Summary: Jesus calls us to justification, fellowship, and, sometimes, conflict.
Called to Be Saints (Holy) I Cor 1:1-3
INTRO.: In verses 1 and 2 of this chapter, ‘called" is used three times. It is a very common word in the N. T. We see:
Eph. 1:18 "hope of his calling
Phil. 3,14 ‘The high calling
II Thess. 1:14 "your calling"
II Tim. 1:3 a "holy calling"
Heb. 3:1 "the heavenly calling"
Eph. 4:4 "In one hope of your calling"
Rum. 8:28 "called according to I-us purpose"
When we receive a responsibility, opportunity, or honor, we may get it in one of three ways: a necessity, a command, or an invitation. We may be "called upon" to dc something in any of these ways.
In the original, "called" implies more an invitation than a command. The call of God is a gracious invitation.
We are called ‘to be saints". That means we are saints by invitation, or calling. We do not acquire or assume this for ourselves. It comes by the grace of God.
A saint is simply a believer. It applies to all those who seek salvation in Jesus. The root meaning of the word carries the idea of being set apart to the service of God. It means we are called to belong to Him.
If God has called us to belong to Him, then we must regard this as a very important calling. Paul calls it the high calling of God."
Three questions about this calling:
I. By whom are we called?
A. By Jesus: Matt. 11:28-30
1. While we were sinners. Matt. 9:10-13
2. Spent His life calling & died so the call could go to all men.
3. His are the example, revelation, atonement, victory, testimony, invitation that call us to God.
B. By the holy spirit & Church. Rev. 22:17
1. Rev., after showing all the glory in store for God’s people, ends with this invitation.
2. H.S. has a part in the work. We needn’t rely on our own strength.
3. Yet, we must not minimize the role of “the Bride.”
C. Through the Gospel. II Thess. 2:14
1. An example: Acts 8:12. People respond to Gospel.
2. “Good News” is attractive.
3. The Bride, empowered by the HS, carries on Jesus’ work using Jesus’ message to call men to sainthood, just as in NT times.
II. To what are we called?
A. Justification: Rom. 8:28-30
1. God knew in advance who would accept Christ & determined they be conformed to His image.
2. Having determined this. He issued a call to all who would come to Christ in faith.
3. When we respond to His call, we are treated as tho we have not sinned (justified) and eventually share His glory.
4. His call is to justification & glory.
B. Fellowship with Christ. I Cor. 1:9
1. We are fellow members of God’s family
2. Fellow citizens of the Kingdom with Jesus.
3. God is faithful. This fellowship is for eternity.
C. Conflict. Jude 1-3
1. “Contend” means to enter into conflict.
2. “Contend earnestly” indicates intense struggle.
3. If we contend earnestly for the faith, we will have less time for other contentions.
4. Contending earnestly may involve only inviting someone to Church. Results can be amazing.
III. How shall we respond to this call?
A. Typical responses seen in the parable of Jesus. Mt. 22:1-14
1. Majority refused invitations.
2. One accepted but failed to live up to conditions.
3. Many called, few chosen. Choice is made on basis of willingness to heed the call.
B. Make calling & election sure. II P. 1:10
1. Accomplished through growth.
2. The Christian must never be satisfied with his maturity
C. Live a worthy life: I P. 1:15
1. God has called us to be like Him & has shown us in Jesus what He expects.
2. He “judges according to every man’s works.”
3. We cannot lie, steal, be unkind, etc. because He who called us expects better from us.
CONC.: We sometimes hear someone “missed his calling.” A call goes out from God to every one of us. We must not miss it or refuse to heed it. Review. Hear God’s call to a higher life.