THE CALLINGS OF GOD
Anita Clark – PastorGrace Chapel, Carbondale, Kansas
Throughout the Old and New Testament, we see God calling individuals to do His work on the earth. In the Old Testament it is recorded that God called Abraham, Moses Joshua, Isaiah, Jeremiah and many others to come to Him and obey and serve Him. In the New Testament God called John, the Baptist (or baptizer), Paul, the Apostle, the twelve Disciples, and He is still calling people to serve Him in various ways as part of His Body, the Church in these days. The scripture in Romans 11:29 states, “For the gifts and callings of God are without repentance.”
The phrase “without repentance” speak to us in (the amplified version) “For the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable. for He does not withdraw what He has given, nor does He change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.” This verse speaks in the New Testament of all of the ones God chose: Jesus, the Messiah, John, the Baptist (or baptizer), Paul, the Apostle to the Church Age, the twelve disciples. The calling of God did not change.
In I Corinthians 12:12-14, Apostle Paul speaks about the body of Christ. Verse 12 tells us, “All the members of that one body, being many are one body, so also is Christ (or Christ’s body- the church).” This Scripture says, it does not hinder God’s work whether we are Jew or Gentile. This portion of the Word gives what God says about the individuals of the Body (or Church). Those who are born again and are the “called according to His purpose.” Verses 17-20 tells us that each member of the body of Christ (made up of each believer in Christ) has been placed by God “as it pleases Him” – Vs. 21-27. Verse 28 states, “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, second prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” Verse 27 tells us “Now we are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” The word “particular” means in the Gk. “Each part severally and distinct, each with his own place and function.”
In the verse in Romans 11:29, Paul spoke of the “...the gifts and callings of God.” The word “gifts” means “the endowment, religious qualification or miraculous faculty.” The Holy Spirit gives gifts to the believers, and He does not make a mistake in His giving it or in His choice of whom He calls. There was a call to Israel about their Messiah Jesus Christ. They as a whole rejected Him, but some accepted Him, so, He turned to the Gentiles. And the message of salvation is for anyone who will accept Jesus as their Savior.
The call to salvation is still going on today. I Corinthians 1:26-27 says, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. But God hath chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And the base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are.” There was a call to Israel during the time Jesus was here on the earth. John 1:10-11 says, “He (Jesus) was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believed on His name.” They as a whole rejected Him, but some accepted, such as the disciples, and Paul the Apostle.
The call to salvation is still going on today. So, You believers in Christ are the “Called” and the “Chosen.” Hebrews 3:1 says, “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.” Note that Apostle Paul said, “partakers” which means in the Greek, “sharers or participants” of the heavenly calling.
Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 4:1, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called.” The word “vocation” means “the calling.” God calls us to follow Him and give Him our all. II Timothy 1:9 tells us another precious thing speaking of God, - “Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His Own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” We are all called to be saved from our sins and to follow God, but there are particular callings God has for each of us. Romans 12:4-8. Verse 6 through 8 especially show many different callings or ministries, as it says in verse 6, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us... “ Apostle Paul said about his calling of God, “I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision.” In I Timothy 1:6, He speaks to Timothy about his divine calling, “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.”
It is very important for the believer in Christ to listen to the voice of God, as He calls us to enter into a work that He is calling for us to do. In I Timothy 4:14, Paul admonished Timothy, “Neglect not the gift that is in thee: which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things. Give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.”
One more important portion of Paul’s writing is Philippians 3: 7-15 where he speaks of the race of the believers of this age. In verse 14 he writes, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” This “high calling” is our being called by the Holy Spirit to fully yield to God, by dedicating our bodies as living sacrifices to God, totally for His use. This the highest calling of all! It is the divine call to be yielded and watching and waiting for the coming of our precious Lord Jesus Christ. Those who are ready to this “high calling” will rule and reign with Christ one of these days very soon. The trumpet will sound and the “...dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds. To meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (I Thess. 4:13-18.) Be ready! It will not be long.