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Called by God

Romans 1:5-7
Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV)

The gospel is God calling people to a whole change of life. And He gave the Apostles the primary responsibility of explaining it. They were inspired by the Holy Spirit to present the truth about salvation through Jesus Christ alone; first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles (Romans 1:16). Their apostolic calling came directly from Jesus Christ, and was to honour His Name. It was not their choice, but His (John 15:16).

The gospel call addresses people of every ethnic and cultural and language group, wherever they may live in the world. It is a call to believe in Jesus Christ as the only way to Father God, and follow Him obediently. It is therefore a call to belong to Jesus, and also a call to be His saints (ordinary people made holy by the blood of Christ). All those who do, know they are loved by God: they rely on His grace to help them every day and His peace to reassure them that they are safe in His presence.

Although the Apostles explained the gospel to grow the Early Church, God continues to use their writing to instruct the 21stC church. God is still calling people to belong to Jesus, and He is using people like you and me to do it. We do not have to invent the gospel: we just take it from the Apostles and pass it on. Indeed it is essential to keep checking that the gospel we proclaim is authentically apostolic; if we don't, we risk a slow shift from the truth ... and that will never save souls or glorify the Lord Jesus. Neither will it enable new believers to learn what belonging to Christ is all about. So make sure you stay true to the authentic apostolic gospel; and encourage others to do the same.

Dear Lord God. Thank You for calling the apostles to explain the gospel, and to pass it on to me. Forgive me when I substitute my own thoughts for the authentic apostolic revelation of the gospel. May I always be keen to understand the gospel clearly and to present it simply so that my friends and colleagues may know that Jesus Christ is calling them to belong to Him. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams