â€œWho 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.â€ (2 Timothy 1:9)
Our â€œcallingâ€ (GreekÂ klesis) to follow Christ was not a matter of human decision, and certainly not one based on human works, for it was issued in Christ before He had even created us. In some inscrutable way, we were a part of His eternal purpose, and it was altogether by His grace. We were â€œchosen . . . before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in loveâ€ (Ephesians 1:4).
Our calling is therefore a most â€œholyÂ calling,â€ that is, a sacred calling to be consecrated and separated unto God.
It is, moreover, a â€œheavenlyÂ calling,â€ one originated in heaven, by our heavenly Father, centered in His divine will and purpose. In the Fatherâ€™s sight, in Christ Jesus, we are nothing less than â€œholy brethren, partakers of the heavenly callingâ€ (Hebrews 3:1).
We should therefore be able to say with Paul: â€œI press toward the mark for the prize of theÂ highÂ calling of God in Christ Jesusâ€ (Philippians 3:14). TheÂ highÂ calling is not quite the same as theÂ holyÂ calling or theÂ heavenlyÂ calling, though all are components of one great whole.
The word translated â€œhighâ€ is only so translated this one time. It is the usual word for â€œupâ€ or â€œabove.â€ Thus the prize toward which we press is the â€œup calling.â€ It is the same word as inÂ 1 Thessalonians 4:17, where we are promised that one day all who are in Christ Jesus, dead or living, will be â€œcaught up together,â€ thereafter to â€œever be with the Lord.â€
HeÂ has calledÂ us before the world began, HeÂ is callingÂ us daily to a heavenly walk with the Lord, and HeÂ will callÂ us up to His eternal presence some day soon. HMM