The following loosely organizes many verses using at least one of three related words in the New Testament: “calling” (klēsis), “to call” (kaleō), and “called” (klētos). The calling in each of these verses involves God’s effectual call in which He brings the sinner to Himself for salvation.
When and How: God’s calling comes to a sinner at some point during the life that the Lord assigned him (1 Cor 7:17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24). Thanks to the grace of God and His Son (Gal 1:6, 15), God calls the sinner through His gospel (2 Thess 2:14) and enables him to see Christ as the power and wisdom of God in salvation (1 Cor 1:24).
From Eternity to Eternity: This call is predicated on God’s purpose of election (Rom 9:11) that the sinner would become a vessel of mercy, having been prepared beforehand for eternal glory (Rom 9:24). This call stems from God’s foreknowledge and predestination of the sinner in eternity past, leads to his justification (when he believes), and results in his conformity to the image of the Son and eventually his glorification (Rom 8:28–30). One so called is among the eternally beloved and kept by the Son to be God’s forever (Jude 1).
A Change of Spiritual Realm and Status: God calls the sinner out of spiritual darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Pet 2:9). He is called to God’s own glory and excellence (2 Pet 1:3). He becomes a saint (Rom 1:7), together with all those who in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:2). He thus enjoys the fellowship of His Son (1 Cor 1:9) and belongs to Him (Rom 1:6).
A Spiritual Transformation: Now a Christian, he enjoys freedom from sin (Gal 5:13) and lives in obedience to the truth (Gal 5:7–8). He is called in holiness (1 Thess 4:7), to a holy calling (2 Tim 1:9), and thus to be holy, as God is holy (1 Pet 1:15). This calling knows the peace of Christ among the saints (Col 3:15), and among one’s enemies, to suffer (1 Pet 2:21) and yet bless those who revile him (1 Pet 3:9). In every way, the Christian must walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which he has been called (Eph 4:1), a manner worthy of Him who calls him into His own kingdom and glory (1 Thess 2:12), and as he does, he will never fall but one day enter the eternal kingdom of Christ (2 Pet 1:10).
A Future of Blessing with God: All who are called to eternal life (1 Tim 6:12) will join Christ at His return when He conquers all (Rev 17:14). Then, every Christian will fully know God’s eternal glory in His Son Jesus Christ (2 Thess 2:14; 1 Pet 5:10). God will bless them (1 Pet 3:9) and give them their eternal inheritance (Heb 9:15). Their hope now realized (Eph 4:4), they see that God truly worked all things together for their good (Rom 8:28). They will look back at the faithfulness of God as they enjoy perfect sanctification and blamelessness forever (1 Thess 5:23–24).For more articles by Pastor Huffstutler, go to davidhuffstutler.com