Doctrine of Calling

January 15, 2011

Doctrine of The Believer’s Calling
I.    Introduction & Definition
A.    English terms
1.    Call (v): to command or request to come or be present.  to summon to a particular activity, employment, or office.
2.    Calling (n): a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence.  the vocation or profession in which one customarily engages.
B.    Greek terms
1.    καλέω #2564: to call, to call aloud, to name.  Used 148x in the NT.
2.    κλῆσις #2821: a calling, invitation.  Used 11x in the NT (Rom. 11:29; 1st Cor. 1:26; 7:20; Eph. 1:18; 4:1,4; Phil. 3:14; 2nd Thess. 1:11; 2nd Tim. 1:9; Heb. 3:1; 2nd Pet. 1:10).
3.    κλητός #2822: called, invited, divinely selected and appointed.  Used 10x in the NT (Matt. 22:14; Rom. 1:1,6,7; 8:28; 1st Cor. 1:1,2,24; Jude 1; Rev. 17:14).
4.    ἐπικαλέω #1941: to call, call upon, invoke.  Used 30x in the NT (Acts 2:21; 7:59; 9:14,21; 22:16; (25:11,12,21,25; 26:32; 28:19 all for Paul’s appeal to Caesar); Rom. 10:12,13,14; 1st Cor. 1:2; 2nd Tim. 2:22; 1st Pet. 1:17).
5.    προσκαλέω #4341: to call to, to call to one’s self.  Used 29x in the NT (Acts 2:39; 13:2; 16:10).
6.    ἐκκλησία #1577: a called body, congregation, assembly.  Used 114x in the NT.
C.    God’s calling is an invitation which must be volitionally responded to (Jn. 2:2; Lk. 7:39; 14:7,8,9,10,12,13,16,17,24).
II.    Development & Application: God’s calling of believers.
A.    Our salvation experience is a calling from God (Matt. 9:13; Mk. 2:17; Lk. 5:32; Rom. 8:30; Heb. 9:15).
1.    This salvation calling establishes us as called saints (Rom. 1:6&7; 1st Cor. 1:2; Jude 1).
2.    The salvation calling is for Jew & Gentile—one body in Christ (Rom. 9:24; 1st Cor. 1:24).
3.    We need to consider our calling, and continuously appreciate the gracious manner by which we were called (1st Cor. 1:26).
4.    The believer’s life is a life of hope because of our calling (Eph. 1:18; 4:4).
5.    The believer’s walk ought to be worthy of our calling (Eph. 4:1; 2nd Thess. 1:11).
B.    Our salvation calling is associated with election (Matt. 22:14; 2nd Pet. 1:10; Rev. 17:14).
C.    The sphere, nature, and purpose of our salvation calling.
1.    God calls us to Himself (Acts 2:39), into His own kingdom and glory (1st Thess. 2:12).
2.    We are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).
3.    We are called into fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ (1st Cor. 1:9).
4.    We are called to peace (1st Cor. 7:15; Col. 3:15).
5.    We are called by grace (Gal. 1:6), and through grace (Gal. 1:15).
6.    We are called to freedom (Gal. 5:13).
7.    Our call is an upward call (Phil. 3:14), that we may gain the glory of Christ (2nd Thess. 2:14).
8.    Our call is into a sphere of sanctification (1st Thess. 4:7).
9.    Our call is to a present possession of eternal life (1st Tim. 6:12).
10.    Our calling is a holy calling (2nd Tim. 1:9).
11.    Our calling is a heavenly calling (Heb. 3:1).
D.    Our spiritual gift and ministry is a calling from God.
1.    Spiritual callings often entail a departure from temporal work (Matt. 4:21; Mk. 1:20).
2.    Such gifts and callings are irrevocable (Rom. 11:29).  ἀμεταμέλητα #278: unregretted.
3.    Specific fields of ministry also become particular callings (Acts 13:2; 16:10).
4.    Spiritual calling into ministry is an honor and glory for God to sovereignly bestow (Heb. 5:4).
E.    Our temporal life circumstances and details are also callings from God.
1.    Racial status, socio-economic status, & marital status (1st Cor. 7:1727).
2.    Geographic will (Matt. 2:15; Heb. 11:8).
III.    Summary & Conclusion: Peter’s epistles highlight the aspects of our calling in Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III of the Christian Way of Life.
A.    Phase I (Salvation): We are called out of darkness into His marvelous light (1st Pet. 2:9).
B.    Phase II (The believer’s walk in time): Believers are called for the purpose of undeserved suffering (1st Pet. 2:21), resulting in blessing (3:9).
C.    Phase III (The believer’s position in eternity): Believers are called to His eternal glory in Christ; perfected, confirmed, strengthened, and established (1st Pet. 5:10).
D.    Every calling of God is by His own glory and excellence (2nd Pet. 1:3).