About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Your Call To Lead
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.
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
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.
'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."
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.
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:"
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."
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
Elders are publically
appointed because they exhibit the qualifications and characteristics of
an elder. 1 Timothy 3:1
through 7 lists these qualifications.
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
2 Corinthians 13:5
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
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:
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."
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.