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Faithful Words

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Faithful Words

By Dr. Kenneth Faught

 

The call of God   “In the beginning was the Word . . . . In him was life, and the life was the light of men . . and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth . . .” (John 1:1-14). When we talk about the call of God most people think of the call to preach or the call to the mission field. We also emphasize the fact that all Christians (laity as well as clergy) are called to serve. However, there is a call that is even more basic and universal. It is the “call of God to salvation and discipleship.” God calls us to hear the word. We can hear the written word found in Scriptures. That word tells us that God loves us and has a plan and purpose for our lives. It also tells us that our sin has interrupted that plan and alienated us from that purpose. Yet, there is “good news” – Christ came to die for us and bring us back into fellowship with our Creator. We are called to repent (turn) and believe (trust) in God. God calls us to see the light. Light is used in the New Testament (as in other places) to symbolize goodness. Dark symbolizes evil. The Light of the World is Jesus. He is the light of men who “enlightens every man” (4, 9). The Light enables us to see God as our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. The Light enables us to see Jesus as our Savior and friend. The Light enables us to see ourselves as made in the image of God, but marred by sin and rebellion. The Light enables us to see the church as the fellowship of the redeemed – the body of Christ. The Light enables us to see life in terms of its true purpose and aim. Coming to Christ (hearing the Word and seeing the Light) is a leap into the . . . Light! God calls us to receive the life. The life Jesus offers is abundant, eternal, and available right now. This life comes as a gift. To “as many as receive him”, to them he gives the power to become his children (12). We are, in Paul’s words, “saved by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8-9). A gift requires both a giver and a recipient. We may receive God’s gift by believing what the word tells us, by accepting what the light shows us, and by embracing the life God offers us. Dr. Faught is Pastor of The LaFollette United Methodist Church.