Wednesday, March 15

Called According to Paul: All the Rest

An explanation of this series of posts can be found here. You'll find the previous twelve posts in the series listed under Current Series in the sidebar.

We have only three more examples of Paul using the word called in regards to the call of God, and the plan is to look at all three in this post. First up is Colossians 3:15:
Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body to this peace), and be thankful. (NET)
The call to the Colossian Christians was a call to peace. We've seen this idea before in Paul's usage of the word call: the call that believers received was an appointment to a certain kind of life--a life of holiness, peace, fellowship with the Son, etc.

The Colossian believers were called "as one body". I'm going to take this as referring to the way they were called rather than referring to what they were called to. They were called together as a group (See chapter 1.), and came to faith as a group, and that they were called as "one body" was reason for them to not be factious, but to continue as a unified, peaceful body.

The next usage of called by Paul is in 1 Thessalonians 4:7:
For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. (NET)
This is another of the "called to" uses. Those who are called are called to live holy lives. We can compare this to verse 3 of the same chapter, which says that "this is God's will: that you become holy". A calling from God is an appointment to sanctification.

The very last verse to look at is 1 Timothy 6:12:
Compete well for the faith and lay hold of that eternal life you were called for and made your good confession for in the presence of many witnesses. (NET)
In this case, it's eternal life the calling is an appointment to, and that appointment serves as incentive to "compete well for the faith."

We've now looked at every time Paul uses the word call in regards to God's call. I'll follow up with one last post that summarizes everything we've gleaned about the way Paul uses that word when he talks of God's call so we can compare that with the quote from Herman Ridderbos that started this whole series rolling. That's the plan, anyway.

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