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The Call

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Ephesians 4:1

Introduction:  Have you been called by God?  Paul used the term “call” in 55 verses of his letters, mostly Romans and 1 Corinthians.  We will try to clarify and discuss the concept with this lesson.

I. Walk worthy

     A. Phil 1:27, “worthy of the gospel of Christ”; Col 1:10, “to lead a life worthy of the Lord”; and the reference closest to our verse in its wording, 1 Thess 2:12, “to lead a life worthy of the God who calls”[1]

     B. ἀξίως: pertaining to having a relatively high degree of comparable merit or worth; worthy, comparable, of comparable value, worthily.[2] Pertaining to being fitting or proper in corresponding to what should be expected; proper, properly, fitting, worthy of, correspond to.2

          *Romans 16:2; Ephesians 4:1; Philippians 1:27; Colossians 1:10;

1 Thessalonians 2:12; 3 John 6*

II. The calling

     A. The sovereign, saving calling of God [3]

     B. Inherent in the idea of the call: God’s initiative in bringing humanity to the goal for which he intended it. … The use of the language of calling in the context of his ethical appeal indicates that for this writer God’s sovereign initiative and human responsibility for living appropriately go hand in hand 1

     C. κλῆσις:  to urgently invite someone to accept responsibilities for a particular task, implying a new relationship to the one who does the calling; to call, to call to a task; the state of having been called to a particular task and/or relation; calling; the station in life or social role which one has; station, role.2

     D. Sometimes God calls us (Romans 11:29); sometimes we call on God (Romans 10:13).

     E. God’s gracious initiative requires a continuous human response

     F. His call bestows both high privilege (Ephesians 1-3) and high responsibility (Ephesians 4-6).1 (I added the verses)

III. Lessons

     A. We have been called by God to salvation in the same way God calls all humanity

     B. When God calls, it is our choice to respond

     C. God continues to call us to a certain standard of behavior

     D. Some denominations use the term:

          1. “Called” to preach

          2. “Called” to a church

          3. “Called” to a certain program

          4. I’m somewhat uncomfortable with these terms; I don’t find the concept in Scripture.

Conclusion:  God has called us to live like He wants us to.  We will discuss that lifestyle beginning next week.  


[1]Lincoln, A. T. (2002). Vol. 42: Word Biblical Commentary : Ephesians. Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[2]Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996, c1989). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament. New York: United Bible societies.

[3]MacArthur, J. (1996, c1986). Ephesians. Chicago: Moody Press.

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