“You are called to belong to Jesus Christ.” -Romans 1:6
Living as a Christian is like responding to a call. In grace, God calls us. By faith, we respond. “By grace through faith,” is the call and response of the gospel.
In the opening chapter of the book of Romans, we hear the call of God. God called Paul to be an apostle and to preach Christ. He called the Jews and Gentiles in Rome to belong to Christ and become a congregation. These callings show the grace of God.
Grace is God’s choice, initiative, and work on our behalf. He comes to us and calls us to himself. This calling is effective and purposeful. It is based on Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the grave, because through him our sins are forgiven and we are reconciled to God.
Grace awakens faith. The call of God captures our attention, turns our eyes toward him, and moves us in faith to follow Christ. Faith is the response to the gracious call of God.
In many ways, call and response characterizes our relationship with God. God called us to himself in salvation, we responded to him by trusting in Jesus. God calls us each day, by his new mercies, to fresh faith and obedience to him.
God’s call is to joy in him. Faith denies self and takes up the cross to follow him who is the joy of our souls. God’s call is to peace. Faith pursues peace with others. God calls us to holiness, faith puts sin to death and presents the body to God as an instrument of righteousness.
God calls us to become his people. Faith finds a faithful congregation to love and serve. God calls us to be salt and light in the world. Faith speaks and acts for the honor of Christ in all things.
The Scriptures are the voice of the Spirit calling us to newness of life. Faith comes by hearing the word. Faith responds to the word in soft-hearted submission.
Today, think about how your life in Christ is lived by grace through faith, in the rhythm of call and response.
This weekend, pray for Grace Community Church as we prepare ourselves for worship and fellowship on Sunday. Pray that our faith will be strengthened through the message of Romans.