Ephesians 4:1-3, “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.”
Paul implored the Ephesians, and us today, to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called. Our lives are to be worthy because we have been called, not to earn the calling.
The calling to which we have been called is salvation which Paul details in chapters 1-3 especially the first two chapters.
In verses, 2-3 Paul begins to outline how we walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called. The observant reader will notice that everything Paul describes finds the clearest picture in the Lord Jesus Christ.
All Humility and Gentleness
First, Paul says we are to walk with all humility. When we understand the calling, we cannot help but be humble. There is no such thing as an arrogant Christian. We were dead in our trespasses and sins, and God made us alive together with Christ (Ephesians 2:1-5).
We had nothing to do with our salvation. God did it all.
We do well to remember the words of James that God opposes the proud (James 4:6). As God’s children, why would we want to put ourselves in a situation where God opposes us?
The humble person relies upon God to humble them because they know in and of themselves they are not. God can do this because He can do more than we ask or thing (Ephesians 3:20). Jesus is our example of humility. He humbled Himself to the point of death (Phil. 2:5-11). He came not to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).
Do you wish to be humbler? Meditate on God’s grace and the person of Christ.
We also walk with all gentleness. Humility and gentleness go together, don’t they? Jesus was humble, and He was gentle. In Matthew 11 He extends an invitation for those who are weary from their labor and burdens to come to Him.
Why? Because He is gentle and lowly in heart. Jesus treats the struggling and broken with gentleness. As those who have been called into the salvation, He secured, then we too must treat all people with gentleness. We have experienced the gentleness of Christ, we desire for others to experience it as well. One way they can is by our gentleness toward them.
With Patience and Bearing with One Another in Love
As we are humble and gentle, we are to be patient with one another and bear with one another in love.
Jesus is the most patient Savior. We see this during His earthly ministry with His disciples. We like to think we would not have done and said the crazy things they did, but we know we would. How did Jesus respond to them? With humility, gentleness, and patience. He was patient with His disciples.
Now that we have been adopted into this family of disciples, we too must be patient with one another and bear with one another. We stick with our brother who has not kept his word again. We still walk beside the sister who has stumbled in the same sin again.
And we do it all in love. We are patient with each other we bear one another’s burdens in love. God has loved us with His great love, and we turn around and show that love to others.
To this point, Paul has made the case we are to walk in a worthy manner by begin humble, gentle, patient, and sticking with one another because we love them.
There is one more piece to this puzzle.
Eager to Maintain the Unity of the Spirit
As we strive to walk in a manner worthy of our calling, we will be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit.
Three words stick out.
- We want do this. This is important to us. We are intentional in our actions to make sure we maintain the unity of the Spirit.
- Culture is a buzzword we hear often. What is the culture of your church like? Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit has created our culture of unity as churches and our role is to maintain it. We do not create unity we maintain it.
- The Spirit. This is the unity of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit created the unity we have. It was His work, not ours. Therefore, we must seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18) if we want to maintain the unity of the Spirit.
The bond that helps us do this is peace. We have been justified through Christ, and now we have peace with God (Rom. 5:1). Our peace with God extends to our brothers and sisters in Christ. We have peace with one another.
Through this peace, we maintain the unity the Holy Spirit has created.
Are You Walking in a Worthy Manner?
It would be right and proper to use this text and examine your life.
Are you walking in all humility and gentleness? Are you patient? Do you stick with your brothers and sisters in love? Are you divisive or do you work eagerly to maintain the unity of the Spirit?
Ask those close to you how you measure up to the standard Paul outlines.
This may hurt, but remember God is able to do far more abundantly than we ask or think. If you fall short repent and pursue a worthy life in Christ alone. You are not able, but God it because of the finished and sufficient work of Christ alone. And that’s all that matters.