Call - A Definition

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Author's Bias | Interpretation: conservative

The theological meaning of "call" is a privileged invitation to be His people, to holiness or to be a holy person. It can be understood as an indirect invitation into the kingdom of God.

What did you clothe yourself with?

This definition can be seen in the Parable of the Wedding Banquet (Matt 22:1-14) where Jesus uses the Greek verb for call, "kaleō," with a meaning of "invite" five times.

People, regardless of qualification, were invited as guests to the wedding banquet of the king's son.

Those who came had to have the proper wedding garments (Isa 61:10).

Without one, the guest was thrown out "into the outer darkness" where "there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

The parable ends with "many are called, but few are chosen" which indicates that those "called" are not necessarily "chosen." The invited have the choice to come freely or not as holy people; but, if they come, they must put on the proper clothing symbolic of faith in Jesus. Those who believe are of the "elect;" of all the peoples of the world, God chooses to be God to those who have the faith of Abraham (Gen 17:7).

In the above parable and two others (Parable of the Guests: Luke 14:7-10, 12-13 and the Parable of Great Banquet: Luke 14:16-17, 24), there is a suggestion that Jesus intended the invitation as a privilege and command, because with the invitation to be one of God's people, a holy person, there are consequences for refusing.

For deeper study:

What does "call" mean when Jesus uses the term?

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

Series: The Doctrine on Salvation
Jesus Draws

Series: The Doctrine on Salvation
How is One Called?

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