Rev. J. Patrick Street
In Ephesians, Paul teaches on the fundamentals of living the Christian life. He stresses that you are “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called” (Ephesians 4:1). The word “walk” has to do with behavior. It refers to daily conduct, to how Christians live day-by-day. The word “worthy” means “balancing the scales.” The believer who walks in a manner worthy of the calling with which he has been called is one whose daily living corresponds to his blessed position as a child of God and fellow heir with Jesus Christ. His practical living matches his spiritual position.
So, what are the characteristics of the worthy walk? Paul explained the worthy walk by listing five characteristics in verses 2-3. He said that Christians are to walk “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.” It’s important to understand that each one of these characteristics already belongs to every born-again Christian. It’s part of the Christian DNA and although it may not be seen in fullness, it’s there.
To understand the five characteristics of the worthy walk and live these qualities day-by-day, we must be willing to live the opposite of each. We must not live in self-centeredness in order to walk in humility. We must not live with harshness in order to walk with gentleness. We must not live pushing our own agendas in order to walk with patience. We must not live with idealistic expectations in order to walk in forbearing love. We must not live with indifference and passivity in order to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Therefore let us walk worthy of the calling we have received … the church will be unified and God will be glorified when we live in Christ-like conduct.
Philippians 1:27 says, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ …striving together as one for the faith of the gospel.” We are called on to live lives that shinea positive light on the gospel. We are called to live lives that reflect the changes God made in us when He saved us. We are called on to be different, to be holy, to be like Jesus Christ. Paul’s challenge to the church is that we live our lives in light of all we have been given in Jesus Christ. His challenge is that we live these kinds of lives so that the world might see the evidence of God’s saving grace and of faith in His Word.
All God asks us to do is to live lives that are consistent with Who He is, what He has done for us and what He has given to us in Jesus Christ. How does your life measure up to Paul’s challenge?
Rev. J. Patrick Street is the lead pastor of Redeemer Church in Marion. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.