“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3).
As Christians we have been called by God to be saved from our sins by being redeemed from our sins by the blood of Christ, can look forward to an inheritance prepared for us by God, and have been sealed by the Holy Spirit as we journey through the remainder of our time in this life on earth (Ephesians 1:4-6, 7, 11, 13-14). As the apostle Paul writes in the opening passage above, he encourages us to “walk worthy of the calling with which you were called” (Ephesians 4:1). What is our response to be to this high calling of God?
First, our response involves a profound appreciation and love for our fellow Christians. Paul describes we should walk “with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2-3). By our love for one another all the world will know we are Jesus’ disciples (John 13:34-35).
Furthermore, walking worthy of our calling involves a deep gratitude of God’s plan and the church which His Son established: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:4-6). Walking worthy of our calling leaves no room for one to want to add additional churches (i.e. bodies, Colossians 1:18), baptisms, faiths, etc. to God’s plan!
Moreover, those who walk worthy of God understand they have a role to play and an area to serve in building up the Lord’s church. Although in Paul’s day, many had miraculous gifts distributed to them by God (Ephesians 4:8-11), nonetheless, to each one of us God has given some unique talent that we can use for the edifying or building up of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:7, 12, 16). Walking worthy of our calling involves our discovering our talent and using it to glorify God in the church!
Finally, walking worthy of our calling involves a process of continual transformation on part of each of us into thinking and conducting ourselves in a way that honors God. This involves our stopping behaving like those in the world. Paul writes, “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness”. Though we have been saved by God’s grace, we cannot continue to live sinful lifestyles (cf. Romans 6:1). We are called to be transformed (Romans 12:1-2). Paul adds that we should, “be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:23-24). Simply put: Walking worthy of God means living right!
It is interesting that Paul adds that failure to “walk worthy of our calling” results in grieving “the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). I do not want to grieve God who loved me. I want to please God. Today, I will strive to walk worthy of my calling!
“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).