About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Confirm Your Call To Lead

 

God's call

 

We read the word "call" in Romans 11:20. 

 

"... for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable."

 

Although the context of the word "call" in Romans 11:20 refers to God calling the Jews to accomplish His purposes, Scripture teaches that God also calls individuals to salvation and to service ministries. 

 

Called to salvation

 

Acts 2:39 reads:

 

"The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off ó for all whom the Lord our God will call."

 

The promise in Acts 2:39 refers to the promised Holy Spirit who would enter the life of the one exhibiting genuine repentance and faith in Jesus after hearing God's call to salvation.      

 

Repentance is the process by which the Holy Spirit assists one to walk away from a life of sinfully serving himself.  Luke 13:5 says this about repentance.

 

"I tell you, no!  But unless you repent, you too will all perish."

 

Faith is the process by which the Holy Spirit assists one to enter into a trusting relationship with Jesus.  Hebrews 11:6 says this about faith. 

 

"And without faith it is impossible to please God ..."  

Once genuine repentance and faith is realized in a person, God gives that person His Spirit., as stated in Acts 2:38.

 

"Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized [baptism - an expression of faith], 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.'"

 

Without the Holy Spirit's residence in the believer, he does not belong to God, as we read in Romans 8:9. 

 

"And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ."

 

Called to serve

 

All Christians are called, none excluded, to serve God in some capacity.  1 Corinthians 12:13 reads:

 

"For we were all baptized [immersed] by one Spirit so as to form one body ... "

 

The word "all" in 1 Corinthians 12:13 refers to each believer in the Body of Christ, who as Paul taught in the rest of the chapter, are called by God to serve Him alongside others in the Body of Christ.    

   

Called to leadership

 

All Christians are called to serve Jesus in one way or another, but some are called to leadership responsibilities.  Ephesians 4:11 says this:

 

"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers ..."

 

An example of a call to leadership is seen in Luke 6:13, where Jesus gathered the disciples together, and from those gathered, He chose twelve apostles.

    

"When morning came, he [Jesus] called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated as apostles:"

 

Called by God

 

God is the one who calls a person to lead God's people, as was the case with Paul.  Galatians 1:15 and 16 states:

 

"But when God, who set me apart from my motherís womb and called me by his grace ... so that I might preach him among the Gentiles."

 

Called by God - ordained by man

 

Although God calls some to leadership, it is man who recognizes God's call and publically appoints those whom God calls to leadership, as seen in Titus 1:5.   

 

"The reason I [Paul] left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you."

 

Elders are publically appointed because they exhibit the qualifications and characteristics of an elder.  1 Timothy 3:1 through 7 lists these qualifications. 

 

Called to lead alongside other leaders     

The New Testament teaches that leaders lead alongside other leaders.  Eldership is always seen in its plural form in the New Testament.  Elders, not an elder, lead.  1 Peter 1:1 is an example of this.   

 

"To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ's sufferings ..."  

Confirm your call

 

2 Corinthians 13:5 reads:   

 

"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.  Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you ó unless, of course, you fail the test?"

 

Paul admonished his readers to test themselves to see if they were in the faith.  This test is applicable to us today, especially to those believing they have been called to leadership.  The validating proof, or seal, of one passing this test of faith is the fact that he has the Holy Spirit residing within him.  Ephesians 1:13 reads: 

 

"When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,"

 

Those who have passed the test of genuine faith, who have the Holy Spirit within them, will do productive works of service, as seen in Ephesians 2:8 through 10.  

 

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith ... For we are Godís handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

 

Those called by God to leadership responsibilities will have passed the test of faith.  Their call to lead will be evident because others are benefiting from their works of service.  They will understand that leadership is not a career choice, but God's choice for their lives.  Leadership is not an office one holds.  It is a responsibility to care for God's people.  

 

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