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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Religion

Religion without Jesus is like a manure pile; it stinks highly until it finally dries up!

"If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless...Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ" -- Philippians 3:4-8

15 comments:

amity said...

By odd coincidence I have just been discussing this in another forum... religion without Christ. Cornelius was a pagan, as we know from the fact that he was a centurion, and yet his prayers and alms were "come up for a memorial before God." according to Acts 10:14. And then there was Apollos. And Melchisedec? Are there no "righteous gentiles" today (yes, I know Apollos was a Jew, but you get my drift, right?).

Jim1927 said...

Here we see the vast difference between ethics and life in Christ. There are many people of ethical value in this world, and some people of the second-birth we might not like to trust.

As we discussed before regarding the Fall....men are not as bad as they can possibly be, but they are in a lost estate.

Cheers,

Jim

R. L. Vaughn said...

Amity, I'm not sure whether I get your drift. I don't see where any of these are pagans -- certainly not Melchisedec who was a priest of the Most High God (the same God as Abraham's God) or Apollos, who was a disciple of John the Baptist who preached "Behold the Lamb of God" (though Apollos didn't know the fullness of things that Aquilla & Priscilla knew).

But what about the centurion? Was he a pagan? Was he a Roman idolater? I agree with Gill that he was a "devout man,.... A truly religious person, who had forsaken the Roman idolatry and superstition, in which he was brought up". Luke, writing under inspiration, said that Cornelius feared God and prayed to God. I don't see evidence that Luke (or other NT writers) ever speaks in such favorable terms about idols and idolaters, but means the one living and true God, the God of Israel.

amity said...

My point ios that none of these people "had Christ." Apollos to one side (not the best illustration of the point I am trying to make), they were neither Christian nor Jewish. They had no means of knowing the things they did, according to their outward circumstances, for they were all raised in pagan culture. Yet they evidently did know the one true and living God, inwardly. Heard of another example yesterday... Naaman in I Kings.

R. L. Vaughn said...

To say that none of these people "had Christ" seems to me to undertake the unproveable, as well as contradict the plain declaration of Jesus Himself: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father but by me" and "He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." Jesus is the door (John 10:9). I am willing to leave the hard to explain in the Plan and Providence of God, for Jesus also said, "...other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." But to have God without having Christ doesn't seem like a Scriptural option to me.

As far as these four mentioned, Naaman might seem to be closest to what you're trying to show. I will address him last. Apollos was a disciple of John the Baptist and John preached Christ. Concerning Melchisedec, the writer of Hebrews makes a point of the fact that we know nothing of his genealogy; so to make any assessment of his outward circumstances and upbringing goes beyond what has been revealed. We know Hebrews presents him as a type of Christ. Cornelius was a Roman soldier, but in his outward circumstances had learned something of the true God and was trying to worship him according to what light he had.

As far as Naaman, what did he know of the true and living God apart from his contact with the people of God, Israel? He knew what he did (as far as the record we have) because of testimony of a slave and the miracle of a prophet (II Kings 5). Naaman was captain of the host of the King of Syria and had leprosy. He went to the prophet Elisha because a Jewish slave girl had told his wife that the prophet in Samaria could recover him from his leprosy. After he was healed, he declared that there is no God like Israel's God.

amity said...

What is the essential part of "having Christ" do you think? Is Christ powerless to save aborted babies, the mentally incompetent, captured Africans who died in slaving ships, people who die without ever hearing the gospel preached? This is the vast majority of people ever created, after all. If you say He is not powerless to save these people, then you must believe in two ways of salvation. The Bible only teaches ONE way, as you just pointed out.

Does our being "in Christ" come through mere belief that Christianity is valid? What a fragile thing to base salvation on! We know the devils believe and tremble. I may lose my mind tomorrow (or in five minutes) and lose my salvation. Lord, I believe. Help Thou my unbelief.

what does Romans 2 mean, then?

R. L. Vaughn said...

Just because everyone's experience is not the same does not suggest two salvations -- just different experiences. Paul was struck down on the road to Damascus, an experience most do not have. Was Paul "more saved" or born differently from the rest of us? No. But his experience was different from mine, different from a baby's, and different from the mentally incompetent. It seems that the Bible claims that God calls those whom He regenerates (Rom. 8:28-30, for example). Perhaps the difference with infants and the mentally incompetent is not that they are not called, but that WE are incapable of recognizing it. But relative to wicked unbelievers who worship another God, idols, etc., it seems fairly clear that the Bible condemns such as separated from God. Why should we assume they are not? It would be kind of like claiming Paul was regenerated all the time he was serving Judaism and persecuting the church. That is just as plausible as believing without evidence that Christ-hating Muslims, atheists, etc. are regenerated "believers" (subconsciously). Except in Paul's case we have the positive inspired statement that his religion and religious experience was dung.

As far as whether God is powerless to save these groups, I would say this is not the right question. Is God powerless to save the non-elect? I don't think anyone would suggest that He is (powerless), but they are not saved nevertheless.

What is the essential part of "having Christ", you ask? Your question seems to assume that there is one essential part exclusive of other things that might be a part. But perhaps I misunderstand you. I would think of it more of a package deal -- election, predestination, propitiation, justification, regeneration, effectual call, indwelling Spirit. I guess if I wanted to try to boil down to one evidence it might be "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His."

"Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" It seems a fearful thing to equate Biblical faith with a mere belief that Christianity is valid. The Stone/Campbell Restoration movement probably comes closest to actually equating belief with an historical head knowledge. The Old Baptist position is, IMO, that a vibrant living faith is a work of God in the lives of His children. In this, again in my opinion, the Conditionalist Old Line PB's have erred in making everything about conversion the work of man. It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.

Concerning Romans 2, that is a fairly good-sized chapter. What in particular would you like me to address? Thanks.

amity said...

I think there is more common ground between us on this issue than I had recognized previously, then. All I am saying is that if God can call / regenerate an unborn baby, the mentally disabled, etc., can He not regenerate a Hindu? Would that person still remain a nominal Hindu afterward? We just don't know, do we? The children of Israel, who DID have God's law (unlike Hindus), frequently relapsed into idolatry. Nonetheless, God remained faithful and kept His covenant with them. Similarly with the elect, I think. We absolutely CANNOT assume that people who have not had exposure to one cogent gospel principle are Christ-haters, Robert. They simply do not know. The vast majority of mankind has no opportunity to either accept or reject the gospel.

Romans 2:12-15, Jeremiah 31:34.

Sorry, if this is incoherent. I just got back from a 200-mile round trip taking a friend's husband to the hospital and am just dumb with exhaustion, so will have to finish thoughts later.

amity said...

P.S. After almost 20 years as a Bible believer, I am still struggling with "Many are called but few are chosen." Is this what it refers to?
Called = elect?
Chosen = Christian believers?

Both terms can't refer to the elect, since we know that all who are called will come to Him and He will lose nothing.

R. L. Vaughn said...

First, I would again stress that it is not a matter of what God can do, but what He will do. Second, it is not so much a question of whether He can or will call a Hindu, but whether He will leave him one afterward. You say we don't know. I say the Bible teaches whom He predestinates He calls, and whom He calls He justifies, and whom He justifies He glorifies. Whatever Cornelius was in Acts 10:1,2, he was not left in that state.

Concerning "Christ-haters", I recognize what you are saying. Certainly a Buddhist or Hindu is not a "Christ-hater" in the sense a Muslim is. Even the Muslim would say they are not a "Christ-haters", but recognize Jesus as a teacher and a prophet. But they DO hate His teaching that He was God and Messiah, and hate those who believe that. But in a very real sense we are all born Christ-haters. We are sinners by nature, and beyond that, Jesus said he that is not with me is against me. But one reason that I have chosen to use that expression is because some vigorously proclaim that known lifelong Christ-haters (not just those who don't "know" about Christ) may very well be among God's elect.

When you say "the vast majority of mankind has no opportunity to either accept or reject the gospel", on what Scripture do you base this? Paul says, "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" and then writes, "Have they not heard? Yes, verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world." How does this happen, when our observation tells us it is not so? I don't know.

Romans 2:12-15 - For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

I think quite a few people read "they shew the work of the law written in their hearts" as "they shew the work of God written in their hearts" (regeneration or salvation). But Paul does not speak of a "work of God" or "work of grace" in their hearts, but "the work of the law" in their hearts. When this chapter begins, Paul writes that all men are without excuse, and goes on to show that, whether Jew or Gentile, there is no respect of persons with God. Verses 13-15 are a parenthethical statement explaining the truth of the sentence in verses 12 and 16 - "For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel." It seems here he is actually talking about those who would "perish without law" and not the regenerated. His point then must be that they are without excuse, and, while they do not have the law written in tables of stone like the Jews, they do have law written in their heart or conscience. If I understand John Gill correctly, I think he expresses better what I think this means: "Though the Gentiles had not the law in form, written on tables, or in a book, yet they had 'the work', the matter, the sum and substance of it in their minds; as appears by the practices of many of them, in their external conversation."

Jeremiah 31:34 - And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

We should recognize that this section is talking about the New Covenant. Notice verses 31 through 33 - "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people." This is also quoted in the New Testament book of Hebrews 8:8-12. Notice the Old Covenant -- Moses, Israel, law -- is contrasted to the New Covenant -- Jesus, Church, grace. The Old Covenant was a covenant of thou shalts and thou shalt nots; a Covenant made with a physical people under law. The New Covenant is a Covenant of "I (God) wills"; a Covenant made with a spiritual people under grace. If one makes the way of knowing the Lord here only about Salvation and not the Covenant, the contrast leads one to teach that before Christ and the New Covenant, people were saved by keeping the law. No, that is related to how they were a covenant people. Under the New Covenant, the people of the Covenant are people who know the Lord -- from the least unto the greatest, every person of this New Covenant is one who knows the Lord. Therefore they don't have to be taught "Know the Lord". The New Covenant people are the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, and are a part of the Covenant through knowing the Lord rather than physical descent. The Old Covenant people were the physical seed of Abraham, and did not have to inwardly know the Lord to be part of that Covenant.

Matthew 22:14 - For many are called, but few are chosen. You ask, whether this refers to "Called = elect? Chosen = Christian believers?" Let me say up front that this is a tough verse for most anyone's systematic theology. Further -- that the idea of Christian believers being chosen out of the elect does not really fit Old Line PB theology (or at least the majority). But "Called = elect" and "Chosen = Christian believers" does seem to be the idea taught here by many of the preachers, isn't it? The whole concept of conditional time salvation is that this "second salvation" or conversion after regeneration is a conditional response of man in obedience or the lack thereof. So it cannot be this and something to which that individual was chosen. Those concepts are contradictory. Now I'll throw in my idea, which is liable to be just as wrong as anybody's! Notice in the parable (verses 11-14) the one who was called was not chosen. He was without a wedding garment, and cast out into outer darkness. Is it necessary to read "effectual call" (or regeneration, which means exactly the same to some) into this passage or every passage where the word call is used? I don't think so. I think this is understood more simply and plausibly as an outward call to which any may respond. We know from other Scriptures that there are false professors among the people of God - tares among the wheat. One day the tares will be gathered and bound and burned in the fire; those without a wedding garment will be cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. The chosen are the elect, and not everyone who responds to an outward call is chosen.

amity said...

Robert, I don't see see "whom He predestinates He calls, and whom He calls He justifies, and whom He justifies He glorifies" as teaching that all the elect will necessarily become Christians. Please explain how that is so if that is what you believe.

Secondly, I don't believe that Muslims are "Christ-haters" anymore than Hindus are. A "Christ-hater" would have to be someone who has heard the gospel preached, and therefore truly has some knowledge of Christ, and hates Him nonetheless. This is not true of the majority of people in the world. The average person in a non-Christian culture knows less about Christ than you know about Krishna.

You point about Jeremiah 31:31-34, (which is of course what I meant to cite since it is all a unified thought), seems on first reading to be exactly what I take it to mean also. God has a people out of every kindred, nation, tongue, and tribe, and calls and regenerates them inwardly. If this is not an inward process, then we have found an inconsistency in the Bible (NOT!), because there were and are still kindreds, nations, that never hear the gospel preached.

If there is a difference between calling and regeneration I am not sure what it is, so if you could clarify that point it would help. Meanwhile I will study what you have said about this further, and thank you for explaining it to me.

R. L. Vaughn said...

I understand that you would not see that in Romans 8, because you believe that "calling" equals "regeneration". But that is only one of many verses that address the subject. For examples: II Peter 3:9 teaches that all of the elect (the US) will come to repentance. II Thess 1:6-10 shows that Jesus will take vengeance on them that do notknow God, AND that obey not the gospel. I Timothy 2:4 shows that God will have all the elect to be saved AND come to the knowledge of the truth.

I do believe the Muslims and most of the rest of the world -- and even some who call themselves Christians -- are Christ-haters. In John 15:18 Jesus says, "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you." What world is this -- the world of people who have heard about him or the world of depraved sinners? If Muslims don't qualify as Christ haters Biblically, I don't see how we could ever define someone as such. Yes, in their own minds they "love" Jesus, but this is the Jesus of the own making, not the true Jesus of the Bible. "Muslims are taught to love Jesus...the Qur.aan says that Almighty God does not have a 'Son' -- neither allegorically, physically, metaphorically or metaphysically...Islaam rejects the notion of...praying to someone else besides God. Also, Islaam teaches that titles such as 'Lord' and 'Saviour' are due to God alone." (From "About Islaam" by Abu 'Iyaad at Fatwa-Online) Muslims know about Jesus, accept Him as a prophet and a miracle worker, and reject Him as God. This is not a simple "not knowing" about Christ. He is a part of their religion, but they reject His claims of God.

You might be surprised with what I know about Krishna! I was pretty enamored with world religions in general and Eastern religions in particular at one time.

I have no doubt that much of the world doesn't believe in Christ, including some who denominate themselves Christians. But to assume that most of the world knows nothing of Christ is to assume too much. The two largest religions in the world, Christianity (2.1 billion) and Islam (1.3 billion) "believe" in Jesus, and many of the rest of the world's religions recognize him as some kind of religious teacher. Buddhists and Hindus recognize Him in this way. The 800 thousand Unitarian-Universalists, 600 Rastafarians, 500 thousand Scientologists have "Him" and/or the Bible as some kind of original foundation of their teachings. Certainly the 14 million Jews of Judaism know about, and reject, Him. Based on these numbers alone, I would guess most of the present world know something about Jesus Christ. Christians and Muslims may make up close to half of the world's present population.
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For me it is ultimately taking teaching such as "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" and "Have they not heard? Yes, verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world" over my own observations and leaving it up to God to bring those from every kindred, tongue and nation as He pleases. For me it is a happy paradox to find Scriptures teach that God's people will hear and believe, and know that God has a people in every kindred, tongue and nation even if I can't find the Scripture to understand how He does it.

To me it appears that one must reject John 10: 3-5 to hold the Old Line position. "To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers." Jesus says His sheep follow Him and not the voice of strangers. Is a regenerate person a sheep or a goat?

I don't disagree with you that God has a people out of every kindred, nation, tongue, and tribe, and calls and regenerates them inwardly. But when you get that teaching out of the part about "knowing the Lord" in Jer. 31 and Heb. 8, you run into a problem. This is not about 'you don't have to teach them because they have an inward regeneration'. It is about 'you don't have to teach them to know the Lord because if they are New Covenant people they already know the Lord'. If this only means you don't have to teach them because they have inward regeneration, then when you get back to the Old Covenant you must find salvation through the law, works -- some way other than inward regeneration. Else you lose the contrast He is making between the Covenants. It is not that people are saved differently under the two Covenants, but that the Covenants are with two different kinds of people -- one spiritual (regenerate only) and one physical (which could include regenerate and unregenerate).

I will try to take up calling and regeneration later, as it is nearing 12 midnight and I should get some rest.

amity said...

Actually I was gong to give John 10: 3-5 as a proof text, Robert! The sheep know the sound of Christ's voice. It doesn't say they understand his words. Isn't this text evidence for inward calling and regeneration. To me that is what this whole metaphor is about. My dog reconizes my voice immediately, but she doesn't understand the meaning of a word I say.

At any rate, I would like more information on the difference between calling and regeneration. Please continue if you can.

R. L. Vaughn said...

"To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers."

Even admitting that your dog doesn't understand what you say, your dog does know the difference between your voice and that of a stranger. Now if you say that hearing the voice here is inward regeneration, now go on and see the results of inward regeneration -- my sheep hear my voice AND the sheep follow him AND a stranger will they not follow AND will flee from the stranger. Now I find it hard that we cannot see cognitive response to and progression from the inward call. If the inward call causes one to recognize His voice and flee from a stranger, how can we affirm regeneration in those who are following (worshipping) strangers?

R. L. Vaughn said...

As far as I can tell, the word regenerate/regeneration is used twice in the Bible.

Matt 19:28 - And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Titus 3:5 - Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

It seems the term in Christian use has the definition of to be born again or made alive. IMO, it doesn't seem to mean the same thing in Matthew as it does in Titus. In Matthew Jesus seems to be speaking of some kind of "rebirth" of all creation in the end of time. Be that as it may, I will address regeneration as it is commonly used of the spiritually dead sinner being reborn or made alive by the work of the Spirit of God. Titus seems to fit that definition.

Now to the word "call". It may be obvious to point out that there are many uses of the word in the Bible. One would be just a "common" conversational use of "call", like Matt 23:9 - And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. AND Mark 15:16 - And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. Some uses may refer to a calling like the call to be a preacher. 1 Cor 7:20 might be one such - "Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called."

I will just go through some verses in order with a few comments and maybe we can discuss them more later.

Matt 9:13 - "But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." In context this call seems to be one that came from Jesus' vocal chords to the physical ears of those that heard him. (also Mark 2:17 and Luke 5:32)

Matt 22:3 - "And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come." Interesting here, this seems to be an outward call only, not effectual, because "they would not come".

Acts 2:37 - "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." Repent, be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost promised to as many as the Lord calls.

Rom 1:6,7 - "Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." Interesting before verse 6 Paul mentions "obedience to the faith among all nations" right before he writes "Among whom ye are called".

Rom 8:28 - "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose...30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." This one of course we addressed earlier. Calling is according to God's purpose and, whatever it is, is for all the predestinated.

Rom 11:29 - "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance." Whatever it refers to, God does not change His mind.

1 Cor 1:2 - "Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:" The sanctified in Jesus were called to be saints.

1 Cor 1:9 - "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." Calling included fellowship with God's Son Jesus Christ. This seems to include knowledge (v. 5), testimony (v. 6), confirmation (v. 6), etc.

I Cor 1:23-26 - "But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:" This calling could be seen and understood.

1 Cor 7:17 - "But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches." God seems to have distributed something to every man He has called.

1 Cor 7:21,22 - "Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant." Seeming ability to understand the state we are called in.

Gal 1:15 - "But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace," Paul's calling occurred when God revealed His Son in him and sent him to preach the gospel to the heathen (v. 16). This was a observable cognitive experience. (By cognitive I only mean that it was perceivable to the conscious; I do not mean to separate this from the inward/spiritual).

Eph. 1:17-20 "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places," The given spirit of wisdom and knowledge enables understanding of the hope our calling gives, the riches of His glory, and the greatness of His power.

1 Thess 2:12 - "That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory." Calling seems to include something of walking with God.

2 Thess 2:14 - "Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." Calling by the gospel is "to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."

2 Tim. 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," Calling is according to God's purpose and grace.

I see very little in the use of the word "call" that seems to be synonymous with regeneration. This is all I have time for tonight.