Monday, May 18, 2009
THE CALL OF GOD - PART 3
In our third study on the subject, 'The call of God' we will focus on that internal (inward) call of the gospel accompanied by the Holy Spirit, where one is enabled by God to look to Christ ALONE for ALL of their salvation.
We will look at this doctrine (teaching) in 1 Corinthians chapter one:
1 Corinthians 1:18
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. "
When the true gospel (salvation conditioned on Christ ALONE) is preached ("the cross"; which is not a piece of wood, but the gospel) to those who don't believe it, it is foolishness unto them; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God through the Holy Spirit who enables us to believe on Christ. This is the internal "call".
1 Corinthians 1:21
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
God has chosen the true gospel preached as the means (way) in which God reveals Himself to those of us who believe.
1 Corinthians 1:22
For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom.
The Jews (religious people in Jesus' day to whom God revealed His Word to) needed to see something with their eyes - something physical; and the Greeks (the intellectual people of the day - the "thinkers") seek after wisdom. The Greeks had to reason everything out.
1 Corinthians 1:23
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
Preaching the true gospel ("Christ crucified") is rejected by the Jews (religious people without the internal call), and the Greeks who have to reason everything out - the gospel is "foolishness".
1 Corinthians 1:24
But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
The difference between those who believe, and those who do not is believers have received the internal (inward) call described in our text - "But unto them which are called". This is the subject of our study: THE CALL OF GOD!
1 Corinthians 1:26
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
Our text says "Not many wise men after the flesh"; these are people who the world sees as wise, but God sees them as foolish: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise" and "The foolishness of God is wiser than men" (1 Corinthians 1:19,25).
Our text also says: "Not many mighty, not many noble are called": those who the world thinks highly of are rejected by God - Jesus says: "for that which is highly esteemed (the world thinks highly of - highly regarded by the world) among men is abomination in the sight of God" (Luke 16:15).
The world looks up to many in the world considered wise and famous; but if they have not yet received the internal CALL OF GOD, God sees them as foolish!
But look at the rest of our text in 1 Corinthians 1:26: "For ye see your calling brethren" - being wise, noble, famous means nothing to God, but what is important is if you have received this calling - THE CALL OF GOD - where one hears the true gospel (salvation through Christ ALONE): this is the external (outward) call; and through the power of the Holy Spirit one is enabled to turn from any and all false religion (anything that adds to or away from the work of Christ ALONE for salvation), and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for ALL of salvation!
This is the internal (inward) call. If we have received this call and believe on Christ ALONE for ALL of our salvation, this is because of God's grace (undeserved favor); therefore: "That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:31).
Have you received this call?
God's promise to His people:
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
2 Corinthians 6:2
(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
By Craig Miklosik