Ephesians; 1:4 – The calling of the elect, part 3: Scriptures.
Thursday January 24, 2019
3g. The elect are called, beloved, and kept, Jud 1.
The general call to the world.
Joh 1:9 There was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
Mat 22:1And Jesus answered and spoke to them again in parables, saying,
Mat 22:2 "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king, who gave a wedding feast for his son.
Mat 22:3 "And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come.
Mat 22:11"But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw there a man not dressed in wedding clothes,
Mat 22:12 and he said to him,' Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?' And he was speechless.
Mat 22:13 "Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
Mat 22:14"For many are called [kletos], but few are chosen [eklektos]."
Kletos, called or invited, is the adjective and is used nine other times in the NT, each one referring to elected believers. Only here does it seem not to be used of the elect, but of the general invitation to all mankind.
Calling: verb kaleo (148 uses) – to label or name something or someone, to summons, to invite – almost always used in reference to believers.
Christ said that He came to call sinners and not the righteous. He used it in the parables of the laborers and the wedding feast as an invitation to participate in the kingdom of God. In the case of the parables, the call can be rejected.
In the epistles the “call” is synonymous with election. It is a call that was responded to.
In the epistles the believer is called and Israel was called through Jacob and not through Esau. In Romans the Gentiles are called into God’s glory. This call is mentioned only with those who have responded to it.
There are many passages. We can summarize them, or we can read them all, or we can do both.
Fellowship with His Son – 1Co 1:9.
Peace – 1Co 7:15.
Freedom – Gal 5:13.
1Co 1:9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Called to peace:
1Co 7:15 Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace.
1Co 7:16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?
1Co 7:17 Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk. And thus I direct in all the churches.
1Co 7:18 Was any man called already circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised.
1Co 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.
1Co 7:20 Let each man remain in that condition in which he was called.
1Co 7:21 Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that.
1Co 7:22 For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord's freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ's slave.
1Co 7:23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.
1Co 7:24 Brethren, let each man remain with God in that condition in which he was called.
You were called just the way you are. It’s not a worldly promotion or change such as would make a slave free or a Jew a Gentile or vice-versa.
Called to freedom:
Gal 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Walk worthy – Eph 4:1; 1Th 2:12.
In sanctification – 1Th 4:7.
Eternal life – 1Ti 6:12.
Promise of eternal inheritance – Heb 9:15.
Though many learned teachers would disagree with me, it does not seem to me that the distinction between two calls are as clear cut as is often believed, one to the world and another one to the portion of the world who will respond. The same conundrum arises if we say there is a call that people can’t say no to and that call was obviously only offered to the elect. The inference is that if God gave that call to all then all would believe, and in that, God is picking believers and unbelievers without their consent when He wills all men to be saved and come to a full-knowledge of the truth.
I find solace in that passage, and that passage, I think, above all others protects the mystery.
However, the mystery also remains due to the wonderful passage of Rom 8:28-30.
Rom 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Rom 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;
Rom 8:30 and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
The theory is that only the elect were called to fellowship, peace, freedom, etc., so there must be two calls, a general one and an effectual one, but if God wills all men to be saved, AND come to a full knowledge of the truth, then doesn’t God will all men to what a full knowledge of the truth produces, which are fellowship, peace, freedom, etc.? However, this is not clear cut either.
Called to walk worthy:
1Th 2:10 You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers;
1Th 2:11 just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children,
1Th 2:12 so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
Called in sanctification:
1Th 4:7 For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.
1Th 4:8 Consequently, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.