The calling of believers is said to be in accordance with His (God’s) eternal purpose. What is that? The eternal purpose is Christ inheriting all things; so that our being called, our hearing the Call, is a first work of the Holy Spirit in relation to Christ coming into His inheritance, according to something laid down with the foundation of the world. That makes conversion something very much bigger than just being saved, does it not? It is not just a matter of becoming a Christian. There is this immense background to our being called. The Holy Spirit has, so to speak, ‘got to work’ in relation to the appointed Heir of all things; you and I are coming under the hand of the Holy Spirit as a part of that inheritance. Our very calling in grace is according to that purpose, and our calling therefore is something tremendous. It is not only our calling. The beginning of our Christian life is not something merely incidental. It is fundamental to the whole scheme of things in relation to the Lord Jesus. I think it is true to the experience of most, if not all, of those who respond to the Spirit’s influence and call, that, following that response, there comes into being, there settles down within, a sense of belonging, of being owned, possessed. We feel: ‘I know now where I belong; this is really where I belong. I felt that I did not belong to anything or anybody before, but now I know I belong, and to Whom I belong.’ It is a sense of being taken into possession. It is a matter of ownership.
That is why there springs immediately from the lips of those who have responded to the Spirit the word ‘Father’. Paul says to the Galatians that the Spirit of God has been put into our hearts, and thereby we cry ‘Abba, Father’: and what does ‘Father’ mean if it does not mean belonging? And again, ‘Lord’ – the first ejaculation of Paul after his apprehending was ‘Lord’. We love that word, but we did not always love the idea of being ‘lorded’. It is foreign to human nature to be lorded over.
‘Master’ – that word is music to the Christian, as applied to the Lord Jesus; but how the natural man hates the idea of ‘master’!
This is the consciousness that comes in. We are not compelled or forced; it is spontaneous. The Spirit has brought us home, brought us into our rightful ownership. This is how it ought to be. For that was all arranged long, long before we had a being. We belong to Somebody, we are Somebody’s, that is where we belong.