The Berean Expositor
Volume 23 - Page 184 of 207
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speaks of "grace and apostleship", and in Gal. 1: 15, again speaking of his office, he
"But when it pleased God, Who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me
by His grace."
The call to service is "by grace", for there is no more room for merit here than in our
The word "calling", in Scripture, denotes occupation, employment, or profession, and
is therefore identical in meaning with present-day usage:--
"Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called" (I Cor. 7: 20).
Let us remember that our service is a calling: that we cannot serve without divine
appointment, and that it is far better to serve in a lowly capacity, and please God, than to
grieve the Holy Spirit of God by selfchoosing, remembering, together with our opening
text, Hebrews 5: 4, 5, that "Even Christ pleased not Himself" (Rom. 15: 3).
Let us now give attention to the second symbol of service, namely, cleanliness, that
those who are called to serve the Lord are called to be clean:--
"Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord" (Isa. 53: 11).
We naturally turn to the great symbolic teaching of the tabernacle for illustration of
this important qualification. Lev. 22: sets forth the necessity for the priests of Israel to
be clean:--
"Say unto them, Whosoever he be of all your seed among your generations, that goeth
unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto the Lord, having his
uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from My presence: I am the Lord"
(Lev. 22: 3).
The whole chapter should be read and the several items re-interpreted in the light
of spiritual realities. One passage that puts the same truth in New Testament terms in
II Tim. 2: 20, 21:--
"But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood
and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge
himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's
use, and prepared unto every good work."
Fellowship among saints is not based upon knowledge, or even upon agreement as to
interpretation of Scripture. It is based upon the fact that all are saved by grace, that all
are in Christ, and that all are built upon the one foundation. Some, however, would
extend this to form a ground for fellowship in ministry. This is quite a different matter.
Such must "purge themselves from these".