Q&A Forum: Our Calling

Over the years, we’ve heard brethren use the expression “the Christian’s highest calling.” While the apostle Paul speaks of his “high calling” in Philippians 3:14, and on a number of occasions our “calling” is spoken of in the NT, is it right for us to speak of the Christian’s highest calling? If so, what is it?

I am not familiar with this expression, so I am tentatively assuming that it is equivalent to the adage I am familiar with: “worship before service.” If so, it expresses the idea that worship of God is the greatest privilege and responsibility in our lives as Christians. In reality, even our concept of worship may be far too restricted. In its broadest sense, it is to give God priority, to acknowledge Him as supreme, and having precedence over every other person, responsibility, and loyalty. The examples of Abraham and Job reveal that our deepest worship may be expressed in times of greatest personal trial and loss, when our faith and love toward God are tested supremely.

A survey of verses in which “called” or “calling” occurs reveals a similar idea: God has “called you unto His kingdom and glory” (1Thes 2:12, KJV); “But the God of all grace, Who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus” (1Peter 5:10, KJV). Similarly, Romans 8:28-30 emphasizes that our calling is according to His divine purpose that we should be “conformed to the image of His Son.” These astounding Scriptures declare that God has called us to be like His Son, with His Son, sharing in the perfection, beauty, dignity, and splendour of His presence, and to reign with Christ over an eternal, unfading kingdom. As part of the bride of Christ, and members of His body, we will be the most personal expression of God’s nature and glory for the ages to come (Eph 3:21). No wonder the apostle Paul pleads with us to “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Eph 4:1, KJV). This is directly followed by exhortations to meekness, lowliness, forbearing one another in love, diligently pursuing peace within our relationships in the body of Christ. We have been “called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (1Cor 1:9, KJV), and “unto holiness” (1Thes 4:7). Our greatest responsibilities flow from this marvellous and gracious calling into association with Himself, His own character, and His purposes. In the present, each of us has been called to serve Him according to His will and fitting, to fulfil His works today and for the ages to come. So, the logical outcome would be that our “highest calling” is to glorify Him in all aspects of our thoughts, motives, behaviour, and service.  This is what we are being fitted for according to His divine purpose; this underlies the profound reality that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28, KJV).