Summary: God calls Christians to live a life worthy of their calling by preserving the unity of the Spirit among Christians.
Focus: God calls Christians to live a life worthy of their calling by preserving the unity of the Spirit among
Function: To challenge Christians’ selfish tendencies towards division and strife& to re-examine how
fervently we are striving for unity.
How many of you are the “only child” in your family? Life for me had been wonderful!
I had two loving parents whose lives seemed to revolve around me; whose only aim in life seemed to be to
keep me happy. I had grandparents who spoiled me rotten– that’s what Grandparents do, my mother now
tells me. The house was all mine! My room was all mine. The toys were all mine! I was the center of the
universe! And things were good.. . . and then the most awful & unexpected thing happened!
On a cold January morning when I was five years old, my Mom & Dad came to pick me up where I had
spent the night at my grandparent’s house and introduced me (for the first time) to Debbie . . . my new
baby sister! I didn’t realize at first what happened. I was happy to meet her- she seemed harmless
enough. But I soon came to realize that my previous way of life was in jeopardy. Now, instead of having
everyone’s full attention all the time, I would have to share it with my new sister. And I really couldn’t see
what all the fuss was about– she couldn’t do very much. She couldn’t run around, play ball, couldn’t do
anything but fuss & cry all the time. As she grew though, you might have expected things to improve, but
they only got worse! Before she could even walk- she was following me around the house– wherever I
went! When I’d want to go outside and play, Mom would want me to take her with me? She had toys of
her own, but what she really wanted was to play with mine all the time. She never respected my privacy
and she just assumed that if something was mine- it was hers, too. But that didn’t quite seem fair, because
her toys were all girl toys (dolls & stuff) and so I couldn’t really play with her stuff. Cat fights & squabbles
became a routine event at our house with my Mom playing referee all the time. And again, it just wasn’t
fair- there was no way for me to win a fight. When my sister got mad she would come at me with arms
flailing, but I couldn’t really fight back- partly because she was five years younger than me and partly
because she was a girl. So, she’d dig her fingernails into me or punch me with her little fists and all I could
do would be to hold her down on the ground until she gave up . . . or Mom came in and broke up the fight.
Why is it often so difficult for brothers and sisters to get along?
There’s just something about being family that makes it tough for us to get along with each other
sometimes. That’s true for spiritual families, too, isn’t it? Often, Christian brothers and sisters squabble,
fuss & fight . . . and usually over the most trivial of matters. Why is it that we just sometimes have a tough
time getting along as family?
Well, if you’re visiting this morning, we are right in the middle of a study of the book of Ephesians. Paul is
writing to the Christians at Ephesus to encourage them to BE the CHURCH that God wants them to be!
The church is family, members of God’s household together. They have been ‘blessed with every spiritual
blessing in Christ’ and been given the power from God to change their lives– they have gone from life ‘in
the world’ to life ‘in Christ’ and that has made all the difference! He has shown them the purpose of the
church; ‘that the manifold wisdom of God should be revealed to the world.’ and (as we talked about last
week) it all hinges on whether or not you know the love of God in Christ Jesus (3:14-21). And in today’s
text, he turns towards what all of this means for individual Christians . . . the ethical section/ the “So What”
part of his letter.
1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
Paul is languishing under Roman guard in prison; from where he writes many of his letters. He regards
himself as a prisoner ‘for the sake of Christ’ and he’s continuing his work of ministry EVEN under difficult
circumstances. Vs. 1 stands as an introduction to this entire section– He’s still going to talk about the