Romans 8: 28 - 30, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. NKJV
As believers in Christ, we have been taught much on the subject of salvation. However, today, I want to introduce to you a word that Paul used in his writings that also pertains to our salvation, but takes us in a different direction than traditional salvation messages tend to take us. When we think of salvation, there is the tendency to lean toward the understanding of having our souls rescued from sin... and this is absolutely true, but salvation doesn't stop the moment you become born again. In fact, it is the beginning of a brand-new life in Christ. Since we are born again, we are to live this new life through faith. We accomplish walking by faith when we learn about God's purpose for us, and we choose to serve His purpose. After all, we now belong to Him.
This brings us to the reason for today's devotion and the word "called." Paul tells us that we are the called of God. This word simply means invited of God. Once we become children of God, He invites us to become instruments of righteousness on the earth to proclaim and expand the Kingdom of God in the earth. Over the years, the word "calling" has become synonymous with those who answer God's call on their lives to have a pulpit ministry. Paul explains his use of "CALLED" by teaching us about the purpose of God and fulfilling His purpose as His children while we remain here on earth. As you and I accept God's invitation to serve His purpose in the earth, it gives God the ability to work in us His good pleasure. So as we serve His purpose in the earth by obedient faith, we are at the same time giving God access into our lives to change us or to conform us into the image of Christ.
Paul tells us in today's verses that God not only called us, He also justified us, and those He justified, these, He also glorified. The justification process that Paul spoke about and Jesus taught His disciples about might be new to your understanding, but it isn't a new doctrine. Do you remember Jesus told the Jews, who believed on Him as the Christ that if they should continue walking in His Words, they would come to know the truth, and the truth would make them free? (John 8) He also told His disciples that if they wanted to come after Him, they had to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him. As we answer God's invitation to serve His purpose on the earth, it gives God access to our hearts through our faith to change us into the image of Christ. We have Christ in our hearts the moment we become born again, but we have not become Christ-like in our soul (mind, will, emotions).
Here is how you can implement this teaching in your life today. Now that you have accepted Jesus into your life and have become saved, do you fully know and understand God's invitation to serve His purpose in your new life in Christ? Paul also teaches us in Romans that Abraham believed God, and God accounted him as righteous. God considered Abraham righteous because Abraham believed and served God's purpose for him on the earth. God made him to be the "father" of the faith. We see that Abraham was made righteous apart from the works of the law because of faith alone. There's more to salvation than being saved. We will discover our new identity and destiny in Christ once we both accept God's purpose and live by faith through our obedience to His heavenly calling.
Called to Serve His Good Purpose,
Pastor Asa Dockery