What Is The Call Of The Christian?

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What Is The Call Of The Christian?

What Is The Call Of The Christian?

I Peter 2:21  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
22  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
23  Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
24  Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
25  For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

God does not expect anything from His children that they cannot do. Our Master is Jesus Christ. He is also our Saviour. He is also our provider. Those who are saved have all that is needed to serve God faithfully.

Philippians 4:19  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Christians are called to identify with the Lord Jesus Christ. That identification includes suffering for our faith. We know that Jesus Christ voluntarily left heaven’s glory and came to this earth as a servant. He came for the specific purpose of suffering and dying on the cross of Calvary. He shed His blood on that cross and provided the only way for man to be forgiven and saved. He suffered abuse from the false religious leaders. He suffered greatly at the hands of the Romans soldiers who beat Him mercilessly. He suffered the mocking of the Jews as He was beaten and then taken to Golgotha and nailed to the cross. He suffered on that cross. His suffering was more than any mere human being has ever suffered. He did that willingly for you and I. He set an example that we should follow in His steps. We are not called to go to the cross and die for other people’s sins. We are called to live for God.
Jesus Christ did not revile those that attacked Him. He did not curse them. He did not fight back against them. He did not even defend Himself against the many false accusations made against Him at His trial. He suffered in ways we can never suffer.
Those who are saved are called upon to be willing to identify with our Saviour and Lord. We need to be willing to suffer for His name’s sake. We are not without sin. He was and is without sin. We need to be on guard that we do not suffer for our sins, but rather that we suffer for being holy.
As we read in verse 22, He did no sin. The Jews tried to find an accusation against Him but they could not find any. They rejected His deity and used a twisted accusation to seal His fate. Little did they know that Jesus Christ came to lay down His life for the sheep. They did not put Him on the cross. He willingly went to the cross. They used those accusations to get Pilate to sign His death warrant. Those were all technicalities used from the human perspective, but He came to die for mankind. Jesus warned Pilate of his arrogance and his foolishness.
As we noted as well, no guile was found in His mouth. The word translated as “guile” means “decoy” or “trickery”. Jesus never dealt in a deceptive manner. Verse 23 reminds us that He did not revile those who reviled Him. He did not fight back in any way against His accusers. He took the slander and amazed Pilate in that He did not behave as would be normal. He did not need to defend Himself. His testimony to that point spoke loudly for Who He truly was. The slander just condemned His accusers. It did not define Him and it did not diminish Who He was.
Jesus Christ committed Himself to His Father. On the cross He declared:

Luke 23:46  And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

On that cross He also asked His Father to forgive those who had mocked and condemned Him as well as those who were mocking Him while on the cross. He came to save sinners. God the Father is the righteous judge and He has given all judgment to His Son. At the great white throne judgment, everything done there by Jesus Christ will be in righteousness.
In verse 24 we are reminded that Jesus Christ bore our sins in His own body on the tree. He had no sin, but we are born as lost sinners. Those who trust in God for His salvation are saved to be dead to sins.

Romans 6:12  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

We have been given power over sin in salvation. We can say no to sin. God has made a way of escape when we are tempted. We can never say our temptation was too great for us, if we are walking in the Spirit as we must as saved individuals. It is when the true child of God gets in the flesh that he sins.
We should live unto righteousness. It is amazing to see how many take that last phrase of verse 24 out of its context and try to claim that Christians should never be sick. The context of that phrase has to do with sin. It has nothing to do with the physical body. Christians get sick. Epaphroditus was sick nigh unto death (Philippians 2:27). Paul did not heal him. He left him to recover and he carried on without him. God did restore health to Epaphroditus and he was sent back to the saints to encourage them in the faith. There are things we can do to avoid some sickness, but Christians get sick and Christians can die of sickness. However, in salvation we are healed from the sting of death. Born again Christians have been given eternal life. We have a home in heaven. Nothing can separate us from the love of God.
In verse 25 we are reminded that true saints were as sheep going astray. We were all born as lost sinners. As lost sinners we sin. Peter was directed to put that small word “but” into that verse. Those who are saved are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls. Notice that we are returned. Redemption is to “buy back”. True saints have been bought out of the curse of sin and brought back into a right relationship with the Lord. We are reminded again of the foolishness of being crippled by sin after being born again. That brand of salvation is a mockery to the true God. It suggests He is weak and not able to deliver His child from the bondage of sin.
Jesus Christ is the Shepherd. The Shepherd feeds His sheep. We are fed the right diet to provide all that we need to stand against the wiles of the devil. We can do all things through Christ which strengthens us.
Jesus Christ is also the Bishop of our souls. The Bishop is the overseer of our souls. Jesus Christ is there to watch for our souls. We cannot lose our salvation. We can be tempted. We can sin. However, we cannot be lost once we are saved. We have been given eternal life. The closer we walk with the Lord, the greater our testimony will be. We will not exalt ourselves but we will exalt the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls. We will demonstrate the power of God at work in our hearts and lives. God’s salvation does make a difference in the recipient’s life. That is why I believe it is a miracle. God’s salvation changes the child of God in ways that he can not possibly change himself. That is why Paul stated:

II Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

That is what God says. Paul simply wrote down what God declared to be true. God’s Word is truth. Take Him at His Word and enjoy His blessings. Don’t let the devil deceive you into thinking that you will be a spiritual cripple until you die. The Calvinist takes a defeatist approach to life. He claims that if God wants him to be free from a certain sin, then He will have to do it. If God does not want the person to be free, they will just struggle with their sin. That is a pacifist, defeatist approach to something that God says we can have victory in. God declares:

Romans 8:37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Pastor Bartel

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