The High Calling of God in Christ
By Fred O. Blakely
It appears that we are living in the last days of the present world. Thus, people should especially be duly responsive to God, and busy themselves with doing His will. But, as regards the majority of them, that, clearly, is not so. People have been drawn closer to this world and life than to God and the eternity that confronts them. Blinded by Satan, the god of this world, they, thus, are being robbed by him of the fullness of their due portion in Christ.
The Church’s Function. Clearly, the function of the church is to proclaim that situation, and call people from undue devotion to this life to the principal emphasis on eternity that the holy Scriptures demand of them. Those who will truly serve both God and men will take due note of that situation, and adapt their emphasis to it. It will be recalled that Jesus declared of His disciples, “Ye are the salt of the earth” (Mt. 5:13-16). He warned, however, of the hazard of the salt’s loss of its savor. In that event, “it is good for nothing but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”
In view of that declaration, those in earnest by their claim of discipleship ought to be unfailingly zealous in their devotion to the Father and the Son. The fact that, being in this world, we are in the enemy’s territory is not a legitimate excuse for the neglect of our full responsibility in Christ. That is because, as He said, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (I Jn. 4:4). Praise God for that blessed situation! Let us make the most of it, to the praise of God’s glory, as He expects us to do.
The power to overcome the evil world, and win the crown of eternal life in Heaven is available to all people. It is to be had, of course, in Jesus Christ, the Lord of Heaven and earth, to whom all authority and power have been given by the holy Father. Thus, the Apostle Paul’s God-glorifying declaration, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13). That declaration impliedly postulates virtual omnipotence for the individual, when it comes to him or her doing the will of God. We need to implicitly rely on that potential, and go forth in confidence and in power to serve our God and His Christ.
Thus, “known unto God are all His works from the foundation of the world (Acts 15:18). He conducts no uncertain experiments, to thrown the Divine calendar off schedule. It is written, the holy Father “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:11). That situation gives divine stability to the redemptive objective, and should impart confidence and good hope to those who are involved in that objective.
The Summons to Single-Hearted Devotion to Christ. Those who have received Christ are to glory in the gospel. Having turned from the distracting and corrupting influences of the world, they are to earnestly and single-heartedly “seek those things which are above,” as the Apostle says (Col. 3:1-4). That is where the Lord Jesus, their Portion, is; and thither their minds and hearts should be turned. It is only by this procedure that the saints can overcome the world and receive the glorious and eternal inheritance that the Savior has for them. So they are told by the Spirit to “set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” that is because they “are dead,” and their life “is hid with Christ in God.” They shall be duly rewarded for such action, when the Lord Jesus comes back to earth and they “shall appear with Him in glory.”
Those who have initially put on Christ are to continue to obey Him. It is by following on in our discipleship of the Lord that we please Him and the Father, and so glorify Them. At no point are we to relax our devotion to and service of Them. That is the basic truth of which many churchmen of today need to be aware, and to which they need to diligently conform their hearts and lives.
Concerning the great salvation with which the blessed Jesus has invested us, the Apostle Paul had this to say: “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (II Tim. 1:9-10).
The antiquity of that salvation, to us, is heartening, indeed. It was given us in Christ “before the world began.” So has Christ obtained “eternal redemption” for us, and an eternal inheritance “that fadeth not away” (Heb. 9:12). Let us be duly aware of that divine blessing and glorify the Father and the Son for it.