WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT GOD’S GRACE AND CALL?

“Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4:16

Seeing God’s grace (gift) and call through His work in salvation will overwhelm you with His great love.  Wayne Grudem explains that grace is “God’s goodness towards those who deserve who deserve only punishment.”  In salvation, it is important to understand “irresistible grace” which Grudem explains is “A term that refers to the fact that God effectively calls people and also gives them regeneration, both of which guarantee that we will respond in saving faith.  This term is subject to misunderstanding since it seems to imply that people do not make a voluntary, willing choice in responding to the gospel.” Have you read “What Does the Bible Say about Salvation?” yet?  It’s a great place to start on this important issue!

Bible Verses on God’s Grace and Call

(Ephesians 1:4) even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

(John 6:37-39) All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. [38 ] For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. [39 ] And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 

(Titus 3:5) he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit

(Colossians 2:13)  And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses

(Ephesians 2:1-10) And you were dead in the trespasses and sins [2 ] in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— [3 ] among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. [4 ] But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, [5 ] even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— [6 ] and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, [7 ] so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. [8 ] For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, [9 ] not a result of works, so that no one may boast. [10 ] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

(John 1:12-13) But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, [13 ] who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 

(Colossians 1:13-14) He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, [14 ] in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

(Acts 13:48) And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. 

(Romans 8:29-30) For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. [30 ] And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

(2 Corinthians 4:3-6) And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. [4 ] In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. [5 ] For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. [6 ] For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

(Acts 16:14) One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.

(John 6:44a) No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.

(1 Corinthians 1:26-31) For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. [27 ] But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; [28 ] God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, [29 ] so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. [30 ] And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, [31 ] so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

(John 10:26-28) but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. [27 ] My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. [28 ] I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

(Isaiah 64:7) No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and made us waste away because of our sins.

(Galatians 1:15) But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace

(John 8:36) So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

(Romans 9:6-23) But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, [7 ] and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” [8 ] This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. [9 ] For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” [10 ] And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, [11 ] though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— [12 ] she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” [13 ] As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”   [14 ] What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! [15 ] For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” [16 ] So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. [17 ] For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” [18 ] So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.  [19 ] You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” [20 ] But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” [21 ] Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? [22 ] What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, [23 ] in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory.

Helpful Terms and Quotes on Salvation

"Salvation is from our side a choice; from the divine side it is a seizing upon, an apprehending, a conquest by the Most High God. Our accepting and willing are reactions rather than actions." - A.W. Tozer

"Since no man is excluded from calling upon God the gate of salvation is open to all. There is nothing else to hinder us from entering, but our own unbelief." – John Calvin

"Is it not wonderful news to believe that salvation lies outside ourselves?" – Martin Luther

“I am myself persuaded that the points of the Calvinist alone is right upon some points, and the Arminian alone is right upon others. There is a great deal of truth in the positive side of both systems, and a great deal of error in the negative side of both systems. If I were asked, ‘Why is a man damned?’ I should answer as an Arminian answers, ‘He destroys himself’. I should not dare to lay man’s ruin at the door of divine sovereignty.  On the other hand, if I were asked, ‘Why is a man saved?’ I could only give the Calvinist answer, ‘He is saved through the sovereign grace of God, and not at all of himself.’” – Charles Spurgeon

Essential Theological Terms

Here are some important, foundational theological terms, that are defined by Wayne Grudem in his book Systematic Theology. 

Adoption: An act of God whereby he makes us members of His family.”

Conversion: Our willing response to the gospel call, in which we sincerely repent of our sins and place our trust in Christ for salvation.”

Effective Calling: 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.” 

Election: An Act of God before creation in which He chooses some people to be saved, not on account of any foreseen merit in them, but only because of His sovereign good pleasure.”

“Free Will: (a) with respect to God: All things that God decided to will but had no necessity to will according to His nature. (b) with respect to man: The ability to make willing choices that have real effects (however, other people define this in other ways, including the ability to make choices that are not determined by God).”

Foreknowledge: Relating to the doctrine of election, the personal, relational knowledge by which God thought of certain people in a saving relationship to Himself before creation.  This is to be distinguished from mere knowledge of facts about a person.”

Glorification: The final act in the application of redemption.  It will happen when Christ returns and raises from the dead the bodies of all believers for all time who have died, and reunites them with their souls, and changes the bodies of all believers who remain alive, thereby giving all believers at the same time perfect resurrection bodies like His own.”

“Grace: God’s goodness towards those who deserve who deserve only punishment.”

“Irresistible Grace: A term that refers to the fact that God effectively calls people and also gives them regeneration, both of which guarantee that we will respond in saving faith.  This term is subject to misunderstanding since it seems to imply that people do not make a voluntary, willing choice in responding to the gospel.”

Justification: An instantaneous legal act of God in which He (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in His sight.”

“Limited Grace or Particular Redemption: The Reformed view that Christ’s death actually paid for the sins of those whom he knew would ultimately be saved.  A preferable term for this view is ‘particular redemption’ in that the power of the atonement is not limited, but rather it is fully effective for particular people.”

“Mercy: God’s goodness towards those in misery and distress.”

“Penal Substitution: The view that Christ in his death bore the just penalty of God for our sins as a substitute for us.”

“Propitiation: A sacrifice that bear’s God’s wrath to the end and in so doing changes God’s wrath

“Reconciliation: The removal of enmity and the restoration of fellowship between two parties.”

“Redemption: Christ’s saving work viewed as an act of ‘buying back’ sinners out of their bondage to sin and to Satan through the payment of a ransom (though the analogy should not be pressed to specify anyone to whom a ransom was paid).”

Regeneration: A secret act of God in which He imparts new spiritual life to us, sometimes called ‘being born again.’”

Sanctification: A progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and more like Christ in our actual lives.”

Saving Faith: Trust in Jesus Christ as a living person for forgiveness of sins and for eternal life with God.”

Sovereignty: God’s exercise of power over all of His creation.”

“Union with Christ: A phrase that summarizes several different relationships between believers and Christ, through which Christians receive every benefit of salvation.  These relationships include the fact that we are in Christ, Christ is in us, we are like Christ, and we are with Christ.”

Here are some of our TrustworthyWord resources on God’s Salvation!


Downloadable Content: