We’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in the 17th Century. Last week we started looking at what it means to be effectually called by God. We saw that God calls us by his grace, love, Spirit, word and power. But what happens when someone is called?
If you are effectually called by God then he savingly enlightens your mind. Many passages speak about God opening our minds, for example Paul tells the Corinthian church ‘However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”-but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ’ (1 Corinthians 2:9-16). When God calls you, he gives you his Holy Spirit so that your mind is enlightened about spiritual truths.
Again, Paul speaks about the need for enlightening in his second letter to the Corinthian church: ‘And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ’ (2 Corinthian 4:3-6).
So the Scriptures are clear, when the Lord calls us to belong to his church, he enlightens our minds. And as we saw last week, he does this enlightening work by his grace, love, Spirit, word and power. Paul even spoke at his trial about how Jesus told him that he would use Paul to bring such light to those in darkness: ‘I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me’ (Acts 26:17-18).
Have you been effectually called by God? Has your mind been enlightened with spiritual truths? If not, turn to God today and beg for his Spirit to enlighten your mind.