September 24, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”—Ephesians 4:1 (NIV)
It’s been well noted that the Book of Ephesians is broken into two very distinct parts. And the better one understands this breaking point, the better they’ll understand the book’s overall purpose for our lives and how the Christian life is meant to operate.
Here’s the basic breakdown. By the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, Paul spends the first three chapters of Ephesians unpacking all God has done for us through Christ. It’s a layer cake of spiritual blessing after blessing as he stacks one incredible truth on top of another. At certain points, Paul can’t seem to stop himself from expounding on all the Lord has done for us. By the end of the third chapter, we come to see that our spiritual wealth is beyond belief.
But then the letter takes a different turn as we come to chapter four. There’s a shift from what God has done for us to our response to Him. We see the opening of this response in the passage above as we’re urged to, “live a life worthy of the calling [we] have received.” Having seen all God has done on our behalf, we are to live in a way that reflects and honors all of this. In other words, walk worthy! And for the next three chapters, Paul gives description and definition to what a worthy walk looks like.
It’s key for every Christian to understand this: God doesn’t just save us from our sin, forgive our past, bless us with every heavenly blessing, and then leave us to sort of live however we want. What He’s done for us is to be the catalyst for how we live out the rest of our lives here on the earth until we finally receive our heavenly inheritance. But this commitment to a new way of life is to be motivated by the love, gratitude, and humility that comes from knowing what God has already done for us. That’s why Paul wrote Ephesians in the order he did!
As for what a worthy walk actually looks like, we have most of the New Testament to guide us on how a believer should behave. Some specific Scriptures for those who want to learn more on this would include Ephesians 4:2–6, Philippians 1:27, Colossians 3:17, and 1 Peter 4:11. But for the sake of time and space, let’s zero in on one particular way of living that can really serve as a way of covering everything. And that’s what Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV) as he teaches that in, “whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
How does one walk worthy of God? The short answer is by glorifying Him in all things. This means that in every thought, word, or action priority is given to thinking, saying, and doing what glorifies God. And to glorify God is to devote yourself to reflecting who He is and what He’s done. You emulate your heavenly Father by loving, forgiving, sharing, warning, encouraging, teaching, praying, and caring as He does. When you make that your mission, you’ll also find you’re walking worthy of the life God has given you.
Pause: Why is the structure of Ephesians important and what does it teach about the Christian life?
Practice: Consider the areas of your life where God isn’t being glorified and decide what choices you can make to change this.
Pray: Heavenly Father, I could never respond in equal measure to all You’ve done for me. But with the time and opportunity You’ve given me, help me to glorify You in all that I do. Show me where I need to change my thoughts, words, and actions, and fill me with a deepening desire to reflect who You are and what You’ve done to the world around us. I want to walk worthy. Amen.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.