you are called into His image
Yesterday I heard the DJ on a Christian radio station give his little preach on Romans 8:28. You know one of those little preaches at the end of the News segment which is supposed to encourage you and me? These days I can barely listen to what passes as Christian teaching. What the brother said to his many listeners would have kept them from the Grace of Jesus and left them floundering under the weight of the Law and in total fear of Hell Fire.
This is the gist of what he said…He quoted the verse…
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Then he gave his commentary which went like this….
Now we can rest assured that God is looking out for us in everything that happens to us..(I agree, but then he said)..”as long as we are living the life of someone who is called according to His purpose.”
The DJ made the verse conditional upon our behaviour fitting in with someone who is called. Nothing new here. Almost all of Christianity imagines that salvation is only for those whose behaviour is at a high enough standard for them to be saved. Thus he deceives himself and others.
Romans 8 is the HIGHLIGHT of Paul’s gospel which is a Gospel of Grace, yet many turn it around into a Bad news story of Law keeping.
The Good news is that God has reconciled sinners to Himself. The full meaning of being reconciled is that we have become sharers in the Divine nature. We have been made one with Jesus Christ.
And if we are ONE with Jesus then we are RIGHTEOUS only by His righteous Life dwelling in us. There is no room for any of that “trying to be righteous ourselves” stuff. Unless of course you wish to boast in your own performance which is exactly what happens when we are trusting in our selves and not Jesus.
If you have received Jesus Christ into your spirit then you are the called according to His purpose. That word “are” means that you were the called right from the moment you entered into Life in Jesus. You did not earn life, you entered into Life by the faith doorway which God brought you through. You ARE the called one.
To be or not to be.
Paul starts his letter to the Romans saying
Rom 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
In case you do not realise it, when you see italics in the Bible it means that the words do not appear in the original language, but were added in by the translators for what they believed would give clarity.
So Paul was LITERALLY AND REALLY saying I AM CALLED AN APOSTLE!! Not “to be” an apostle, but God called Paul from before he was born an apostle of Jesus Christ. There are many people who are still to come into Jesus who are called an apostle. God has called them an apostle from before they were born, but they have not responded yet. As I said before…all people have been RECONCILED TO GOD yet they do not know it.
Where am I going with this?
You are the called —not according to whether you have done anything to look like the called of God.
Paul continues in Chapter 1 of Romans by speaking about Jesus…
Rom 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
There it is again! Jesus is the Son of God…not to be the Son of God–He is…from before He was born…JUST LIKE YOU!!
Then Paul addresses you and me…
Rom 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Called “to be” saints? What!? after we prove to God that we are worthy to be called saints? I DON’T THINK SOOOO!!!! NO !!
WE ARE THE BELOVED OF GOD, CALLED OR SET APART ONES, SAINTS!!
It is through the sanctification of the Holy Spirit and belief in The Truth that WE ARE right NOW–Saints of God ___The called of God.
And if we ARE right now the called of God then Paul tells us we ARE also RIGHT NOW justified, and sanctified and glorified….. RIGHT NOW!!!!
We have been called predestinated CONFORMED to the image of Jesus.
Not “to be” conformed….but WE ARE HIS IMAGE right now!
Dare to believe what the Scriptures say.
You and Jesus are one if the Spirit of God dwells in you. Not if you are obedient…not if you do good things.
All things are being worked together for good because you and God are ONE.
To make the passage dependent upon your performance is such a shameful God forsaking thing to do.
Grace and Truth came through Jesus but many are still feeding on Moses instead even while they mouth Jesus with their lips.