Summary: Having established our position in Christ and the glorious gifts of HIs presence, we are challenged to live in a manner worthy of our gift.
One of the themes in Ephesians is that Christ in a life in this wicked world must make a difference. You cannot have the King of Glory in your life and live as a secret agent for the Kingdom. You cannot be forgiven and receive the title deed of God in your heart by the presence of His life and not be changed. Change begins when you are saved and continues until you breathe your last on earth.
Ill. On May 22 of last year, Ingrid Loyau-Kennett of Cornwall England realized the sick world in which she lived. The 48 YO was returning from visiting her children when the riders of the bus she rode on witnessed the tragic and horrible. As the bus rounded a corner, they stopped for what first looked like an accident that just happened. As the bus rolled to a stop, Ingrid did what many would do at the sight of a body in the road. She jumped out of the bus to see if first aid could help.
She was immediately confronted with two young men, one with a knife, one a gun, both with bloody hands. This was not an accident, but a terroristic murder, Islam extremists bringing the battle to England.
Ingrid calmly talked to the agitated men to keep them calm and to keep them from focusing on the growing crowd that was surrounding them. She asked them why they killed the man, and then, how futile it was to engage in this kind of behavior. For 10 minutes, she spoke with the two men until police arrived, and they calmly gave up, something that was not part of their plan.
She says that it was her faith in God, His love for others, and confidence in His protection that God used to keep the young men from attacking others. Christ made a difference in her life. Paul said, “He should do so in yours.”
Eph 4:1 “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called…”
General rule, when you see the word therefore, you find out what it is there for. You realize that the next passage is talking about something that is a result of what was previously spoken.
All the blessed beauty of the gift God has been given to us as Gentiles. Christ has saved us, given us His Spirit, and adopted us into His family. He has removed from all barriers between us and God and has brought us near to God. He has removed the significance of any difference we have between us and any other believer. The unity we have with every believer in the world overpowers any difference we have with them, so we can be one together as the body of Christ.
“I… as a prisoner of the Lord…”
Do you remember how Paul started the previous chapter? Eph 3:1 “For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles…”
Paul is going to get into some pretty tough teachings. He is the Apostle to the Gentiles, but he is not appealing to that authority. He is appealing based upon the authority of Jesus Christ. He is saying, “I am just serving my Master.”
So based upon the things that Jesus had done for us, and we are indebted to Him…Based upon the authority that this isn’t Paul telling us that, but a slave of Jesus Christ… So these commands are from our commander, and Paul is delivering them to us as a faithful messenger…Because of what you received in salvation as an immeasurable gift….
“…walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called…”
The instructions begin with an emotional emphasis. “I urge you….”
That implication is that there is a possibility, and without effort, a probability, that you can fail to live to the reality of your calling. This is a common formula for Paul’s letters to both Churches and pastors. He explains our position in Christ and what that means. Then he urges us with great emotion to not only believe this new reality we have in Christ, but to live like it is true.
There are at least three problems with Christianity today that is blocking spiritual development and maturity.
1. Believers do not know what the Bible says. Thus we have a problem with people not knowing the truth.
2. If you do not know the truth, you cannot believe the truth.
3. If you do believe the truth, you are not live the truth.
Christians know stuff, but we are short on truth. When I say the term “systematic theology”, many will roll their eyes. However a good illustration of knowledge without systematic theology shows its importance.