Summary: Paul encourages the Ephesians, and us, to live a life worthy of the calling we have in Christ because of the blessings we have been given. How do we do that and what does it look like?
Live a Life Worthy!
To live a life worthy depends on Character (vv.1-2)
To live a life worthy requires Unity (vv. 3-6)
To live a life worthy requires serving (vv. 7-12)
Living a life worthy leads to Maturity (vv.13-16)
How are you living your life today? What has affected the way you are living?
Certainly many of us are effected by our history.
Our past hurts, blessings, relationships, etc, have worked in our lives to affect how we live today.
But that is only part of it. We make decisions regarding how we choose to respond to our history.
For instance, there are some who grew up in a family with alcoholics. Some follow in those footsteps while others turn completely from alcohol. Part of that is a choice in how we respond. I know there are other factors, but some of it is in our own choosing.
Today, we are going to see in Ephesians 4:1-16, (you can turn there)
That Paul is encouraging the Ephesians, as well as us, to live in light of our history with Christ, in light of what He has done and the riches we experience in Him.
He is calling us to make some choices, based on what Christ has done, so that we can live a life worthy of our calling.
So, let’s see what Paul tells the Ephesians and us as he begins Chapter 4
4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit— just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says:
"When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men."
9 (What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Ok, in this passage Paul encourages the Ephesians to live a life worthy of the calling they have received and then he goes on in this passage to tell us
what living this life depends on and
what is required generally
before he gets into more specifics in the rest of his letter.
But he begins with what living a worthy life is going to depend on. And we see first that
Living a life worthy depends on Character
IN verse 2, Paul lists 4 things that need to be characteristic of our lives to truly live a life worthy of our calling.
First he tells us to
Be completely humble
How do you become humble?
Humility is often thought of in contrast to pride.
Pride is when we think too highly of ourselves. Paul tells us in
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
Here I believe he contrasts pride (thinking of yourself more highly than you ought) with humility, which is not thinking too little of yourself, but thinking of yourself with sober judgment, which I believe we do when we have a right view of God and a right view of ourselves in relation to God.