Summary: A sermon on Ephesians 4:1-3 on the calling
Sermon for 7/19/2009
Ephesians 4:1-6 (vs. 1-2)
A. I wonder if your coming to Christ was like the Apostle Paul’s. In Acts 9 we have the account of Saul’s or Paul’s conversion. Tell the story.
B. (Acts 9:4 NIV) He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"(Acts 9:5 NIV) "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. (Acts 9:6 NIV) "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."
C. (Acts 9:15 NIV) But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. (Acts 9:16 NIV) I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."
D. Paul received salvation and his calling all at the same time.
A. Talk about the calling (vs. 1). Really many calls but let’s talk about 3 basic calls:
1. The call of salvation
a. (Acts 2:37 NIV) When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"(Acts 2:38 NIV) Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:39 NIV) The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call."
b. (Eph 1:18 NIV) I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints. This is the hope that is being talked about in vs. 4.
c. There was a man named Raccoon John Smith who lived in Kentucky in the 1800’s. He heard a popular evangelist and Mr. Smith was cut to the heart. He wanted to be forgiven and go to heaven. However the teaching in that day said that before one could become a born again Christian they had to have a vision or an experience to make sure they were a member of the elect. Raccoon prayed for a vision or experience so that he could be a part of the church and have assurance that his sins were forgiven. He prayed and he prayed and nothing happened. He almost went crazy praying for this experience. After a while he began to believe that he was born to go to hell. One day a man came to him and asked him, “Are you going to heaven?” Mr. Smith said no. This man talked to Mr. Smith about Jesus and Raccoon said that he had already heard about Jesus. Raccoon told the man that he was waiting for his vision or experience so that he could be born again. The man said, “You are in the right book but on the wrong chapter.” After taking Raccoon to Acts 2, Mr. Smith was baptized and had assurance.
d. I suppose someone can have a grand experience or vision when becoming a Christian but for the most of us, it doesn’t happen that way. The Ethiopian Eunuch, Lydia (The Lord opened her heart)
2. The Call of Service
a. As a born again believer, we are commanded to do good works. We are saved to do good works. (Eph 2:10 NIV) For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
b. One call we have is to our family. (1 Tim 5:8 NIV) If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
c. Another call is to our jobs. (Eph 4:1 KJV) I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
d. Another call is to the church. (Gal 5:13 NIV) serve one another in love.
e. Another call is to our community- those outside of Christ- (Col 4:5 NIV) Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. (Col 4:6 NIV) Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
f. I have a question for you. Did you receive a grand vision or out of body experience when you received your call to your job? Neither did I.
g. Talk about the farmer who saw in the clouds, GP.
h. All are called of God. The "secret call" of the preacher does not make him more called than the carpenter.