Summary: Because of who Christ is and who he has called us to be in His church, we must walk worthy of His calling.
1. The first step to walking Jesus’ call is a worthy walk.
2. The second step to walking Jesus’ call is a well-disciplined walk (4:2-3)
3. The third step to walking Jesus’ call is a worshipping walk (4:4-6)
One of the most memorable moments in a parent’s life is when your children take their first steps. You start by bouncing them on your lap while they’re standing up. You bicycle their fat little legs. Then they get enough strength in their legs where they can stand as long as you’re holding their hands. Their tiny little hands wrap around your fingers as they wobble and wiggle and finally drop to their bottom. Then they begin to hold on to other things like coffee tables and stand up. Well, at least with any child other than the first one. With my oldest, I think we took out every piece of furniture that might have possibly had a corner on it. We were scared to death we were going to break her. By the time the third child came along, I don’t even think we put gates up anymore. If he falls down, pick him up, dust him off and patch the holes. He’ll be alright. But when their legs finally get strong enough and they finally decide to let go and take those first steps, it’s a day you never forget. What a blessing it is to be able to walk. If you’ve ever been unable to walk for whatever reason, you realize what a special gift it is. Have you ever thought about what it takes to be able to walk? Did you know that it takes over 200 muscles in your body working in harmony to take one step? Dozens of muscles relax as dozens more contract at the same time. Scientists describe walking as nothing more than falling forward and catching yourself over and over and over again. The body’s weight shifts forward to the point that it is getting ready to fall. Then your foot goes forward, makes contact with the ground and catches you. And then you do it again. When you look at the way God put your body together, it’s amazing. The way your feet are shaped, the way your legs work, the way the joints in your knees and hips work. The cartilage, tendons and muscles. God shaped them and built them the way they are because He built your body for walking. Even though He put all that padding on our posteriors, He built us for walking—not sitting around. And that’s the way He built His church as well. He didn’t build us for us just to sit around. He built us for walking. Just like with our little babies, one of the first things we have to learn how to do is to walk. That’s what Paul is talking to these Ephesian Christians about. He begins this practical living section of his letter by teaching them how to walk. I want us to learn to walk this morning. I want us to wrap our hands around Jesus’ fingers this morning and learn how to walk the way He wants us to. In order to do that, we’re going to look at three steps to walking the way Jesus calls us to. The first step to walking Jesus’ call is a worthy walk.
Jesus calls us to a worthy walk. Paul reminds us of where he was when he wrote this letter. He was a prisoner in Rome at the time. Now, I’ve never been in prison, but one of the worst things about being in prison would have to be the fact that you can’t freely move around. You can’t go where you want. You have to go when the guards tell you to go, and stop when they tell you to stop. As we read in Acts, there were times when Paul was even put in stocks. Stocks were painful devices that made it completely impossible to even move, much less walk around. There is no indication that Paul was placed in stocks in Rome. But, even if he wasn’t, he couldn’t just get up and walk around wherever he wanted. He might have even been physically chained to a guard. But even though he can’t physically get up and walk around like he would like, he tells his readers to have a worthy walk. He tells them to walk worthy of the calling they had been called to. The King James says, “that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” Literally, in the original it says, “walk worthy of the calling you’ve been called to.” That word vocation is the same word for called at the end of the verse. Well, that begs the question, what is the calling we’ve been called to? That’s what Paul talked about in the first 3 chapters. We’re called to recognize Jesus Christ for who He is and what He’s done for us. We’re called to recognize our sin as an offence to Him and turn from that sin and call on Him to forgive us. We’re to turn to Him in faith believing that He is who He said He is and has done what He said He did. We’re to unite with a local body of believers in order to strengthen one another and love one another. That’s what we’re called to. That’s our calling that he’s already spent 3 chapters talking about. But now Paul is telling us to walk worthy of that calling. Did you ever get that lecture when you were a kid? You know the one. You usually got it before you went over to someone’s house or out with your friends. It usually sounded something like this, “Remember who you are.” What that was supposed to mean was that however we acted was a direct reflection on who we are and where we came from. That’s kind of what Paul is saying. Except instead of saying, “remember who you are,” he’s saying “remember whose you are.” Well, as Christians, we need to remember Whose we are. We carry His name. That means that He called us, we didn’t call Him. He called us for His use. He called us to bring Him glory. He called us to do His works. He called us to live like Him. To be like Him. To walk worthy of carrying His name. Don’t get me wrong—we can never be worthy of what Christ has given us. But that isn’t what Paul is telling us. He isn’t telling us to be worthy. He’s telling us to walk worthy. Walking is one step at a time. It’s falling forward and catching yourself over and over again. It’s a process—a journey—not a destination. It’s a day-to-day struggle of becoming more and more like the person whose name we bear. Are the things we do as a church worthy of carrying the name of Jesus? Are the things we do as individuals worthy of carrying the name of Jesus? Are you walking worthy of the name you hold? Are you walking worthy of your call? The first step to walking Jesus’ call is a worthy walk. The second step is a well-disciplined walk.