He always takes your call

“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Paul, quoting Joel 2:32, writing in, Romans 10:13 esvbible.org

He will always take your call.

Call centers. Dropped calls. Blocked calls. Lots of frustrations with all kinds of calls.

However, when God calls, how do you answer?

There are really three calls in the lives of the followers of Jesus.

* The first is the call of God for our salvation.

The biblical truth is that this call is solely by the grace of God, and not based on any merit of ours.

Peter put it this way:

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

Paul reminds Timothy of his call:

“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:12)

It is the call for which we have been predestined by God.

“And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (Romans 8:30)

In theology this is known as God’s effectual call, since our whole process of coming to salvation is initiated and accomplished by the Lord.

* The second call is our call to ministry, which may include a place of ministry.

Paul reminds the Christians in Ephesus:

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1–3)

This call defines what it is God has planned for us, His purpose for us. We often speak of being “called” to be a pastor, or a missionary, but the truth is that every work of vocation or volunteerism has its origin in the calling of God to do His will and work.

* The third call is the one Paul celebrates in our text, as he quotes from the Old Testament prophet, Joel.

It is our response, in faith, to the gracious call of God to be saved. Our call includes our confession of sin, our repentance, and our joy that only by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, do we enter into the kingdom of God.

Note the universality of God’s offer in our text. It is not limited by or confined to any race, color, gender or nationality. Though the words originally uttered by Joel were to Israel, the call now goes out tot he whole world.

In his commentary on Romans, John MacArthur writes:

“… to call upon the name of the Lord was not a desperate cry to just any deity — whoever, whatever and wherever he or she might be — but a cry to the one true God, the Creator-Lord of all men and all things.” The MacArthur New Testament Commentary:Roman 9–16. Moody Press, 1994. p.83.

1. Our call on the name of the Lord reveals our conviction.

We are acknowledging our own sin and our need of a Savior.

2. Our call on the name of the Lord offers our confession.

We know that there is no other way, truth and life than in Jesus, and that there is no other name given by which we must be saved.

3. Our call on the name of the Lord marks our conversion.

We are no longer sinners under condemnation, but sinners saved by grace.

4. Our call on the name of the Lord accepts our commission.

What we now know is our ours to announce to and share with the world, as Jesus said:

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and rSamaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

5. Our call on the name of the Lord establishes our communion.

We are now in eternal communion and community with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, and with all of God’s people.

This is a call you need to take, and to make.

Soli deo gloria!