The inward call versus the outward call. Many today distinguish these as two different types of Godly or heavenly ‘callings’. Dividing the spiritual callings found in scripture between an ‘inward call’ and an ‘outward call’ is perpetuated at least in part by teachings credited to John Calvin.
“Calvinism”, or more currently labeled Reformed or Reformed Protestantism, is a Christian theology framework that stands on five points understood by the mnemonic TULIP. The idea of an “inward call” comes into play under the doctrine of irresistible grace. Specifically, the “inward call” is distinguished as the call from God that can’t be refused. This is due, at least in part, to being infused with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. After all, who could refuse the Holy Spirit?
Thus, the “inward call” is distinguished from the “outward call” –the “gospel call”– that goes to everyone and can be refused. All of this is further described in our T-U-L-I-P detail, but what does Scripture show us about an “inward call” of God?
How Scripture answers "Is there an inward call of God?"
Nowhere does Scripture speak of an explicit “inward call” (vs an “outward call”). More accurately, we see Scripture speak of one, higher14, holy18 call1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,15,16,17 discussed at different times by inspired writers in terms that effect the individual inwardly1,3,5,7,8,11,12,15,16,17,18 and/or outwardly2,4,5,6,9,10,12,13,14,16.
By allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture we see that one may respond to the gospel call2,4,5,6,9,16,18. Those that respond with belief and obedience5,9,10,12,13 (and not just in one moment in time7,8,14,15,18) are given God’s Holy Spirit as a dwelling3,8,9,11 and are subsequently encouraged to remain true to their calling1,3,4,6,7,8,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18 until death. All of this together is how we see “calling on the name of the Lord” defined in Scripture.
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2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 points to the means of calling – the gospel.
Got it; a good one! It’s nice when a suggested passage is already in the database and resuable! We’ve got about 500 like that so far. Thanks for the add.