Summary: Our Father God wants to hold our hands to help us walk worthy of His calling in our lives. And when we fall down Father God is always there to pick us back up to step out in faith and obedience.
LIVING IN CHRIST – Walk the Walk
Ephesians 4:1-6 NIV
1 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.
Opening Illustration: Babies learn to walk holding onto things to help them keep their balance, but more than any other thing they hold onto their parent’s hands. As they gain confidence they let go and begin to venture out on their own. Sooner than later lease first steps come to a sudden stop as the baby looses its balance and falls down. But quickly the hands of a loving parent swoop down and pick their baby back up on their feet to send them once again stepping out with growing assurance and poise.
Our Father God wants to hold our hands to help us walk worthy of His calling in our lives. And when we fall down Father God is always there to pick us back up to step out in faith and obedience.
I. WALK WORTHY OF THE CALLING (vs. 1)
Ephesians 4:1 NIV
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
1. The Christian life is a daily walk with the Lord.
a) The New King James gives a more literal translation of what Paul has written: “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.” As believers we are not just to walk—we are to walk worthy.
b) Two things before we look at what it means to walk worthy:
• Chapter 4 begins the second half of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians what some refer to as the “ethics” section or application. Chapters 1-3 are considered to be Paul’s theology and chapters 4-6 is Paul’s application of how to live out the doctrine he has taught.
• A more literal or word for word translation of the Greek will help us to understand Paul’s emphasis here at the beginning of chapter 4 that continues through out the balance of the letter. Literally Paul says, “I urge therefore you, I the prisoner in the Lord, worthily walk the calling which you have been called.”
Notice Paul begins with URGENCY. I beseech you! Paul implores us to not miss the importance of what follows.
Notice too that Paul includes the word THEREFORE, translated loosely in the NIV as then. Paul connects everything that follows with what has proceeded it. In other words there is no division between the theology of chapters 1-3 and the application of chapters 4-6. Instead the two are intertwined and connected to each other. You can’t have one without the other.
2. If we are going to talk the talk, we must also walk the walk.
a) Our theology—to talk the talk, must impact how we live our lives—to walk the walk. Paul emphasizes that we walk worthily. “WORTHILY” is an adverb which in the Greek pictures the two sides of a scale being brought into balance. A weight has been placed on one side of the scale, and if you are to walk worthily then you must bring up the other beam of the scale up to an equilibrium. In other words, the life or daily practice of a Christian should “weigh as much as” or “be equivalent” to his or her profession of faith.
b) Are you today waking worthily of the calling you have received as a believer in Jesus Christ, or is your life out of balance? Are we walking in obedience to Christ or have we strayed off the path to which God has called us. Step by step we will either walk in obedience or disobedience to God’s calling and purpose for our lives.
c) Paul’s imagery of the Christian life as our walk is significant. Look with me at how the Message Bible translates and brings meaning to what Paul says:
Ephesians 4:1 MsgB
In light of all this, here's what I want you to do. While I'm locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk — better yet, run! — on the road God called you to travel. I don't want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don't want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere.