Monday, May 6, 2013

What is Meant by "Called" in Romans 8:30?

Primitive Baptists are often incorrectly conjoined with Calvinists.I am often asked to explain how we differ. In a recent discussion this key point of distinction came up. Consider the testimony of scripture:
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Romans 8:30)
I have heard this passage taught by Calvinists as an unbreakable, golden chain of events that happen for all of God's elect, and we as Primitive Baptists heartily agree. But this observation is accompanied by unavoidable logical ramifications. Consider the following questions:

Q: Do all of the events of Romans 8:30 happen for all of God's sheep? (predestination, calling, justification, glorification)

A: Yes. Undeniably so.  
Q: Does the explicit New Testament gospel (I Corinthians 15:3-4) reach all of God's sheep? 
A: No. The explicit New Testament gospel never reached Job, else he would not have asked, "HOW can a man be just with God?" (Job 9:2) Neither did the explicit New Testament gospel reach any of the Old Testament saints (Ephesians 3:5). Moreover, the gospel never reaches the infant dying in infancy, yet the bible's testimony is clear regarding saved infants. (II Sam 12:23, I Kgs 14:13, Jer 31:15-17)

Q: So if the "calling" of Romans 8:30 reaches all God's sheep, but the explicit New Testament gospel does NOT reach all God's sheep, can the explicit New Testament gospel be the "call" of Romans 8:30?

A: Clearly not.
Given the unavoidable force of that logic, we are left with the question - what is the "call" of Romans 8:30? It is none other than immediate, Holy Spirit regeneration (John 5:25). It is the life-giving fiat of God whereby he imparts the gift of eternal life to his children. God's gift of eternal life is in no more hampered by the distribution of the gospel message today than it was in the time of Seth, or Job, or any other Old Testament saint from Rahab to Jeroboam's infant son. God imparts the gift of eternal life to his children apart from any help or instrumentality on the part of the gospel minister whatsoever.

That's an eye-opener for most.

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