Summary: Unity, Harmony, Purity, Victory
THE WALK OF THE BELIEVER
By Pastor Ted Palaroan
As we enter Chapter 4 of Ephesians we enter the last half of the book. Ephesians is a beautiful example of the way the apostle Paul always maintained a balance between doctrine and duty. The first three chapters of Ephesians have dealt primarily with Christian doctrine and the last three chapters will deal primarily with Christian duty i.e., our responsibilities to Christ. The key word for the first half of the book was WEALTH. The key word for the second half is WALK. Paul is going to admonish us to walk in
(1) Unity (4:1-16).
(2) Purity (4:17-5:17).
(3) Harmony (5:18-6:9).
(4) Victory. (6-e t)
We have probably under-emphasized the importance of the Christian walk . We find it easy to tell people of the wealth we have in Christ, but lost people generally are not receptive to the walk which we have in Christ. Many people want a simple, easy Christianity with no responsibility to live right. They want all the wealth of the Lord’s blessing but they do not want the walk of the Lord’s burden. Genuine Christianity includes both wealth and walk, doctrine and duty, riches and responsibility, salvation and service, conversion and a cross. Any other type of Christianity is false and not genuine.
NOTE: Both wealth and walk, salvation and service are the two sides to the same coin. Both are necessary.
TEXT - Ephesians 4:1-3
There are two important words to notice in the opening verses of this second section of Ephesians. They are (1) "therefore" and (2) "beseech.". I’ve always been told that when you see a" therefore" in the Bible, you need to understand what is there for This "therefore" has a purpose. Paul is basing what he is about to say upon what he has just said. He is basin his duty upon his die. He is basing his walk upon his wealth.
He is saying in Chapters 1-3 that "God has blessed us with all spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (Eph. 1:3) And because of God’s great blessing we are to "Walk worthy of the vocation. Wherewith ye are called." (Eph. 4:1)
The word "beseech" is a tender word which indicates that God, in love urges us to live for His glory. Paul could have said, "I demand you." But he said, "I beseech you." I believe God is saving through the inspired apostle, "I have blessed you and loved you and saved you, now in response I plead with you to obey me." If we walk in response to God’s marvelous grace toward us and in obedience to Him, our walk will include:
1. A calling (v. 1). 2. An attitude (v. 2). 3. An endeavor (v. 3).
I. THE WALK OF THE BELIEVER INCLUDES A CALLING
(v. 1). Paul exhorts the Ephesians to "walk. worthy of the vocation to which ye are called." NOTE: "vocation" = literally calling to which you have-been called.
A. The calling is a calling to salvation.
1. We often think of calling as some particular vocation.
a. Ex.( We talk of being called to preach, the mission field, the music ministry, be farmers, be bankers, etc.
b. These all are indeed callings but there is a higher, holier calling that always precedes these. It is the calling to be saved.
II Timothy 1:9 Paul says, "God has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."
c. The most gracious, honorable, wonderful thing that can happen to a person is for God to extend to them an invitation to be saved.
B. Several things to notice about this calling.
1. God calls us first, we don’t call Him.
a. We are not the caller, we are the called.
b. God calls us, we do not call on Him.
c. Through the agency of His Holy Spirit God calls us by:
(1) Convicting us of sin. (2) Convincing us of the sufficiency of Christ. (3) Causing us to come to Him to be saved. NOTE: Some men say, "I’ll come to God in my own time." But we don t come to God in our time or on our terms, rather in His time and on his terms.
2. The calling to be a Christian is the greatest honor bestowed upon man.
a. Paul refers to this calling in other epistles as:
(1) The high calling (Ph. 3:14). (2) The heavenly calling (Heb. 3:1). (3) The holy calling (II Tim. 1:9).
b. When God calls upon a person to be saved and become a Christian, it is the highest calling that person will ever receive.
c. There is no calling on earth that bestows more dignity, nobility, prestige, honor and glory than the calling to become a Christian, child of God, joint heir with Jesus Christ, ambassador for Christ. What a position of prestige and honor!