Life, Calling, and Prize
Graveyards are everywhere! The death-rate is still 100%. Man’s most pressing need is life. He can’t lick his old enemy death by science, education, or positive thinking. This is where John’s gospel comes in.
During Apostolic days, people became believers by means not used today – signs. John’s Gospel was written after Paul’s great proclamation in Acts 28:28. “The salvation bringing message of God is authorized to the nations, and they shall hear it for themselves.” John, after Paul’s proclamation, was commissioned by God to write his Gospel. “There came to be a man, commissioned by God, whose name is John.” John’s Gospel is the result of that specific commission. Since Acts 28:28 God reaches people through a written message – no signs. We live in a READING dispensation. Those who believe today are classified among those who believe without seeing – John 20:29.
John never mentions repentance (ie: submission) or anything about “church.” Water baptism is mentioned historically, so too are the feasts of the Jews, but not once are they imposed on John’s readers. John’s Gospel was written that we might “BELIEVE” that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by BELIEVING we might have LIFE through His name. Most people read the Bible with the goal of looking for something to DO. The gospel of John, however, should be read to find something to BELIEVE.
John’s Gospel is meant for everyone, everywhere. It is the only evangelistic book in Scripture. Those who believe in Christ become children of God. John’s gospel is where God begins with mankind. It’s message isn’t about our sins, it’s about Christ – Who He is and what He does as God’s sent one.
Once a person believes in Jesus Christ, he or she should get to know their calling. This is found in Ephesians. The child of God, in Ephesians, is exalted among the most elevated in Christ. The child of God, when he or she believed, was elected to a position of Sonship. Though we are elected, we haven’t taken office yet. We will enter our role as sons when the Government of God begins. We find our calling in Ephesians.
Once a believer understands his calling, he should strive to win the prize connected with that calling. We are to walk worthy of our calling. Philippians tells us how we run the race in order to win a prize.
See how Ephesians and Philippians are contrasted in the article, The Expectation and the Prize
—Where Does Christ Come In?
What’s amazing about the concept of Life, Calling, and Prize, is how Jesus Christ is presented in connection with each of these items.
Life – John presents Jesus Christ as the Son of God for our FAITH. Our life is derived from His person.
Calling – Paul, in Ephesians, presents Jesus Christ raised from among the dead and seated in His right, ranked above all authorities, for our FURTHER ENLIGHTENMENT. Paul is here emphasizing the esteem due to Jesus Christ as the highest authority in the universe under God. Our lot is cast with Him. Our calling, or position, is derived from His position.
Prize – Paul, in Philippians, presents Jesus Christ as the humble one who left His rightful place to slave for others, for our EXAMPLE. His service leads to universal acclamation! Those who strive to obtain the prize follow His example of service to others. Our prize is derived from His example of service.
Life = Faith – His Person
Calling = Further Enlightenment – His Position
Prize = Service – His Example