Jude 1:1 and Rom 8:28
INTRO: In the New Testament there is a word used of disciples of Christ, which we probably do not use often to identify them. It is the word called. At times this word comes from invitation - at others it is from to call forth. Certainly, it refers to a change of position or status. When Jude wrote of disciples and noted they are sanctified and preserved, he added, ...and called. Dramatic changes in status had occurred!
I. THE MANNER OF THE CALLING?
A. We are called by Jesus
1. Rom 1:6 the called of Jesus
2. 2 Tim 1:9 who hath saved ... and called us...
3. 1 Pet 2:9 who hath called you out ..
4. He invited us ( Mt 11:28) - He called us forth, bade us (Lk 9:59)
B. We are called by Jesus by means of the gospel
1. 2 Thes 2:14 ... He called you by our gospel ...
2. God has placed great trust and power in the message of the gospel, the word
3. the call is not a mysterious experience - it is the operation of the word in the mind/heart
C. We are called by God, by the gospel into His kingdom
1. 1 Thes 2:12,13 ... called you unto His kingdom ...
2. now we see clearly a change of status, position
3. Col 1:12-14 here are three wonderful verses ... in v.13 we see clearly the change
II. WE ARE CALLED ...
A. Rom 8:28 According to Gods purpose
1. we will say more of Gods purpose in our lesson
2. but just here I want to emphasize that we are called to very specific things relating to Gods purpose
3. we are not called to do our own thing
B. 1 Pet 1:15 to be holy people
1. 1 Thes 4:7
2. called implies separation - distinction
3. so, 2 Cor 7:1 our calling is one of separation from the moral, religious impurities of a world engrossed in sin ... note Rom 6:12-16
C. Rom 1:27 To be saints
1. 1 Cor 1:2
2. saint is from same word as holy ... so, again, called to be holy
3. but our understanding, by years of use, is that saint is a special designation bearing some weight of years of proving, etc. fact: every Christian has been called to be a saint
4. and saint does bear the weight of personal purity, responsibility
D. Gal 5:13 Into liberty
1. from the bondage of the law and of sin
2. yet, this liberty is not absolute as some would like us to believe -
3. note Gal 5:7 - there is obedience in our liberty
4. ours, then, is the liberty which comes from living as God designed us to live ... 1 Thes 4:1,2 with Eph 5:8,10 ... are rails constraining, onerous to a train? no - its freedom is in running on, along the rails!
E. 1 Pet 3:9 To inherit a blessing
1. in 1:4 the apostle spoke of inheritance reserved ...
2. but the present passage explains that our heavenly inheritance (blessing) is conditioned on our being a blessing!
3. so, again, we see how that called is both privilege and responsibility
CLOSE: 2 Pet 1:10,11. make your calling ... sure. Yes, Christians are called. But one calling is a lifetime of response to the way which pleases God.
Cecil A. Hutson
04 March 2001
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)