The Common Calling of the Christian Vocation

The common Christian calling IN CHRIST as the common Christian Vocation has a magnitude that can blow our minds as compared to what is most commonly believed and practiced as a life style. Unfortunately for all of us that call ourselves believers or Christians “we carry our treasure in earthen vessels”, the earthen is far more evident than the treasure, and the earthen dominates our life style more than the treasure. This is not an effort to degrade all of us in the way we live and have lived the Christian life, since strongly we know according to the words of the Bible, that “we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” and continue to sin and come short of the glory of God.
Cooper Abram has written online a message on the Christian vocation: {http://bible-truth.org/Eph4-1-6.html}
“Introduction: One real problem I think we all would agree with is that often Christians do not act like Christians or as the name means….”Christ ones.” Researches devised this clever experiment which was published in 1973. They found that most seminary students on their way to an appointment walked right past a man slumped over and groaning in pain in a doorway. Some of the students were on their way to give a talk about the parable of the Good Samaritan. Clearly they did not understand the “vocation” they were pursuing.”
The thrust here is to be more positive as with other blogs on the Christian vocation, so the focus in this blog is to uncover from the Bible some of the positive magnitudes of challenge in the Christian calling called the Christian Vocation.
Short of a thorough reading and study of the truth more than Bible facts in Ephesians and I Peter, we can garner at least 3 Bible characteristics from one paragraph of Ephesians and 2 verses from I Peter that will be more than we will be able to handle in one lifetime. {Always recall that the perfection demanded by Christ is only fully attainable in life on the new Earth!)
I. The paragraph from Ephesians 4:1-6 that both molds “calling” with “vocation” and further describes 2 of the challenges, that of (1) “not thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to”, a common malady of natural pride of every human; and (2) the challenge of finding ways based on the 7 ONEs of common beliefs to “spare no effort to make fast with bonds of peace the unity which the spirit gives”.
” I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

II. Two separate verses from I Peter, 4:16 and 5:10 that utilize the words “Christian”, you know only used 3 times in the NT, and the word “calling”.

1. I Peter 4:16-19 (verses required to get more of the full context).

“Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.”

2. I Peter 5:10-11 (2 verses required to give God the full glory)

“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

Conclusion: That took a while to provide proper evidence, but here are the 3 challenges of the common calling of the Christian vocation.

1. Yes, the world never thinks or acts like this, but one major challenge of the Christian vocation, not thinking of oneself more highly than ought to be thought which is natural human nature, to walk a life style in LOWLINESS.

“…beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love…” (Ephesians 4:1,2)

2. Yes, you know the contradictions around you with differing claims from Christians, different denominations clamoring for recognition, and different religions in the world; well, the magnitude of the challenge of the Christian vocation is to life a life style above that, while clinging to the 7 ONE beliefs that are essential. spare no effort to get along with all Christians.

“Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:3-6)

3.  Christians and Suffering.

a.  It is not strange for Christians to suffer.
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.”  (I Peter 4:12-14)

b.  God uses suffering according to His will to perfect Christians in a Christian life style separate from the world like He did with Jesus {“God chose to make the captain of our salvation perfect through suffering”}, of course the complete perfection will (1) begin to show up in heaven when we get there and “shall be like {Jesus} for we shall see Him as He is; and (2) fully completed on the new earth when all Christians are “perfected together”.  The perfection process called sanctification is both inward with the divine nature inside, and must be worked outward.  “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling”.

            (1).  “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”  (Hebrews 12:1)

           (2).  “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”  (James 1:2-5)

No one said that the Christian vocation was to be easy!

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