First Corinthians 1:26 commands us: “consider your calling.” So what is our calling? Pastor John explained in his sermon by that title, preached back on April 25, 2010. Here’s a clip of what he said in that sermon.
First Corinthians 1:26 says, “Consider your calling, brothers.” And that is what I am asking you to do right now. Just do some considering right now. What is Paul talking about? My job? Carpenter, nurse, teacher, homemaker? No, that is not what he is talking about. How do you know that is not what he is talking about? Well, mainly I know because of verses 22–24. Consider your calling in the context of these verses:
Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
Call That Creates
So when the called look at Christ crucified, they don’t see a stumbling block, they don’t see folly; they see power. So there are three groups in those verses:
- There are Jews who are not called,
- Gentiles who are not called,
- and Jews and Gentiles who are called.
And then he describes the response of each to the cross.
- To the Jews, a stumbling block: “A crucified Messiah, never heard of such a thing.”
- To the Gentiles, foolishness: “A dying God is silly and mythological.”
- And to the called, power: “My God!”
What kind of call is that? That’s the kind of call that creates what it commands. The call gives life. The call creates sight. The call raises the dead: “Lazarus, come forth!” (John 11:43). He didn’t decide to; the call raised him from the dead.
Loved to Life
Let me give you an analogy because lots of you have never been taught about the call of God: the mighty, effectual, irresistible, powerful, saving, wakening, life-giving call of God that saved you. You have never been taught about this. So here is a little analogy to help you.
Suppose somebody is asleep and you want to wake them up. What do you do? You bend over them and you say, “Wake up!” And they bolt right upright. Now what are the dynamics of that moment? They were sound asleep and, bang, they were awake. Did they hear the call and say, “I will think about that before I wake up, and then I will decide if I want to wake up.”
When God issues a call to your dead heart and says, “Wake up!” you will wake up. You did not make yourself a Christian. Just face it: you didn’t make yourself a Christian, which is why you should feel so incredibly loved. In fact, if you need a text to say that, just go to Ephesians 2:4, where Paul says, just as clearly as can be:
God, . . . because of the great love with which he loved us, . . . made us alive together with Christ.
That’s the only place in the New Testament where the phrase “great love” appears: because of his great love, he made you alive when you were dead. So if you have any spiritual life in you at all, you have been greatly loved.