“I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called…” Ephesians 4:1
Ephesians 4 marks a transition in Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus.
The first three chapters lay out the beautiful good news of the gospel that can be summed up in the phrase “by grace you have been saved through faith.”
We did not earn, deserve, or achieve God’s grace. The final three chapters unpack the implications of grace on how we live in everyday life. In other words, Paul helps us understand what we are called to do in light of what Jesus has already done. The Christian life flows from the finished work of Christ so we can walk worthy of the gospel.
As Kent Hughes says, “The message moves from theology to practicality; from doctrine to duty; from creed to conduct; from the Christian’s wealth to his walk; from exposition to exhortation; from the indicative to the imperative.”
The transition in Ephesians 4:1 hinges on one word – “therefore.” In light of what’s already been said, walk in a manner worthy of your calling!
Paul’s description as a prisoner for the Lord gives his words tremendous power as one who has put it all on the line for the sake of the same gospel message he’s sharing. His example demonstrates that the gospel is the most important thing in his life. For Paul, “walking worthy” is not simply suggesting how to live a better life. It is a calling and a mission, an invitation to participate in what God is doing in the world to advance the Gospel. Paul is so free in Christ that prison does not threaten him.
“I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called…”
What does this mean for us today?
The Gospel is an invitation from darkness to light, death to life, and sinner to saint. When the message of the Gospel grips your heart and life in such a way that it becomes your very foundation and identity, it will change how you live. It will change your whole outlook on life. It will change how you walk and interact with your family, neighbors, coworkers, and strangers.
Will we live for transient things or eternal things? Will we get bent out of shape by ever-changing circumstances? Will we cling to our freedom in Christ? Will we order our lives to reflect the glorious truth of the Gospel?
Or this week, regardless of our circumstances, will we walk in a manner worthy of the gospel?
Taken from a sermon by George Wright, Senior Pastor, Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Birmingham, AL
Read “Walk With Me” by Bryant Wright