Summary: Aspects and response to the calling of God.
(Partially adapted from the Thompson Chain outlines)
A. Read text.
B. We were all someone else before we were Christians.
C. When we accepted Christ, we began to change.
D. God has promised to conform us to Christ’s image.
E. This is sometimes a slow process.
F. The fault is ours due to the flesh.
G. Today’s lesson is on how God really would like us to respond to Him.
I. ASPECTS OF THE CALLING
A. CALLED FROM SOMEWHERE -- Out of darkness - I Peter 2:9 - "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"
B. CALLED TO SOMEWHERE OR SOMETHING.
1. To righteousness - Isaiah 42:6 - "I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house."
2. To peace - I Corinthians 7:15 - "But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace."
3. To glory - II Peter 1:3 - "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:"
C. THERE HAS TO BE A REASON.
1. According to His purpose - Romans 8:28 - "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
2. To be God’s people - Romans 9:25 - "As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved." (Gentile Christians)
II. THE CALL.
A. "Were fishers..." - old life.
B. "Follow me." - the call.
C. "I will make you fishers of men." - new life.
III. THE RESPONSE.
A. Read v. 18.
B. Two things the fishermen did.
1. They forsook their nets.
a. Meaning : they left behind whatever they had to.
b. Luke 5:11 - "they forsook all and followed him."
2. They did so straightway (They wasted no time in doing so).
C. Matthew Levi’s response to Jesus’ call.
1. Matthew 9:9 - "And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the reciept of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him."
2. Luke 5:27-28 - "And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. And he left all, rose up, and followed him."
3. Matthew went on to do a good work for Christ - Luke 5:29 - "And Levi made him a great feast in his own house..."
IV. OTHER EXAMPLES.
A. John The Baptist preached immediate repentance - Matthew 3:10 - "And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees..." (Tomorrow? NO! Now!)
B. The Ethiopian Eunich - Acts 8:36 - "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
V. FULFILLING THE CALL.
A. Your duty - II Peter 1:10 - "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:"
B. God’s expectations - II Chronicles 7:14 - "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
A. John 12:26 - Our call - "If any man follow me, let him serve me."
B. He called Himself the Good Shepherd.
C. That means we, as His sheep, must follow down the path that He has set for us.
D. We are being perfected and conformed to Christ’s image.
E. Along the way are little calls that we must heed (Spiritual housecleaning).
F. I Kings 18:21 - "And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him."