It's Your Call, Take It

Some News You Can Use from Shelby Center

If you’ve ever been around someone who sensed a “call” upon their life and took it, you know how influential their testimony is.

They were living a certain way, struggling with some challenge, viewing life through a distorted lens… Then came the call, they answered it, and everything changed!

The Christian’s calling changes everything too! We’re called to radical transformation via urgent evangelization while in a continuous state of spiritual development, all by the power of the same indwelling Spirit of Jesus Christ and His word. It started when we answered the gospel call (John 1:12-13, 17).

Christians are an assembly of believers called out from darkness and into God’s glorious light who meet locally with the life purpose of serving the living Christ in holy, healthy, and harmonious fellowship.

Yet our union with other believers in various states of spiritual development can create tension.

It is in these times we must remember our calling and its effects. The complex problems any church faces must be confronted and resolved.

A healthy dose of humility and self-examination is a good place to start.

Before Paul begins authoritatively dealing with what is dividing this assembly of believers at sin-soaked Corinth he reminds them (and by extension each of us) of their calling in Christ. (From 1 Cor. 1:1-9):

1. (1-3) Before We Can Have Unity, We Must Understand Our Calling:

· To serve. We’re called out of who and what we used to serve. Saul the devout Hebrew no more! He’s now Paul, the apostle to the gentiles. Apostolic authority was legitimate but limited to a dozen or so.

· To be saints. No longer heathen, we’re made holy by the new birth, separated from ungodliness to God revealing grace and the gospel. Believers become a contrast to the world they abandoned.

· To assemble. Baptized believers (the body of Christ) gather locally in “churches” to exalt the Lord; edify and equip saints for the labor of the ministry; and urgently evangelize the lost (Eph. 4:11-16).

2. (4-9) Before We Can Have Unity, We Must Understand Our Gifting:

· Grace and riches. The grace shown to us is to be shared by us. It is given never earned. Grace is a great equalizer: All believers started and end in the same place (Eph. 2:1, 4-10)!

· Spiritual gifts. None can boast when we realize we were all beggars enriched and blessed by Christ (Eph. 1:3-8, 4:8, 1 Cor. 12:7). We give generously and with gratitude what we’ve received from God.

· Security. The believer’s standing (in Christ) must not be confused with his state (in process). It is God’s power that saves us and His promise that secures us while His word perfects us (Phil. 1:6).

· Solidarity. God called us into healthy, holy, and harmonious fellowship on the basis of the new birth. God’s names are used 54x in ch. 1. Our oneness in Christ is what we emphasize (John 17:11).

Friend, remember you’ve been called - out of darkness and into God’s light - out of this present evil world into assembly with other believers in various states of spiritual development to serve God in honest testimony of what the gospel is and does: Transformation that influences others to believe and follow Jesus.

You’re now a saint called to serve with grace and gifts to give. So, act like it! You too started as a sinner and were saved by the same grace when you answered the gospel call.

Stay humble, be holy, live harmoniously, and help some others do likewise. It’s your call, take it.

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