There is so much in this passage to think about. In this post I’m going to reflect on the one word that caught my attention – largely because it is repeated four times (in the NIV). It is the word “call.”
Called for a purpose (v.1) – Paul knew that he had been specifically called by God for a specific purpose. His calling, of course, was very dramatic (Acts 9). Ours, perhaps, not so much but I believe that God has a calling for each of us. He has a purpose for why He has called us “out of darkness into His wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9) Part of the great adventure of seeking Him is to discover our purpose and calling. I know mine. (Feel free to ask me what it is). Do you as yet know yours?
Called to call others (v.5) – Pauls calling was to the Gentiles – to call them to the “obedience that comes from faith.” There is a universal calling for all believers to be agents of reconciliation – ambassadors on behalf of the gospel (2 Cor 5).We are to be salt and light to those around us who demonstrate with our lives and testify with our lips that Jesus is the way and the truth and the life. We are called to call others out of sin and unto salvation.
Called to belong to Jesus (v.6) Paul uses the word servant (doulos) in verse 1. The word is often translated bond-servant and in many contexts has the connotation of slave. Paul saw himself, on the one hand, as a man who had been set free from bondage and on the other hand as a man who who’s life had been purchased by blood. He belonged to Christ. His life was NOT his own. And neither is ours. We belong to Jesus. We are His possession (Eph. 1:14). His beloved possession that He delights in and wants our joy to be for His glory. As John Piper says, “He is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”
Called to be saints (v.7) – We are called to be His “holy ones.” We are NOT called to be religious, or good church people, or Sunday Christians, or nice, or moral. We are called to be holy, just as He is holy. And because He has called us to be holy, He has equipped us to be holy by giving us His Holy Spirit to guide, convict, and empower us.
It is not just Paul who was called. It is not just pastors who are called. All believers are called by God both generally and specifically. This is a good week to intentionally ponder how God has called you.
Next Week: Romans 1:8-17
Memory Verses: Romans 8:1-2