We All Have Callings

We All Have Callings May 2, 2018

Texts, NRSV: Ephesians 4.11-12, 1, 4

We’re going to look at the second part of what we discussed last week (FAQs About the Calling), in the beginning of Ephesians 4.  Ephesians 4 is one of those chapters that a lot of people skip over.  They see words like calling and minister, and they think it’s only for a certain group of people.

But Ephesians 4 is really like roller skating in elementary school and junior high.  When I went roller skating at this age, it was usually on Christian Night, and there weren’t a lot of girls to skate with when it came to the Couple’s Skate.  We have a lot of guys wearing Man Buns these days, but back then all the girls were wearing Pentecostal Buns, and I really wasn’t attracted to that.  So I didn’t Couple’s Skate.  But after Couple’s Skate, the DJ would say, “This is an All-Skate.  Everybody skate.  This is an All-Skate.”

That’s what Ephesians 4 is.  There’s only a little bit that deals with the minister, and then there’s a hook right afterwards that says the minister can’t do ministry without empowering the saints to do ministry (Ephesians 4.11-12).

At the beginning of the chapter, Paul is talking about calling.  Again, the word calling is something we apply to ministers.  Paul uses it in a unique way, speaking of all of us, as our God-given vocation.  Paul has all of us in mind when he’s speaking about our callings.

VIDEO: We All Have Callings

Paul is not just speaking to ministers.  He’s speaking to everyone.  Here’s a central thought:

We all have callings.  We just need to remember the call in our every-day.

The term for call is referred to a couple times in Ephesians 4.1

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called,

First of all, Paul says I “beg,” or “beseech” (KJV).  The word is similar to the word for the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is called to our side.  This word means to call you to my side, parakaleo, to call to one’s side.

Paul is not speaking to us from 2,000 years ago, reaching out and calling to us, as he might be to certain leaders in the New Testament Church.  So could it be that the Holy Spirit Himself is actively reaching out to us, begging us, calling us?  It’s actually the Spirit who is always calling us.  The question is, are we listening?

Secondly, “you have been called.”  The word kaleo, to be called, is a shortened form of the verb.  In this particular case, it means we are the ones being called.  It’s more passive.  We are the receivers.  We are the ones who yield to the calling.  There is no real beginning or end to this particular type of verb in the Greek.  It’s just there.

It’s as if God is always there, He’s always called you, and you’re just tuning in with your radar to His signals which have always been firing.  We are receiving something that has been spoken forth from all eternity.

It’s as if God’s hope and dreams.  It’s as if His callings speak to us through time.  He whispers to us endlessly.  I believe He does that to every man and woman He’s ever created.  It is our choice be receivers or not.

That’s what Paul is saying here with this language.  I’m calling you and you must be called.  You must receive it.

This is the same term in Ephesians 4.4

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling,

“You were called,” is basically the same term,  but verse 4 ends with another phrase.  It says “your calling.”  Calling is different.  It’s a noun.  It basically means a divine invitation.  Something has happened.

God has called you and it is a calling.  The calling has passed the point of verb.  It has passed the point of the giving verb, or the responding verb.  The verb is now a noun.  It is solid.  It is something that is here.  It is tangible.

You have got to the place in your life where you have internalized the Holy Spirit’s divine invitation.  You no longer question whether or not you can put your hand to the plow and work for the Lord in the fields.  You have internalized it and you know that every good work that you put your hand to do is of God.

You have internalized the invitation.

You have taken the call and you have made it your own.

We All Have Callings

We all have callings!  We all have callings! Are we listening to the Holy Spirit?  God is always calling.  We can always hear and receive the call.  But at some point, the calling must become real.  The calling must become accepted.  The calling must become more than a verb.  It has to become a noun, something etched on the heart of our souls. 

We all have callings.  We just need to remember the call in our every-day.


* adapted from JVI, Walk Worthy of the Call, 07.23.17


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