Systematic Theology - Vol. 2

By Charles Hodge | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV.

VOCATION.

§ 1. Scriptural Usage of the Word.

THE Scriptures clearly teach that the several persons of the adorable Trinity sustain an economical relation to the work of man's redemption. To the Father is referred the plan itself, the selection of its objects, and the mission of the Son to carry the gracious purpose into effect. To the Son, the accomplishment of all that is requisite to render the salvation of sinful men consistent with the perfections and law of God, and to secure the final redemption of those given to Him by the Father. The special work of the Spirit is the application of the redemption purchased by Christ. Such is the condition of men since the fall, that if left to themselves they would continue in their rebellion and refuse the offers of reconciliation with God. Christ then had died in vain. To secure the accomplishment of the promise that He should "see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied," the Holy Spirit so operates on the chosen people of God, that they are brought to repentance and faith, and thus made heirs of eternal life, through Jesus Christ their Lord.

This work of the Spirit is in the Scriptures called VOCATION. It is one of the many excellences of the Reformed Theology that it retains, as far as possible, Scriptural terms for Scriptural doctrines. It is proper that this should be done. Words and thoughts are so intimately related that to change the former, is to modify, more or less seriously, the latter. And as the words of Scripture are the words of the Spirit, it is becoming and important that they should be retained.

The act of the Spirit by which men are brought into saving union with Christ, is expressed by the word κλη̑σις, vocation. As in Hebrews iii. 1, "Partakers of the heavenly calling." Ephesians i. 18, " Hope of his calling." Ephesians iv. 1, "Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called." Ephesians iv. 4, " In one hope of your calling." 2 Timothy i. 9, "Hath .... called us with an holy calling." 2 Peter i. 10, " Make your calling and elec

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