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Partaking of the Calling

Here's how.

Our Heavenly Calling (2)

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus…
Hebrews 3.1

To understand and embrace
There is a heavenly calling, a summons from God in heaven to a life more in line with the priorities and purposes of heaven, a life oriented to heaven, and that ends in a heaven of rest in God, where sin and death can reach us no more.

To the secular men and women of our age, the idea of such a calling seems foolish. Trapped in an “under the sun” existence, they consider all such talk about heaven and a heavenly calling as a waste of time.

But for over two millennia multiplied millions have found this heavenly calling to be true and have devoted themselves to partaking of that calling as the driving force, organizing motif, and overarching objective of their lives. In the process those who have shared in this heavenly calling—“holy brethren”—have contributed more of beauty, goodness, and truth to the human experience than any other people who have ever lived.

There is, therefore, a heavenly calling, and it is possible to partake of this calling, so that the reality of it becomes real to us as well.

To share in the heavenly calling means to understand its priorities and promises and to embrace them as one’s own. It means becoming one of the holy brethren who consider Jesus as their Lord and High Priest. It means gaining a new hope and new aspirations, a new outlook on life, and new values, as well as a raft of new practices which enable us to show the reality of that heavenly calling to the watching world.

Beginning the heavenly calling
How does one begin to partake of this heavenly calling?

We cannot enter this calling unless we first hear God Himself summoning us to turn away from the life of sin, deceit, and wickedness, which offends His holiness and frustrates our desire for happiness. God speaks to us through His Word, the Bible, where, through prophets, apostles, and His own incarnate Son, He makes known to us His displeasure against those things that violate His tenets of love for God and neighbor, and He calls us to embrace His heavenly calling, so that our lives reflect more and more His eternal and glorious will.

Those who believe in Jesus are set apart from the world of their day as sons and daughters of the living God. They are holy brethren in the Lord, because of the holiness of Christ, by Whose holiness they are saved, and into Whose holiness they are being daily transformed.

The key to beginning to partake of this calling is, as our text says, to “consider Jesus.”

Jesus was sent by His Father to earth, the Word of God incarnate, to accomplish deliverance from sin for all who believe in Him (Heb. 1.1-3). It is in this sense that Jesus is our “Apostle.” We receive Him as sent by God, and we embrace the mission He came to accomplish by repenting of our sinful way of life and looking to Jesus to lead us in the way we should go, in the heavenly calling that is following Him. We become “holy brethren” in Him and by Him and for Him.

But we do not do this on our own. Jesus is not only our Apostle; He is also our High Priest, and this means He lives forever to intercede on our behalf, and to preserve us in our participation in the heavenly calling (Heb. 7.25). As our High Priest, Jesus is able to “save to the uttermost” all who look to Him in faith and take up the heavenly calling to which He summons us. That is, He brings us into ever fuller possession of the gift of eternal life, and increasingly works out in us His heavenly calling and great salvation (Heb. 2.1). He does this by giving us His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, teach and remind us, work out our salvation, and transform us increasingly into the very image of Jesus Christ Himself (Phil. 2.12, 13; 2 Cor. 3.12-18).

Believing in Jesus
Believing in Jesus thus establishes us in that heavenly calling. If we believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins, then we have begun to partake of the heavenly calling, and to bring our lives, as holy brethren, more into line with His.

If we have no sense of that heavenly calling, and little or no desire to partake of its promises, precepts, and commands, or to increase in the calling to holiness, then it’s likely we’ve never truly considered Jesus, or understood what He requires of all who wish to follow Him, or begun to partake of His heavenly calling. We must examine ourselves to make sure that what we believe about Jesus and what it means to follow Jesus line up with what God calls us to in our heavenly calling.

The calling to a life deriving from, in line with, and bound for the eternal glory and joy of heaven can be ours by considering Jesus, trusting in Him as Savior and Lord. If we confidently profess Him and make His hope our hope, we will partake of the heavenly calling in ways that become richer and fuller every day.

For reflection
1.  Why is Jesus the key to beginning to partake of the heavenly calling?

2.  Is it possible to believe in Jesus and not partake of the heavenly calling? Explain:

3.  Why is it reasonable to expect that those who believe in Jesus will begin to evidence a different way of life – a holy lifestyle – than those who do not believe in Him?

Next steps—Preparation: Do you have a sense of having partaken of that heavenly calling? How can you tell? How can you make sure that you are a partaker of the heavenly calling of God?

T. M. Moore

Two books can help you gain a better sense of what this heavenly calling entails. The first, What in Heaven Is Jesus Doing on Earth?, considers the work Jesus continues doing at the Father’s right hand. Order the book by clicking here or download the PDF here. The second book, The Landscape of Unseen Things, offers a detailed study of the teaching of Scripture on the unseen realm and why it matters for our heavenly calling. Order your copy of this workbook by clicking here.

Support for
ReVision comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

And please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe with your prayers and gifts. You can contribute online, via PayPal or Anedot, or by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 103 Reynolds Lane, West Grove, PA 19390.

Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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