"For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life"- 1Th 4:7
Last week we talked aboutSanctification. And that's no surprise because in this letter Paul was driving at the general principle that God’s purpose for all Christians is not impurity but purity. It is a life set apart from sin unto holiness. The call of God is related to Sanctification and is often seen as the first step.
Scripture seems to indicate that God has an external call and an internal call for His people. The internal call, also called the "effectual call", is an act of God the Father, speaking through the human proclamation of the gospel, in which he summons people to himself in such a way that they respond in saving faith. The internal call of God has, but is not limited to, the following characteristics:
It is a calling by the Word, savingly applied by the operation of the Holy Spirit, 1Co 1:23,24; 1Pe 2:9.
it is a powerful calling, that is, a calling that is effectual unto salvation, Act 13:48; 1Co 1:23,24.
it is without repentance, that is, it is a call that is not subject to change and that is never withdrawn, Rom 11:29.
God's internal calling calls us to the great goal to which the Holy Spirit is leading the elect, and, consequently also to the intermediate stages on the way to this final destiny. It is a calling to the fellowship of Jesus Christ, 1Co 1:9; to inherit blessing, 1Pe 3:9; to liberty, Gal 5:13; to peace, 1Co 7:15; to holiness, 1Th 4:7; to one hope, Eph 4:4; to eternal life, 1Ti 6:12; and to God's kingdom and glory, 1Th 2:12.
Do you remember when God called you? How did you feel when you accept Christ? Did you feel a panicked tug to resist? Or was it like falling into bed after a hard day? Let us know! Love to hear about your thoughts on God's internal call.