The Unsearchable Riches of Christ #6

Effectual Calling

Scripture: Ephesians 1:8-9.

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Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself, Ephesians 1:8-9.

These opening verses in this epistle contain gospel truths, strung together by the apostle like precious pearls in a necklace. He strings together one truth after another in these verses — predestination and election, redemption through the blood, and now effectual calling through the gospel.
All those that God the Father elected unto salvation, God the Son redeemed by His blood and the Holy Spirit effectually calls into a knowledge and experience of the benefits salvation.

The verses that we will look at today, set forth the doctrine of God’s effectual calling of His elect into the knowledge of Christ.

The elect will never benefit from the Father’s loving plan or the Son’s loving sacrifice if the inherent ignorance of the human mind is not effectively dealt with. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned, 1 Cor 2:14. Isaiah 53:1. Romans 8:5-7. 1 Cor 1:17-31.

1. There is a need of a knowledge of his own sinful state. He needs convincing of his sin. A picture of an example of this taking place is given in Zech 12:10 and Acts 2:37. How long the Jewish people have been in ignorance of their sin! But what happened at Pentecost for 3000 will happen for the whole nation when Christ returns.

2. With such knowledge there comes a sense of misery. The eyes are opened to their sinfulness and the misery that it brings. Hence the brokenness of heart that accompanies such an awakening, Luke 18:13. Hell opens up at the very feet of the sinner. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? Acts 16:29-30.

3. Such is the measure of convincing of sin that a public acknowledgement of guilt is readily forthcoming. One of the most public confessions is that of the repentant  thief, Luke 23:40-41.

4. The awful holiness of God is also glimpsed. I say glimpsed for none could stand a sight of the full majesty of God’s glorious holiness. David owned God’s holiness, Ps 51:4-5.