Have you been called to be a Christian? Are you one of the Chosen, Elected, Saints or one of the Faithful? If you don’t know, this post is for you.
One of the largest groups to which many of us belong is that of Christian. There are more than 2.5 billion Christians in the world. Yet when we look through the Bible, we find mention of the Called, the Chosen, the Elected, the Saints and the Faithful. Who exactly are these people and how do they fit into overall Christianity? Some groups duplicate each other, while others line up in a spiritual progression.
Who are the Called?
In the Greek language of the New Testament, the word for “called” is kletos. It is related to the noun klesis, which means “a calling” and is used “especially to God’s invitation to people to accept the benefits of salvation” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, “Call, Called, Calling”).
It is important to understand that one’s calling is an act of God. Only He calls (invites) someone. That is quite evident in John 6:44 when Jesus told the crowds, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” So, the Called are those who are invited by God to understand His plan, to repent of their sins and to receive His Holy Spirit.
There are several scriptures that speak of a Christian’s calling.
When the apostle Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans, he referred to his audience as “the called of Jesus Christ,” and the “beloved of God, called to be saints” (Romans 1:6-7).
Later, when writing to the Corinthian brethren, Paul wrote: “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9).
How were the Disciples Taught about Their Calling?
As you know, Jesus often taught in parables. Jesus taught about God’s calling in the parable of the sower.
Behold, a sower [a farmer] went out to sow [plant seed]. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear [who can understand] let him hear! (Matthew 13:3-9).
How to Interpret the Parable of the Sower
Like the disciples, not everyone who heard this parable understood what Jesus was talking about. Although the entire multitude heard the same words, different reactions were taking place in those who heard the message.
In the parable, a farmer planting seed is likened to the work done by Jesus Christ and His Church. The seed is the gospel of the Kingdom.
Notice how Jesus explained it:
When any one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in his heart; this is what was sown along the path. (Matt 13:19)
Some people hear the gospel message and receive it joyfully but without conviction, only to let go of it as soon as it creates a conflict in their lives. Others hear it but neglect to give it the time and attention it needs to thrive.
In other words, not everyone hears the gospel of the Kingdom. And of those who hear it, not everyone understands it. And of those who understand it, not everyone accepts it.
You Can Know if God is Calling You
If you understand what you are learning from the Bible and you see the need to change your life, God is beginning to work with you. If you see a need to obey His Commandments while you see how hard it is for you to do so, God is working with you.
If you do not respond, God will eventually stop working with you. If you respond, God will open your mind even more, and you will begin to build a stronger and stronger connection with Him. Choosing to respond to God’s calling means embarking on a life of personal spiritual growth.
The seed only grows in those God is calling and who choose to follow His way of life.
Who are the Chosen / Elected and how did They Make the Cut?
The word for “chosen” in the Greek language is eklektos, meaning “chosen out, select.” It can also be translated as “elect” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, “Choice, Choose, Chosen”). This tells us that the Chosen and the Elected are the same people.
Election refers to the concept of how people are chosen for salvation. Election is based on God’s foreknowledge of those who would believe in Him through faith. In other words, God elected those who would choose Him of their own free will. Conditional election is based on a person’s response to God’s offer of salvation. You become the Chosen by choosing God; it is a reciprocal relationship.
This is what Christ was telling us when He said,
Many are called, but few are chosen. (Matt 22:2-3).
This may be understood as ‘many are called, but few choose to follow the teachings of Jesus’. God will not force anyone to respond to His calling against his or her will. It is up to you whether you will respond to His invitation.
This is further explained in Ephesians 1:13:
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.
Of all the people who hear God’s calling, only those who respond with belief, repentance, baptism and receive the Holy Spirit become His Chosen people—His Elect. Then they embark on the Christian life in which they are changed to become more and more like Jesus—being converted.
Responding to God’s Calling is a Lifelong Commitment for the Faithful
Being faithful comes from the Greek word pistos. There are two senses in which this word can be understood. It means “to be trusted, reliable” and, secondly, “active, signifying believing, trusting, relying” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, p. 402).
The chosen must be faithful. They must continue to actively believe, obey and rely on God. The spiritual life is truly a process that requires time, prayer, study, effort, change—and more. The chosen will need to faithfully endure, both in good and in bad times. But every step taken is greatly rewarding!
Once chosen of God, you may still receive a calling for a particular ministry. I have friends who have made huge commitments to which God called them. One lives in Kenya, building a dormitory and school for disabled children. Another will be going to Sierra Leon to improve the living conditions, including clean water access, for a community. Another is fostering children. And another became a minister. Not everyone is urged in such life-changing directions, but everyone has a part in God’s overall plan and their response may play a greater part than they can imagine or will ever know.
As Peter implied, one’s calling must not be neglected. Since the called and chosen have “exceedingly great and precious promises”, it is “for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, … knowledge, … self-control, … perseverance, … godliness, … brotherly kindness, … love” Peter continued, “For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:4-8).
The hope of the chosen and faithful is to receive eternal life. It is a belief and trust that is deep within each one of us. Paul reminded Timothy to
lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called (1 Timothy 6:12).
All Christian Believers are Saints.
Saint originates from the Greek word meaning “holy” or “set apart.” Christians are referred to as saints because, as believers, they are set apart from the corruption of the world and they are called to be holy.
The New Testament uses the word saint or saints 67 times. In every instance, the reference is to all believers. Never is the word used for a special group of believers who serve God better than others.
And I did so in Jerusalem; I not only shut up many of the saints in prison, by authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. (Acts 26:10)
To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom !:7)
To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: (I Cor 1:2)
If you are not sure if you have been called, pray to God continually for clarification until you know. If you are not sure if you have received the Holy Spirit, pray to God to send the Comforter to you. “Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be opened” and continue to knock until you know the Counselor has arrived. Once you have received the Holy Spirit you can be assured that you are Chosen/Elected. Then your connection with God begins and will be for you to nurture. By continuing Bible study, prayer, meditation and listening for God in your daily life, you will gradually have peace, joy and the experience of being one of God’s beloved. You are a saint.
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But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions you were taught, whether by word or our epistle (2 Thessalonians 2:13-15).
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful (Colossians 3:12-15).
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you (1 Peter 5:10).
Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10-11).
He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:14).
but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”(1 Peter 1:15-16)
Many Are Called, but Few are Chosen by Harold Rhodes
Called and Chosen by John Foster
What does the Bible say about Christian saints? What are saints? by Compelling Truth