The call is a sovereign act of God and is independent of our response and comes prior to regeneration. Regeneration comes before our response.

1 Comment:

  1. Susan said...
    I going to recommend Murray's book to my friend at church who doesn't believe in limited atonement.

    BTW, I think we should call election/atonement "particular" and not limited.... (Sproul)

    Thanks for thep post Michele, it's good!

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