2 Reasons to Remember that You Are “Called”

Why are you a Christian?

You might answer that question in any number of ways. You might, if you have an intellectual bent to you, say that you are a Christian because you have examined the evidence for Christianity and found it to be so intellectually compelling that you had no choice but to believe. Or you might say you are a Christian because someone you respected shared the gospel with you, and you observed in that person’s life the kind of joy and hope you were lacking, and so you believed. Or you might say you are a Christian because your family is all Christians and you were raised in the admonition of the Lord from the day you were born. All of those things may be true, and all of them are appropriate answers to the question, even if they vary from one another. But another answer you could give to that question, regardless of how the details worked themselves out, is this:

You are a Christian because God called you. The Bible tells us this again and again:

  • Romans 1:6: you who are also called by Jesus Christ.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:9: God is faithful; you were called by him into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • Galatians 1:6: I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from him who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel

The list of references goes on and on. God called you out of darkness into light. He called you from death to life. He called you from blindness to sight. If you are a Christian, it’s not ultimately because you figured out Christianity, or because you found it to be the best of many options, or even because you found Jesus to be a compelling historical figure.

You are a Christian because God called you.

But why does it matter? you might say. We are here now; we believe in the gospel; we are even growing in our faith. So why does it matter that God has called us?

Let me propose just two reasons:

Reason number one is because it reminds us of the depth of our need.

To say that God has called us is to implicitly say that we would not have come had He not called us, and to say that reminds us that apart from God we are dead in our transgressions and sin. In fact, we are “so dead” that we didn’t even recognize how dead we were. We were happily living our lives, with our own priorities, moving toward our own ends. And without the call of God, we would have continued to be spiritual lemmings, very happily moving toward the edge of a cliff, completely oblivious to the fate that awaited us. But God called. He intervened. And when we remember that, it puts us in a posture of gratitude and dependence.

The second reason why we need to remember the call of God is because it reminds us of the expectations associated with that call.

In many of the passages I referenced above, the call of God is not only that we would be saved from destruction; it’s that we would be holy. Maybe the most clear comes in 1 Thessalonians 4:7:

For God has not called us to impurity but to live in holiness.

This is what God has called us to – it’s not a life of ease and moral mediocrity, but of being set apart and pure. Christianity is about grace, but in that grace is a moral obligation and responsibility. God has called us to a life that is very different from the world around us – that we should live such good lives; such holy lives; such hopeful and joyful lives; such lives that display a different set of values and priorities – that we would be like salt and light in a tasteless and darkened world.

We should remember our call in other words because remembering our call makes us remember both what we were called from, and what we are still called to.

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