Of Effectual Calling.
Chapter 10, Paragraph 1.
“…enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God;;…”
Some hear the gospel over and over throughout their lives, and it does not affect them. They could tell you the story of Jesus, but not have any personal knowledge regarding Him. Then one day, hearing the gospel yet again, it clicks. The gospel is relevant to them. They understand their sinful condition, realize the provision that Jesus has made for them, and trust in Him. Such an awakening does not come through human persuasion. It comes through the work of God alone.
When the elect are brought from a sinful state to a state of grace and salvation by Jesus Christ, their eyes have to be opened by the Holy Spirit. For in their sinful state, their understanding is darkened regarding salvation. They do not realize their sinful condition. They do not see the need for a Savior. They do not view the gospel as good news. I remember many times reading my Bible as a girl, thinking it beautiful in a fairy tale sort of way, but not seeing it as truly real, or actually applying to me. When I read it again years later, it was as if I had never read the words before. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” I am a sinner! Christ died for me! The gospel was finally understood, and it seemed remarkable that I hadn’t seen it before. Knowing it was God who enlightens the mind of the elect, my former ignorance was actually unremarkable, and is common to all people before coming to faith.
“…the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18) Before God draws the elect to Himself, they are like every other unbeliever. Yet God’s word will not return void. His people will be brought to faith by Himself. God will open their eyes at the time He has appointed.
Questions to Consider
- If God is the one who enlightens to understand the things of God, how does that affect your evangelism?