Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I was called for what?

Peter’s introduction to his first letter presents in very clear terms why we were called, why the church exists, why we are Christians: “for obedience to Jesus Christ”. It is really no surprise that Peter would consider this the primary and essential reason for the existence of all who call themselves Christians because Jesus said it himself, “if you love me you will obey my commands”. Jesus also commissioned the church to “go and make disciples … teaching them to obey all I have commanded”.
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. - 1 Peter 1:1-2
It is sad and frustrating to see so many who call themselves Christians not responding to this calling. So many do not consider repentance and obedience to be an essential elements of their faith. These are being presented by many as optional. Too many think that we were called to salvation simply for salvation's sake. Others think we were called to simply make a profession of faith. However, according to Peter we were called for obedience. He also points out that we will definitively look different from the world when we are called. We will be strangers in the world. We will no longer look and act like the world or like we used to before submitting and receiving Christ. Does the church look different? Do you look different? Are you a stranger? Would the world consider you a stranger? An Alien? Or, are you still part of it?

We’re called to glorify God and we do this by demonstrating our faith in him through complete submission to and reliance upon him. Two of the primary ingredients to this are repentance and obedience. Peter also provides some good news in this short, but powerful introduction: through the Spirit sanctification can be accomplished. The other thing that Peter underscores is our need for grace to accomplish our calling of obedience to Christ. This isn’t that grace that forgives our sins. This is the grace that empowers us and helps us obey God.

Let’s live out our calling. Through the Spirit and with God’s grace, let’s live lives that are obedient to Christ.


David said...

Thanks, I have been wrestling with this very issue the past few days, though I have been coming at it from the Isaiah 1 texts.

Anonymous said...

God has gifted you to communicate the truth of His word with just a few words. Thanks for obeying Him by preaching the gospel and making disciples!