Session 10 Calling Notes



Meaning: The term is based on the root kal meaning call or name. So the verb kalew is to call or summon; the noun klhsij is a calling or a call; the noun klhtoj is called or invited.


 Uses: 166 times in the New Testament.

Primarily “call” refers to the effectual call of God which brings men to salvation. It is a summons that delivers us to the destination. It cannot be finally resisted.

Calling is part of the chain of salvation events:

Romans 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. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

Calling and election go hand in hand:

2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;

Sharp’s Rule means that “the calling and election are one thought not two.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but (alla) God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,

1 Peter 2:9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

God calls his elect unto himself:

 1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

God actually unites us intimately with Christ. We can’t and don’t do this ourselves. Calling is a sovereign act of God alone.

Calling is always according to divine purpose and pattern:

 2 Timothy 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,

Notice that it might be dative of means (called us by means of a holy calling). Also, not patterned after our works but (alla) according to sovereign purpose and grace. And it is given (“granted”) as a gift.

Secondarily “call” refers to the call of God to service and specific tasks.

Galatians 1:15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles…

The strong language “set apart and called” are parallel aorist active participles that give us the order as follows: set apart/called followed by God being pleased to reveal the Son to Paul. And the purpose…so that (ina) he could preach!

Romans 1:1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,


 Calling is therefore a Christian term. It never refers to a universal or general call to salvation to all men that may be refused.

How should we handle the conclusion of the wedding banquet parable in Matthew 22:14, "For many are called, but few are chosen." (polloi. ga,r eivsin klhtoi,( ovli,goi de. evklektoi,)? (FYI – the “many are called, but few are chosen phrase in Mat 20:16 is not in the best texts (cf ESV, NAU). Some believe this hints at a general call (cf John Murray in Redemption Accomplished and Applied p 88).

 Don’t build doctrine on a parable (men did the calling not God). The key is the dialectic sense – calling = election in this verse. Thus, it a many-yet-few group; the contrast is between many and few, not between call and chosen.

No comments (Add your own)

Add a New Comment


Comment Guidelines: No HTML is allowed. Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Thanks.