Summary: This sermon is the second in this current series of “Preaching Through Romans” and deals with the various aspects of God’s calling upon people’s lives.
As a pastor, there are all kinds of calls I receive from day to day. I get calls requesting prayer, concerning counseling, dealing with death and on many occasions a call for an order for Dominos Pizza! The last four digits of one church phone number was the same as Dominos and I would invariably get one of those calls. The nature of the call you receive as a Christian has several different aspects to it.
Paul wrote the church at Rome because he had received a call. It was a calling from God. His calling came on the Damascus Road and it came through the Lord Jesus Christ. It went something like this according to Acts 9:4ff., “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? Who are you Lord? Saul asked. I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting, he replied. Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Paul received a calling from God through the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Have you ever received a call from God? You may have or you may be saying, “Well no preacher, I’ve never heard God speak to me.” If not, well good! The Bible indicates that God is in the calling business. Now, when I say calling, I mean that God takes the initiative towards you, He pursues you and He issues an invitation for you to be a part of His eternal purposes. In fact, that’s God’s purpose for you – eternal life! That’s why I have hope you will hear Him calling today. So listen carefully for His voice as we look more closely at some aspects of our calling. First of all:
I. You Are Called To Come To Christ vv.6-7
The basic calling of God upon your life is to “believe.” Jesus says in John 5:24-26, “whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life . . . a time is coming when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live . . . “ The basic calling of God upon your life is to enter into a personal relationship with Him who created you. “Calling” simply means that God speaks to a person so as to create or enrich a personal relationship. Verse 7 indicates it’s out of God’s eternal love that He calls you into that relationship. John 3:16 makes that abundantly clear
Out of His love God calls us to be “saints,” separated by the Holy Spirit, set apart to God, blood bought and to belong to Jesus as verse 6 says. We are called to live “in Christ,” to be born again. This all speaks of our spiritual union with Jesus to which we are called, based upon his death, burial and resurrection. The bottom line calling is to know God personally, to come to faith in Jesus Christ for he said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes unto the Father but by Me.” Secondly:
II. You Are Called To Call Others To Come To Christ v.5
Verse 5 says, “Through Him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.” It’s “through Him,” that is Jesus, “and for His name’s sake” that is, He will save His people from their sins. That’s what His name means. So Paul says, “we received grace” which is another way of communicating our basic call as Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are you saved through faith . . .“ Forgiveness of sin and the free gift of eternal life comes to you undeserved and free. He goes on, “and apostleship” which means you’ve been sent, “to call people to the obedience that comes from faith.”
Herein is your calling to call others to come to Christ. We are all apostles in the basic sense of that word. It means “sent forth” and in this context, to speak to people on behalf of God. That is, all people – good and bad people, red and yellow people, black and white people, rich and poor people, as Paul said in Romans 1:14ff. You are called to share your faith. You see, you not only have received the privilege of coming to Christ, but you have the God called responsibility to call others to the obedience that comes from faith! The Living Bible puts it plainly, “And now he is sending us out around the world to tell all people everywhere the great things God has done for them, so that they too will believe and obey.” Thirdly,
III. You Are Called To Commit To A Special Calling v.1
Paul was “called to be an apostle.” He was a specially commissioned representative of Jesus Christ to carry the gospel to the Gentiles. In fact, Apostle was used of Jesus in Hebrews 3:1, “Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest, whom we confess.” He is the supreme apostle, the One from whom all other apostleship flows. A part of Paul’s calling was to commit Himself to this special calling as an apostle according to Acts 9:15.