The Restoration of Our Calling

Now that the Messiah has re-established in himself the threefold calling of king, priest, and prophet, he enables his disciples to fulfill these roles by extension. St. Paul writes, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ [...] for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:27–28). Through faith and baptism, we are united to him; and by his grace we make real the original vocation for which we were created. Just as he is called Christos—the Anointed One—so we became “little christs,” anointed and sealed by the gift of the Holy Spirit in the mystery of chrismation.1 It is by the presence of the indwelling Spirit that God is able to empower his servants to act: “[F]or it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil 2:13). In the theology of the Orthodox Church, this is referred to as synergeia (or “co-working” in 1 Cor 3:9), denoting the fact that God works in and through us only when we cooperate with him. To say that “God is selfless love” (1 John 4:8) is to say that he will never coerce or compel us to act. Indeed, he only invites and impels us towards what is good, true, and beautiful. It remains to us to respond to his call, and to invite his grace by aligning ourselves with his holy will.


Footnotes

  1. This is a popular phrase of unknown origin, but in modern times has been used by writers such as C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity and Fr Alexander Schmemann in Of Water and the Spirit. The latter connects it directly with the Sacrament of Chrismation.