To those who are called of God, the good news in Jesus Christ is the power of God. If you are called of God, you know it. It is a matter of pure experience between you and the risen Christ. The true believer can declare, “Now I know in whom I have believed.”
C. H. Spurgeon said, “Ah! What a mercy it is that it is not your hold of Christ that saves you but His hold of you! What a sweet fact that it is not how you grasp His hand, but His grasp of yours that saves you! Jesus Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.” “But we preach Christ crucified… to those who are called, both to Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:23a, 24).
“To those who are the called… Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” On occasion Jesus said, “Many are called, but few are chosen.”
There is the general call through the preaching of the Gospel to all who will come and listen, but there is also an effectual call when the Holy Spirit speaks to the individuals and they respond by repenting of their sin and believe on Christ as their personal Savior.
The school bell rings at 8 a.m., and it is a general call for all students to be in their classroom ready to begin their studies. However, when the teacher says, “Wil, come with me. We are going to the principal’s office,” that is a special call.
When the apostle Paul said, “We preach Christ crucified…to those who are called,” it is always a special call. It is the sharp, hot arrow of God’s Word piercing into the heart bringing conviction of sin and saving faith in Jesus Christ.
The effectual call of God is when the Holy Spirit whispers your name and says, “Come to Me.” The word comes into the soul, and there is no resisting it. God speaks. Jesus said, “All that the Father has given to Me shall come.” That is the effectual call.
The believer is saved by the effectual grace of God. Saul, the persecutor of the early church, heard the effectual call of God saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:4). Saul could go no further on his way, and a radical change took place in his heart.
Zaccheus saw Jesus coming down the road and climbed up into a tree so he could get a better view. As Jesus walked He looked up into the tree and called to Zaccheus, “Zaccheus, come down today. I must abide in your house.” Zaccheus heard his name called and he could not stay up the tree.
The effectual call of God comes as we listen to the gospel being preached, and there is the power of God drawing the person to repent and believe on Christ. It is the effectual call because those who hear it respond to God’s free grace and are saved.
The preaching of the cross is a thing of power. “I have felt it here, in this heart; I have the witness of the Spirit within and know it is a thing of might because it has conquered me; it has bowed me down,” wrote Spurgeon.
It is a thing of power that does it. It is the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Have you experienced it? I have. It is my prayer that you will respond to the good news that Jesus Christ died for your sins on the cross. Can you say in your heart, “Jesus died for me. I know the blood of Jesus has washed me of all my sins. God has saved me for all eternity by His cleansing blood.”
Christ to me is the power of God and the wisdom of God.
“Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.”
This is the response to the effectual call of God. “To the rest of you who are called, I need say nothing,” Spurgeon said. “The longer you live, the more deeply Christ taught you are, the more you live under the constant influence of the Holy Spirit, the more you will know the Gospel to be a thing of power, and the more also will you have understood it to be a thing of wisdom. My every blessing rest upon you; and may God come up with us in the evening.”
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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