Mr. W. E. Vines, in his “Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words,” tells us that a Divine Calling is when God “calls” (i.e. invites or summons) a sinner “to partake of the blessings of redemption.” In other words, God calls us to enjoy all the blessings of the salvation that He has provided through His only begotten Son and His finished work of redemption on the cross.

When Jesus was here He often invited sinners to come to Him for salvation. A well-known example is found in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (NASB). In John 10:9 He said, “I am the door. If anyone enters through Me, he will be saved.” One of my favorite passages is John 5:24-25, “Truly, truly, I say to you , HE WHO HEARS MY WORD, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life….Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will HEAR THE VOICE OF THE SON OF GOD, and THOSE WHO HEAR WILL LIVE.” These words are very simple, are they not? Jesus is CALLING sinners to Himself to be saved, but you must “hear the voice of the Son of God”; that is, you must truly believe the He is speaking to you in the Word of God and believe the good news of salvation. Sadly, most people DO NOT hear His voice and believe the gospel. This is borne out in verse 40, “and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.”

The truth is, God must draw the sinner to Christ or no one will come. In John 6:44 Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” God the Father saw that no one would come so He chose some to salvation and then He works in one’s heart to make them see their need of a Savior and brings them to faith in Christ. He does this through the work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. We see this clearly in 2nd Thessalonians 2:13-14, “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. It was for this He CALLED YOU THROUGH OUR GOSPEL, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Notice, when one is chosen to salvation and then drawn by the Spirit and the Word, it is a “Divine Calling.” We saw earlier that Jesus calls all men to salvation and that all refuse to come to Him, but here is an EFFECTUAL CALLING where God, by His sovereign grace, draws the sinner. He CALLS THEM THROUGH THE GOSPEL. I would encourage you to read 1st Corinthians 1:18-31 to read more of this DIVINE CALLING that is ALL OF GOD and NOT OF MAN.

We saw at the beginning that God’s purpose in calling the sinner is “to partake of the blessings of redemption.” One of the greatest blessings of all is found in Romans 8:28-29, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him, to THOSE WHO ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE. For those whom He foreknew, He also PREDESTINED TO BECOME CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON.” God called us for the grand purpose of “conforming us to the image of His Son!” Think of it, we were once lost, guilty, hell-bound sinners who rebelled against God and yet the day is coming when we shall be fully and completely like our Savior, the Lord Jesus. This does NOT mean we’ll partake of His Deity; it means that we shall be like Him physically (with a GLORIFIED BODY) and morally (perfectly SINLESS). This truth is borne out in Philippians 3:20-21 and 1st John 3:2, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will TRANSFORM THE BODY OF OUR HUMBLE STATE INTO CONFORMITY WITH THE BODY OF HIS GLORY….Beloved, now are we the children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, WE WILL BE LIKE HIM, because we will see Him as He is.”

What a blessed Hope is ours, dear fellow-believer! Until that blessed day arrives, we have the privilege (even now!) of taking on His moral likeness. We see this in 2nd Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being TRANSFORMED INTO THE SAME IMAGE from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” As we study the scriptures that speak of Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to present Him to us, we will indeed become more like Him. Granted, it is a slow and incomplete process (in contrast to the instantaneous transformation that will take place when we see our Savior “face to face”), but it is still a blessing we have now by God’s Divine Call. There are many other blessings that God has purposed for us (see Ephesians 1:3), but this is the greatest of all.  (357.5)  (DO)