The Spirit Gives Life (Boston)

 I really like the way Thomas Boston explained how the Holy Spirit gives life (cf. John 6:63; 2 Cor. 3:6).  I've updated the language slightly: [Jesus said] “All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me.” (John  6:37) Now, this also belongs to the promise of the Spirit, who is therefore called the Spirit… Continue reading The Spirit Gives Life (Boston)

The Necessity of Effectual Calling (Or: We Need a Miracle!)

This is a very helpful discussion of effectual calling/regeneration: If you believe that the natural state of human beings today is that of moral and spiritual neutrality, so that they can do good or bad as they please (the Pelagian view), you will not even feel the need for an effectual call or for regeneration.… Continue reading The Necessity of Effectual Calling (Or: We Need a Miracle!)

God Has Called You: On Effectual Calling (Murray)

Scripture teaches that a person dead in sin will remain dead in sin unless God graciously gives him or her new life in Christ (Eph. 2:5).  In theological terms, we say God effectually calls his elect and regenerates them by the power of his Spirit and word.  God is the author of this gracious, sovereign,… Continue reading God Has Called You: On Effectual Calling (Murray)

The Lord Opened Her Heart (Acts 16:14)

One of the places in Scripture that teaches effectual calling (irresistible grace) and the sovereignty of God in regeneration is Acts 16:14, where Luke writes this about Lydia: "The Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul (NASB)."  I appreciate Richard Sibbes' comments on this text: "...As our hearts are shut… Continue reading The Lord Opened Her Heart (Acts 16:14)

Effectual Calling and Regeneration in the 2nd Century

(This is a repost from February, 2013) 2 Clement is an early sermon or “word of exhortation” that was written around 100 AD (or possible around 130 AD).  It was probably not written by Clement, but by an anonymous presbyter.  Michael Holmes calls it “the oldest surviving complete Christian sermon outside the New Testament.” The… Continue reading Effectual Calling and Regeneration in the 2nd Century