Chosen/Called by God

When Ananias was told Saul would be coming to him he was afraid.  His response was one grounded in the uncertain.  Ananias stated that he had heard the evil things Saul had done.  Ananias was reassured that Saul was a chosen vessel.  God chose Saul to preach the gospel to the Gentiles.  Before Saul knew God’s intent God already knew the ending.  While Saul was burying himself in Pharisaism God was preparing Saul to preach Jesus.

Does God choose men today to do his work on earth?  Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”   Is it safe to say that before the world was formed that God had already chosen those who would do His works?

In the past I have taught that God does not call certain individuals to preach the Gospel.  My reasoning was that since we were all a royal priesthood that all Christians had the ability and responsibility to preach Jesus.  Really a preacher was just like anyone else.  He had simply decided to preach.  I hope the Lord lets me live long enough to correct some of the mistaken concepts I have taught.

If God has prepared in advance the works that we are to do then He knows in advance the ones who will do the works.  Before the world began God knew those who would be chosen.  By His Spirit He has given us gifts  necessary to match the responsibilities he would set before us.  All talents and abilities we possess are given to us by God.  If you are an accountant your ability comes from God.  If you have the gift of encouragement it is because God has instilled that gift within you.

According to Acts 20:28 it is the Holy Spirit that makes certain men overseers of the flock.  If the Holy Spirit chooses elders does  He also choose the men who will become preachers? Obviously, some have the gift to preach while others do not. Where do preachers get the ability to do God’s bidding?  Is it not from God Himself?  Many who have the gift refuse to use it.  This doesn’t change the fact that God has chosen and gifted certain ones for the task. Certain men are made elders by the work of the Holy Spirit.  Other men are chosen by God to preach Jesus.  Whether you are called to be an elder or a preacher of the Gospel God has chosen you to be his representative.  You have been chosen to do an awesome work!  As you live your life remember who and what you are.  You are God’s man chosen to do the most important work in the world.  You have been called by God Himself,  live  your life accordingly!

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8 Responses to Chosen/Called by God

  1. Wayne McDaniel says:

    Dell,

    I am thankful you have written about a teaching of scripture that has long been ignored, even denied, by some in churches of Christ. Jesus spoke of God’s elect, and Paul wrote of us. Through Isaiah, the Lord declared a singular reason that He alone is God: He alone declares the future (Isa. 42:8-9, 44:6-8, 45:11, 46:9-10, 48:3-5). The Lord’s knowledge of the future, and ability to declare what will come to pass, should lead us to see that He has known us. In Psalm 139 David declared the Lord knew his words before he spoke them, and that the days of his life were written in God’s book. In Psalm 65:4 he wrote, “Blessed is the man whom you choose and cause to approach, that he may dwell in thy courts: We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, thy holy temple.” We may also consider: James 1:18, 2 Thes. 2:13, Luke 10:20, Phil. 4:3, Rev.13:8, 17:8, Jer. 1:4-5, Gal.1:15, Lk. 19:5, A.16:14.

    We can read of Jesus speaking of God’s elect in Mt. 24:22,24,31 and Mk. 13:20,22,27. If we think this teaching is only theoretical, and has no actual impact on the way we live, we may recall Jesus description of God’s elect in Luke 18:7: “that cry unto Him day and night”. Does such calling out to the Lord describe me? In the parable immediately following, Jesus presents two men who go to the temple to pray. One prays with himself — and thanks God that he is not as the rest of men. The other is aware of his sinfulness, and implores God to be merciful. One went home justified. Seeing ourselves, seeing our need for Jesus to continue to cleanse us, COMPELLS us to pray. John is very clear about sin and confession, 1 John 1:8-10, and James 5:16 is likely the most REFUSED instruction in all of the Bible.

    The goal set before us is to bring every thought captive to obey Christ, 2 Cor. 10:5. In view of that, it is not surprising Paul wrote that all “fall short of the glory of God”. “Fall short” is present tense in the second half of Rom. 3:23. In Greek, present tense means what is occurring now, AND what goes on occuring into the future. Rom.3:23 declares we fall short of God’s glory, and 1 John 1:8-9, and 3:2, show how God’s chosen people respond to that.

    The reason we have denied God’s election is our PRIDE, that loves the illusion that I am in control. It is that PRIDE that keeps us from confessing our sins, while speaking to others with condescension (“But this multitude that knows not the law are accursed.”-John 7:49). Have we not been guilty of such thinking? Is it entirely washed out of my heart today? Is it difficult for me to affirm the words of James 3:2?

    To believe that I am one of God’s chosen does not produce self-satisfaction, but a growing awareness that the way I am going will lead to the death of ME, before sharing in His glory.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts God bless

  3. preacherman says:

    Great thoughts Dell.
    I enjoy reading your blog.
    I think you do a fantastic job.
    Keep up the great work! 🙂

  4. Thanks!

  5. Don Morrison says:

    Dell,

    God’s election is indeed an affront to our pride. And thankfully he has bought us, at terrible cost, to belong to him since our personal vote in election is tainted by corruption and his alone will count. When we find heaven, by his grace alone, we will have no cause to look back and reminesce about the things we did on the way – only what he has done to bring us to himself!

    However, election is not always what some people may think. Did God select Eli, or his sons? Did God also select Saul and didn’t David recognized this too? Jesus also says to his disciples, “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.” All of which makes election a bit of a messy experience.

    I love the idea of destiny and purpose, but when I look back over my life, it is strewn with missed opportunities and behavior which I know did not please God. But just because I missed some of the good works which God prepared in advance for me, that does not mean that I have missed my destiny or my purpose. I heard someone say the other day, “I do not believe that God has a plan for my life. He has a purpose, but not a plan.” That gives some words to my own thoughts. I think of it, in one way, like a GPS gadget on the dashboard – You drive by the road it tells you to turn on and say to yourself, “I’m not taking that road.” and keep on driving. The machine says you missed to turn and then…”Re-calculating.” What a wonderful thought – that God can “re-calculate” my misdirection and bring me back into his purpose. Instead of re-calculate, we use the word redeem. He continues to purchase me from my own mistakes and use me for his purpose. And he continues to lay out good works for me to stumble upon and complete for him, if only I will do so. Perhaps the best thing is that though I may stray, he maintains my destination all the way so that somehow I arrive at his chosen point of arrival.

    How grateful we become as we realize his grace more and more. Still, I do not completely understand election, since some seem to have been elected to do bad and others good.

    Blessings on you, my friend,

    DM

  6. Thanks friend!

  7. Royce says:

    I think the thrust of your post was concerning those in ministry full time. Once again we see a teaching where the churches of Christ have it wrong.

    It is a pretty simple concept. God gives spiritual gifts (divine abilities) to each believer. However, God also gives certain gifted men to the church. They are listed in Ephesians 4:10.

    Not everyone, but “some” are to be pastor/teachers. They are not the same ones who are evangelists. The text is pretty clear. While it is true that all of us are to minister to others the emphasis is not the ministry of the Word. Only “some” are so equipped and given to the church.

    It is not we ourselves but God who chooses.

    Royce

  8. Royce, thanks for the words of wisdom.

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