Friday, 13 August 2021
“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called…” -Ephesians 4:1 [NKJV]
Today’s reading starts with the statement “I therefore” taking us back to the first three chapters and all the spiritual blessings that a believer has in Christ Jesus.
God has chosen you (Eph.1:4)
God has accepted you (Eph.1:6)
God has redeemed you (Eph.1:7)
He has forgiven your sins (Eph.1:7)
He has made known to you the mystery of His will (Eph.1:9)
You have been made heirs of God (Eph.1:11)
He has sealed you with His Holy Spirit (Eph.1:13)
He has made you alive together in Christ (Eph.2:5)
He has saved you by grace (Eph.2:5)
You are seated in heavenly places in Christ (Eph.2:6)
He is working in you, to prepare you to accomplish His eternal purposes (Eph.2:10)
He has brought you near by the blood of Jesus Christ (Eph.2:13)
He has reconciled you to God (Eph. 2:16)
He has made you a fellow citizen of the household of God (Eph.2:19)
He now indwells you by His Spirit (Eph.2:22)
Paul does not begin the book of Ephesians with the exhortation to walk worthy. He lays the groundwork in the first three chapters, making you know what you are in Christ Jesus and what God has done for you by Christ and the power available to you through the Holy Spirit. This is necessary to equip us to walk worthy; to try to walk worthy without the aid of all that God has done would be futile and frustrating. Many sermons are preached on how Christians should walk, and what they should be doing for Jesus- but never instructing them in what God has first done for them. The result is guilt and frustrated Christians!
Paul speaks of himself as the least of the Apostles and not even worthy of being called an apostle, but he said, "By the grace of God I am what I am." Here he referred to himself as the “Prisoner of Lord Jesus Christ.” When we truly understand how much God did for us, we will want to serve and obey Him out of gratitude. Understanding who we are in Him is the foundation of this worthy walk. The idea is this: we don’t walk worthy so that God will love us, but because He does love us! The motivation is one of gratitude, not of a desire to earn merit.
A Christian’s privilege and purpose in this world are so high. Considering this truth, Paul challenges us to live lives worthy of the calling we have received—the awesome privilege of being called Christ’s very own. Because of our exalted position in Christ, we are exhorted to make responsible progress toward Christ-likeness. This walk is characterized by the attitudes of humility, meekness and long-suffering, which describe the balanced walk as forgiving one another in love and endeavoring to guard the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
None of us will ever be perfect here on earth, so we must accept and love other Christians despite their faults. When we see faults in fellow believers or when someone’s actions really annoy us, we should be patient and gentle. Rather than dwelling on that person’s weakness or finding faults, pray for him/her! Thus we will be allowing the Holy Spirit to build unity. This humble, forgiving attitude towards one another naturally achieves the unity of the Spirit.
People are watching our lives! Can they see Christ in us? Do our lives and the unity among us bring honor to the Lord and credit to our high calling?
Thought for the Day:
“…that you may walk worthy of the Lord,
fully pleasing Him,
being fruitful in every good work and
increasing in the knowledge of God…”