“The Hope of His Calling”

The Hope of His Calling

and The Significance of “The Heavenly Places”

Ephesians 1:18 ... that ye [the members of the Gentile Body of Christ] may know what is the Hope of HIS calling, and what the riches of the glory of HIS Inheritance IN The Saints [His set-apart ones],

Before we can fully understand and appreciate what this “Hope” is, we must first delve into the question of “HIS calling” not ‘our calling’ but “His calling.” What exactly is “HIS calling,” and where does it lead? By exploring “His calling,” we can uncover the hope that lies within our own calling. As believers who are “in Christ,” we are so very closely identified with Him, and this identification is symbolized through our baptism, not in water but, in all He accomplished in calling us. Our baptism cannot be a baptism of water such a John’s, for Paul in Eph. 4:5 says, “One Lord, one faith, ’one baptism.’ not two baptisms, one of water, one of spirit. Which one do you suppose?  Now let’s dive into the context of Ephesians to gain a deeper understanding.

Our study begins with our text of Eph. 1:18 (above), but as we look forward to Eph. 1:20-21, we witness the resurrection of Christ, and His exaltation to “the right hand of God in heavenly places,” with His supreme authority over all principality, power, might, dominion, and every name that exists, both in this age and the age to come.” Everything is placed under His feet, and He is the Head over all things to the church, which is His body,” His fullness.

It’s important to note that there is no mention here in Paul’s post-Acts prison epistles of Christ being a high priest in the heavens, taking the throne of His father David, or becoming the King of kings and Lord of lords. These roles are to be fulfilled during the dispensation of the promises made to Israel, and those who were part of that dispensation will gain their place in the promised land to be given to Abraham’s seed in the resurrection. This anticipates a glorious nation in the millennial kingdom on earth and, If they are the overcomers, a position of authority under the great King in the Heavenly Jerusalem. They look forward to His 2nd coming to earth and their gathering together as part of their hope. But, in Post-Acts Eph. 1, there is no such context, and therefore, these earthly aspects are of another dispensation that is now in abeyance. They are not be part of His heavenly calling; consequently, they cannot be part of our hope either.

Our hope today is undeniably connected to His exalted position “in the Heavenly Places,” where He has made us ‘Sit Together With Him.’ We who have the adoption and blessings according to Eph. 1:3-4 and remain faithful to receive “The Prize of The High Calling [Phili. 3:14]” to Reign With Him (2Tim 2:12).

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who Hath [Already] Blessed Us With All Spiritual Blessings In Heavenly Places IN Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us IN HIM before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Eph. 1:3-4 (KJV)

If we suffer, we shall also REIGN with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us [from reigning]: 2 Tim. 2:12

When we are exhorted to walk worthy of our calling, it is with these ‘heavenly’ realities in mind.

Furthermore, the “hope of HIS calling is intertwined with a promise made in Him before the foundation [Gk. katabole, overthrow] of the world” (cf. Eph. 1:4, cf. Gen. 1:2). Israel’s believers were called as God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (cf. Act 3:21). Thus our calling today and has no connection with the promises made to Abraham and is not mentioned in relation to that dispensation. This distinction is because of the promises made unto Abraham, and the blessings are to be enjoyed upon the reconciled earth. Our calling is to “the heavenly places IN Christ.” Therefore, it was not revealed until later, specifically in Paul’s post-Acts epistles in Eph. 3:6, 2 Tim. 1:1, and Titus 1:2. Our calling is directly related to the heavenly “church,” which is His “One Body,” not His earthly kingdom to come. Thus there is an obvious difference between the two.

Although we do not yet see Christ fully ‘manifested,’ He currently sits in “The Heaven of heavens” at the Father’s “Right Hand,” waiting for the time to “appear(cf. Col. 3:4). Soon He will “appear,” and we will be appear with Him in [heaven’s] Glory.” And when “the Church, which is His Body” is manifested with Him, our Hope will be realizedThere in the Heavens, He will be adored by the heavenly host. For He is “The Head of The Body” and all creation – “in heaven and on earth,” but when He appears, all will know He is the Head “Far above all” (Eph. 1:21). Once again, we see how OUR hope is intimately linked with HIS calling. Therefore, to understand the hope of our calling, we must first grasp HIS calling. The confusion surrounding this matter arises from ignorance of the truth. In Eph. 1:18, Paul fervently prays that we may come to “know the hope of HIS calling.” This leads us to wonder, what exactly is the hope of His calling?

Before we can fully comprehend this hope, we must recognize the preparation that precedes it. The will of the Father (Eph. 1:4), the redemptive work of the Son (Eph. 1:7), and the testimony of the Spirit (Eph. 1:13) lay the foundation for this prayer. At the outset, Paul says there are these three gifts to be bestowed upon the recipients: the spirit of wisdom, revelation, and enlightened eyes. The prayer can be divided into three main parts: understanding the hope of His calling, comprehending the riches of the glory of HIS inheritance in the saints,” and grasping the greatness of His power. All these components provide us with the necessary framework to explore the topic at hand: the hope of HIS calling.

There was a time when Gentile believers who attended Israel’s synagogue had no hope (Ephesians 2:12). The hope primarily belonged to Israel. However, after the events of Acts 10, the Gentiles were able to share in the blessings of Israel through faith and grace. Nevertheless, during that period, Gentile believers were still devoid of the hope. Even in Acts 28, Paul says he found himself in “chains for the hope of Israel,” even after years of preaching to the Gentiles as he did. That hope was Paul’s hope.

However, Ephesians 2:13 marks a significant shift, signifying that Gentile believers have had hope ever since. The hope mentioned here is not the Gentile’s hope; it is GOD’s hope. So, what exactly is this hope? Here we find the connection between calling and hope There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in One Hope Of Your Calling;” (Eph. 4:4). There is an undeniable relationship between the two. Colossians 1:27 further illuminates this relationship by proclaiming that Christ, Among The Gentiles, Is The Hope Of [heaven’s] Glory.” Ultimately, Christ Himself and His position in Glory is the Hope of the Gentile Body of Christ. And wherever our hope lies, that is where our calling resides. Our calling is to be “in the heavenly places where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Additionally, 2Tim. 1:9 emphasizes that our calling is holy and connected to a purpose that predates when the world began. God chose us and called us even BEFORE the overthrow [Gk. katabole] foundation of the world.’  (Eph. 1:4).

Israel’s calling is SINCE the beginning of the world, and their calling and hope, are intrinsically tied to the land as God’s people on earth, eagerly awaiting the coming of the King of glory. But sadly, Israel rejected Him, so God had to divorce her (Israel) for “two days” (= two thousand years), per Hosea 6:2, ‘Lo-ammi,’ while Israel is not my people). After Israel’s divorcement in Acts 28:28, the salvation of God was taken from Israel and sent to the Gentiles, with a promise that they would hear what today’s blinded and deaf Israel could not. This ushered in our new hope and calling as Gentiles. Therefore, we must not confuse the two. Today, we can and do preach Christ without referencing Israel or its covenants. We can and do preach Christ without focusing on the earth and the kingdom to come on earth.

This new hope of HIS calling” was part of the secret or “Mystery,” “from BEFORE the world began.” It was hid in God from ages and generations.” (cf. Col. 1:26). Today it is made manifest to the seeking saints. These saints are members of “one body,” and this secret, known as the Dispensation of “The Mystery,” completes the “Word of God” as the concluding revelation (cf. Col. 1:25, note “fulfil’ is the Greek ‘pleroo,’ meaning ‘complete’). “Whereof I [Paul] am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil [complete] the word of God; 26 Even the mystery [secret] which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:” Colossians 1:25-26 (KJV)

So, what is our hope? It is; “When Christ, who is our life, is Manifest Out From The Shekinah Glory, We Will Also Be Revealed With Him, for We Are Now Seated With Him In That Glory. Paraphrased Col. 3:4.

His calling Elevated Us, Seated IN Him, Far Above All Principality and Power. The “hope of HIS calling” reaches such a high spiritual level.

We can anticipate that at the end of this current Post-Acts “dispensation of the grace of God” when the members of “His body” “appear with Him” as the “Head” in heaven’s glory, Israel will the resume its role on earth. This time Israel will recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah, whom they once pierced, at “His coming.”