Thursday, December 9, 2010

St. Augustine Of Hippo On Effectual Calling

The Doctor of Grace, St. Augustine of
Hippo, 354-430 AD
St. Augustine of Hippo | Accordingly, our only Master and Lord Himself, when He had said what I have above mentioned,— "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent,"— says a little afterwards in that same discourse of His, "I said unto you that you also have seen me and have not believed. All that the Father gives me shall come to me" (John 6:36). What is the meaning of "shall come to me," but, "shall believe in me"? But it is the Father's gift that this may be the case.

Moreover, a little after He says, "Murmur not among yourselves. No one can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all teachable of God. Every man that has heard of the Father, and has learned, comes unto me." What is the meaning of, "Every man that has heard from the Father, and has learned, comes unto me," except that there is none who hears from the Father, and learns, who comes not to me? For if every one who has heard from the Father, and has learned, comes, certainly every one who does not come has not heard from the Father; for if he had heard and learned, he would come. For no one has heard and learned, and has not come; but every one, as the Truth declares, who has heard from the Father, and has learned, comes.

Far removed from the senses of the flesh is this teaching in which the Father is heard, and teaches to come to the Son. Engaged herein is also the Son Himself, because He is His Word by which He thus teaches; and He does not do this through the ear of the flesh, but of the heart. Herein engaged, also, at the same time, is the Spirit of the Father and of the Son; and He, too, teaches, and does not teach separately, since we have learned that the workings of the Trinity are inseparable. And that is certainly the same Holy Spirit of whom the apostle says, "We, however, having the same Spirit of faith" (2 Corinthians 4:13). But this is especially attributed to the Father, for the reason that of Him is begotten the Only Begotten, and from Him proceeds the Holy Spirit, of which it would be tedious to argue more elaborately; and I think that my work in fifteen books on the Trinity which God is, has already reached you. Very far removed, I say, from the senses of the flesh is this instruction wherein God is heard and teaches. We see that many come to the Son because we see that many believe in Christ, but when and how they have heard this from the Father, and have learned, we see not. It is true that that grace is exceedingly secret, but who doubts that it is grace?

This grace, therefore, which is hiddenly bestowed in human hearts by the Divine gift, is rejected by no hard heart, because it is given for the sake of first taking away the hardness of the heart. When, therefore, the Father is heard within, and teaches, so that a man comes to the Son, He takes away the heart of stone and gives a heart of flesh, as in the declaration of the prophet He has promised. Because He thus makes them children and vessels of mercy which He has prepared for glory.

~ On Predestination of the Saints (Book I), Chapter 13.


  1. I believe this would make for a better way to explain efficacious calling :)

    Call to Salvation. ” To call ” signifies to invite to the blessings of the gospel, to offer salvation through Christ.This calling is, we believe, general, extending to all mankind. There is likewise a calling by the Spirit that is not resisted and clearly described as an efficacious calling. The efficacious calling of God is tantamount to His sovereign choice. There are now two elect companies in the world – Israel and the church. Both alike appear in Scripture as called by God. Israel’s calling is national,whereas the calling of those who compose the church is individual. It is wholly within the bounds of the efficacious calling that believers are termed the called ones. They are thus distinguished from the general mass who though subject to a general call are not efficaciously called. The efficacious call is the work of God on behalf of each elect person under grace. They are referred to as ” those who are called according to His purpose ” ( Rom. 8:28 ) . The apostle goes on to declare that those whom God foreknew, He predestinated; those whom He predestinated, He also called; those whom He called, He justified; and those whom He justified, he glorified ( Rom. 8:29-30 ) . Calling, then, is that choice on the part of God of an individual through an efficacious working in his mind and heart by the Holy Spirit so that the will of the one who is called operates by its own determination in the exercise of saving faith.In this way two great necessities are provided; namely, only those are called whom God has predestinated to be justified and glorified and those who are thus called choose from their own hearts and minds to accept Christ as Savior. ( THE NEW UNGER’S BIBLE DICTIONARY, Dr. Merrill F. Unger, page 199 . )


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