Jude 1 - "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:"
God’s people are “called”:
Romans 1:6 - "Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:" Ephesians 4:1 - "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation [calling] wherewith ye are called," 2 Thessalonians 1:11 - "Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:" 2 Timothy 1:9 - "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began," 2 Peter 1:10 - "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:"
But what does this calling look like? How do we evidence we are actually “called” ones, and thus actually one of God’s people?
Puritan Thomas Manton examines several ways, but below is one way that I believe is extra important in our day. It comes from his excellent commentary on the Epistle of Jude.
You can listen to this part of verse 1 here:
or download it:
The entire book is available here on Monergism’s site, and this section starts on PDF page 24…
…or you can listen to the entire book on this page:
From Thomas Manton:
Verse 1. — Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
5. It may be evidenced by the fruits and effects of a call; the call infers a change of the former estate, both in heart and life.
[2.] In the life there will be a change; men will walk worthy their calling, not disgracing it by scandals or unseemly practices: Eph. iv. 1, ‘I beseech you, brethren, walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called;’ that is, suitable to the purity, suitable to the dignity of it. When David was a shepherd, he thought of nothing else but keeping his father’s sheep; but when God called him to be a shepherd of the people, then he had other projects, and was of other manner of behaviour.
A new calling requires a new conversation [behavior of life]: so 1 Thes. ii. 12, ‘Walk worthy of God, who hath called you to his kingdom and his glory.’ The divine calling puts an honour upon you: it is not for princes to ‘embrace the dung,’ nor for eagles to catch flies; to be vain [showy, empty, useless for God], voluptuous [given to the enjoyments of luxury and pleasure], carnal, and worldly, as others are: you are called to the fellowship of saints and angels; will it become one of your hopes to drive on such a low design as a worldly interest?
If you saw a man labouring in filthy ditches, and soiling himself as poor men do, would you believe that he were heir-apparent to a crown, called to inherit a kingdom? Who will believe your calling when you stick in the mud of pleasures, and are carried on with such a zealous respect after secular interests?
The apostle reproves the Corinthians for ‘walking as men,’ 1 Cor. iii. 3. Some walk as beasts, others are of a more civil strain; but this is but as men: you should walk more sublimely [high in excellence], above the ordinary rate of flesh and blood. When Antigonus was going into the house of a harlot, one told him, Thou art a king’s son. Oh! remember your dignity, and walk worthy of your high calling; walk as having the world under your feet, with a holy scorn and contempt of sublunary [earthly, pertaining to this world] enjoyments.
And as you should walk worthy of the dignity of your calling, so of the purity of it: ‘He that hath called you is holy,’ 1 Peter i. 15; and your condition is a ‘holy calling,’ 2 Tim. i. 9; and the end of your calling is holiness: 1 Thes. iv. 7, ‘God hath called us unto holiness.’ All which are so many engagements to urge us to the more care. A filthy, loose conversation [behavior of life] will never suit with this calling; you are a shame and a stain to him that calls you if you walk thus: as some in the prophet are said to pollute God, Ezek. xxxi. 9, namely, as their pollutions were retorted upon God.
Someone who takes the name of Christ upon themselves is required to live a different life than the rest of the world. Holiness not only means separate but pure, and it’s not any separation or purity, but God’s separation and purity, His holiness — our holiness should be godliness, and this should encompass every area of our life, at all times in our lives, in some fashion.
Are the things of the world around us, especially entertainments and the like, and how we spend our time, part of the holiness of God, which is perfect and absolute purity?
Philippians 4:8 - "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." 1 John 2:15 - "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
And we have a God-given duty to work on these things, with the help and strength of the Holy Spirit:
Romans 8:13 - "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye [us, our work] through the Spirit [with His help and strength] do mortify [our duty to labor to perform] the deeds of the body [the carnal, sinful man], ye shall live [if you actually work to do this, with the Spirit's help and strength]." Colossians 3:5 - "Mortify [a command of duty for us to perform] therefore your members which are upon the earth..."
May God give us a holy desire to be obedient to Him in all areas of our lives, and may He grant us a desire and help by His Spirit to think on the things of Him, and His blessed Son Christ Jesus, the most lovely of all, and to put away (mortify) the things of the world, especially those which might be most pleasing to our carnal man, and may we do all these things to not be a reproach on the Lord Jesus’ name, and out of love to Him who has betrothed us and whose name we have taken upon ourselves.