Y O U N G P E O P L E ' S D I C T I O N A R Y O F S C R I P T U R A L • & • R E L I G I O U S T E R M S
There are several different ways in which called (or calling, call, calls) is used in
the Bible. For example, it may mean ‘an invitation’ or ‘a summons’ such as the
Lord’s parable of the wedding feast in Matt 22:1: “And sent forth his servants to call
them that were bidden to the wedding...”.
Call also can mean ‘to cry’, ‘to shout’, or ‘to get another’s attention’ in order to
express a need or desire. For example; “...whosoever shall call upon the name of the
Lord shall be saved.” (Ro 10:13).
Call is also used to convey the thought of giving a name or label to someone or
something. For example; “... thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his
people from their sins” (Matt 1:21).
Perhaps the most important usage of call in the Bible is found in the New Testa-
ment where it means “a purpose” or “a work”. For instance, the Apostle Paul with
Aquila and Priscilla worked as ‘tent makers’ when living at Corinth. That was their
‘trade’ or ‘calling’ by which they supported themselves.
There is however a much more important sense attached to this meaning of call.
That sense relates to the Spiritual realm for Christians (and for the saints of God in
all dispensations). The following verses are examples of this kind of ‘calling’.
“Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I the first, I also am the
last” (Isa. 48:12). The Jews (family of Jacob/Israel) are the ‘called’ earthly people of
God and in a coming day will be perfectly blessed above all other nations as His
chosen earthly people.
“Paul, bondman of Jesus Christ, a called apostle, separated to God’s glad
tidings...among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ” (Rom. 1:1,6, JND
Trans.). This was the ‘purpose’ to which God called Saul of Tarsus (Paul). He was a
‘called Apostle’. And, each believer is a ‘called’ one of the Lord Jesus. This sense of
call by God suggests the purpose each Christian is to fulfill in their life—a ‘called
saint” or, as in Paul’s case, a ‘called Apostle’.