Summary: We are to walk worthy of the calling God has given us.
Ephesians has to be one of my favorite books of the Bible. I wrote my baccalaureate thesis on Ephesians 2 and Paul’s calling the church to a Christ empowered unity. One underlying theme of Ephesians is Paul’s constant reminder that our problem is always sin – but – the answer to the problem is always Jesus. In the first three chapters of Ephesians Paul shows the church (members in particular) who they were before Christ; who they have become in Christ; and who they will become because of Christ. In Ephesians 4-6 Paul moves us from understanding our position in Christ to understanding our practice – that is – how we live out the new life given us by Christ.
We could call chapters 4-6, “The Believers Walk in this World.” This morning (and this evening) we will look at HOW TO WALK WITH CHRIST BRINGS GLORY TO GOD THE FATHER while living in this world. I think the message of Paul has more impact when we understand what kind of world the church at Ephesus was living in (we often view biblical lands with a sanitized view – this is not the case).
Brief Historical Context of Ephesus
1. An important city with great political and religious power.
2. Three temples built for the worship of the Roman Emperor
3. One of the largest temples in the region was in Ephesus and dedicated to the worship of the goddess of virginity and child bearing – Artemis (a.k.a. Diana / cf Acts 19)
4. The Ephesian’s place major importance on the idea of “spirituality.” They used astrology and magic.
5. They were widely known for their “Ephesian Letters.” Pieces of papyrus with blessings or curses written on them. Sorcerers would cast spells on the paper to either heal the bearer or so that someone else could become sick. (cf. Acts 19 - when revival came to Ephesus the sorcerers burned their books filled with spells and incantations used in their magic – eventually causes a riot).
When Paul instructs the church at Ephesus to live in a way that brings glory to God he recognizes the people are living in a terribly dark situation. I think Paul would look at our day and see many of the same problems and darkness. I also think he would tell us that we CAN WALK WORTHY OF OUR CALLING AND BRING GLORY TO GOD even in the midst of the darkness that surrounds us.
This morning we will look at Ephesians 4 and see how Paul tells us that because of who we are in Christ we can WALK WORTHY OF OUR CALLING
So, let’s pray and then dive into the Scriptures.
I feel the need to define what I mean by “worthy.” I certainly mean to do what is right. But the biblical idea of worthiness does not begin with my actions but with God’s redemption. We can only walk worthy when we have first recognized our own unworthiness and placed our faith in Christ to make us new. With that said…
Paul urges the church at Ephesus to “walk worthy of the calling you have received.”