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Definition

The Reformation doctrine of vocation teaches that all Christians are called by God to live faithfully in three arenas, the household, the Church, and the state, in which all Christians are to live out their priesthood as believers by offering up their lives as living sacrifices to God.

Summary

The Reformers formulated the doctrine of vocation in response to the Roman Catholic insistence that “vocation” or “calling” was reserved for those entering the service of the church through the priesthood or a monastic order. Those doing so would renounce marriage, secular work, and economic advancement through taking vows of celibacy, obedience, and poverty. In response, the Reformers argued that all Christians are called by God to live faithfully in the three arenas of life: the household, the church, and the state. As a corollary of the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers, all Christians are called by God to offer up their lives as living sacrifices in all areas of life. This means that all of life, including the most mundane tasks, are worship to God, not only select actions and vocations reserved for those who have renounced involvement in normal institutions of worldly life.

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