To ‘call’ means to appoint someone to a special job or position. God has ‘called’ those people who have put their trust in him (Romans 8:30); in other words, he has appointed them to be his children (John 1:12; Romans 8:14). That is their ‘calling’, in other words, the special position that God has given them.
Anyone with an important job or position cannot simply behave as other people do. A king or ruler should always be noble and honourable. A judge should be responsible in everything that he does, not just in his legal judgements. So, clearly, there is a proper way for Christians, as God’s children, to behave. They should choose to behave as God, their Father in heaven, does (Matthew 5:43-48). They should be kind and patient. They must not be proud, but humble (4:2). They cannot simply choose to please themselves. Their ambition always should be to please God (2 Corinthians 5:9).
Paul reminds his readers that he writes this as a prisoner. He was suffering only because of his relationship with Christ. Paul’s decision to serve God had not given Paul an easy or a comfortable life. However, God gave Paul continuously the strength that Paul needed to serve God in that situation (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). God also gave great joy and hope to Paul, even during his worst troubles (Philippians 1:19-21).
Paul’s experiences give other Christians the confidence that God will support them through their present difficulties, too. In every situation, they can stand for God because nothing can ever separate them from Christ’s love for them (Romans 8:35-39).
Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 700+ page course book.
© 2018, Keith Simons.