A Faith to Confess: The Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689
Rewritten in Modern English
©1975, Carey Publications, Ltd., 75 Woodhill Road, Leeds, U.K., LS16 7BZ
Reprinted here by permission
CHAPTER 10 – EFFECTUAL CALLING
AT a time appointed by and acceptable to God, those whom God has predestinated to life are effectually called by His Word and Spirit out of the state of death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ.Their minds are given spiritual enlightenment and, as those who are being saved, they begin to understand the things of God. God takes away their heart of stone and gives them a heart of flesh.He renews their will, and by His almighty power He sets them to seek and follow that which is good, at the same time effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ.And to all these changes they come most freely, for they are made willing by divine grace.
God’s effectual call is the outcome of His free and special grace alone.Until a man is given life, and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is dead in sins and trespasses, so is entirely passive in this work of salvation, a work that does not proceed from anything good foreseen in him, nor from any power or agency resident in him. The power that enables him to answer God’s call and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it, is no less than that which effected the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit, who works when and where and how He pleases. The same is true of all elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called through the preaching of the gospel.
Men who are not elected, even though they may be called upon to embrace salvation by the preachers of the gospel, and may be the subjects of some common operations of the Spirit, cannot be saved, because they are not effectually drawn to Christ by the Father, for which reason they neither can, nor will, truly come to Him.Much less can men who do not receive the Christian religion be saved, no matter how diligent they are to frame their lives according to the light of nature and the teachings of the religion which they follow.