The multivalent calling of God

Often discussions of calling in Paul, centered around the verb καλέω and the noun κλῆσις, regard it solely as related to God’s sovereign call to salvation. In certain books that may be the emphasis, but I am beginning to think that Paul’s use of the concept is more pluriform. Paul uses the verb four times in Galatians (the noun none), and each use has a different nuance. In Gal 1:6 the focus is on calling to salvation through the preaching of the gospel. In Gal 1:15 Paul uses the word to describe his own calling to apostolic ministry. In Gal 5:8 the present tense participle implies a present calling for the Galatians to turn back from their flirtation with the Law, that is, to repent. In Gal 5:13 the emphasis is on the ethical, spiritual life as the goal of the calling. From Galatians, at least, we should acknowledge the possibility that “calling” is a multivalent concept, applied by Paul as needed to different aspects of the believer’s relationship to God.