The Holy Calling of Believers

 

"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (2 Tim. 1:9).

The apostle uses the perfect tense and says, "Who hath saved us." Believers in Christ Jesus are saved. They are not looked upon as persons who are in a hopeful state, and may ultimately be saved, but they are already saved.

Salvation is not a blessing to be enjoyed upon the dying bed, and to be sung of in a future state above, but a matter to be obtained, received, promised, and enjoyed now. The Christian is perfectly saved in God's purpose; God has ordained him unto salvation, and that purpose is complete.

He is saved also as to the price which has been paid for him: "It is finished" was the cry of the Savior before He died. The believer is also perfectly saved in His covenant head, for as he fell in Adam, so he lives in Christ. This complete salvation is accompanied by a holy calling.

Those whom the Savior saved upon the cross are, in due time, effectually called by the power of God the Holy Spirit unto holiness: they leave their sins; they endeavor to be like Christ; they choose holiness, not out of any compulsion, but from the stress of a new nature, which leads them to rejoice in holiness just as naturally as aforetime they delighted in sin. God neither chose them nor called them because they were holy, but He called them that they might be holy, and holiness is the beauty produced by His workmanship in them.

The excellencies which we see in a believer are as much the work of God as the atonement itself. Thus is brought out very sweetly the fullness of the grace of God. Salvation must be of grace, because the Lord is the author of it: and what motive but grace could move Him to save the guilty? Salvation must be of grace, because the Lord works in such a manner that our righteousness is forever excluded. Such is the believer's privilege-a present salvation; such is the evidence that he is called to it-a holy life.

This calling from before the world began, extends into eternity also. Behold the superlative liberality of the Lord Jesus, for He hath given us His all. "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one" (John 17:22).Although a tithe of His possessions would have made a universe of angels rich beyond all thought, yet was He not content until He had given us all that He had.

It would have been surprising grace if He had allowed us to eat the crumbs of His bounty beneath the table of His mercy; but He will do nothing by halves, He makes us sit with Him and share the feast. Had He given us some small pension from His royal coffers, we should have had cause to love Him eternally; but no, He will have His bride as rich as Himself, and He will not have a glory or a grace in which she shall not share.

He has not been content with less than making us joint-heirs with Himself, so that we might have equal possessions. He has emptied all His estate into the coffers of the Church, and hath all things common with His redeemed. There is not one room in His house the key of which He will withhold from His people. He gives them full liberty to take all that He hath to be their own; He loves them to make free with His treasure, and appropriate as much as they can possibly carry.

The boundless fullness of His all-sufficiency is as free to the believer as the air he breathes. Christ hath put the pitcher of His love and grace to the believer's lip, and bidden him drink on forever; if he could drain it, he is welcome to do so, and as he cannot exhaust it, he is bidden to drink abundantly, for it is all his own. What truer proof of fellowship can heaven or earth afford?

"When I stand before the throne
Dressed in beauty not my own;
When I see Thee as Thou art,
Love Thee with unsinning heart;
Then, Lord, shall I fully know-
Not till then-how much I owe."

From Morning and Evening

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), "the Prince of Preachers," was a renowned pastor and author who served as pastor of London's Metropolitan Tabernacle for 38 years. His works are still widely read today.

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