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Ephesians 4:1

A Holy Calling

4 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

Paul usually divides his writings into two sections. The first section teaches his readers the theological principles of the gospel, and the second gives them the practical application of his argument. This chapter is the beginning of the practical side of his letter.

"I therefore... beseech you..." Paul's plea is for the Ephesian saints to respond to what he has said so far in the appropriate manner. It is an urgent plea, because of the status that they now enjoyed in the Lord.

He implores them as a prisoner of the Lord. Although he was in prison at the time, he never considered himself to be a prisoner of the Roman government. Paul trusted absolutely in the sovereign power of God, knowing that he was in prison because it was God's will that he should suffer for his service to Christ.

While Paul could not walk freely, he urged the Ephesians to walk worthy of the vocation to which they were called. We usually think of someone's vocation as their occupation, trade or profession. However, it also means, "...a calling by the will of God; or the bestowment of God's distinguishing grace upon a person or nation, by which that person or nation is put in the way of salvation; as the vocation of the Jews under the old dispensation, and of the Gentiles under the gospel." (Webster) It is this definition that is meant by the word in the scriptures and it is usually translated as, ""calling."" Although Paul was a prisoner of Christ, he was as free as anyone could be. "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty;" (Galatians 5:13)

Christians should not walk as though they are still under the bondage of the law and sin but in the freedom of Jesus Christ. "For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness." (1 Thessalonians 4:7) We must be constantly aware of the fact that we have a "holy calling" (2 Timothy 1:9), which requires that we live accordingly.

What is a holy calling? You have been called out of the darkness of this world into the enlightened kingdom of God and into a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9), to be an ambassador for Christ to the lost world. You should live like a royal priest and an ambassador for the God of creation.

You have been called to be a son of the living God (1 John 3:1), to follow the example of Jesus Christ and to suffer for the sake of the gospel, if it becomes necessary (1 Peter 2:21). This is not an easy walk, but Christ will give you the strength to do it.

The last days will see the return of Christ, and you have been chosen to appear with Him in glory when He comes. Therefore, Paul pleads with all Christians, "That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory." (1 Thessalonians 2:12)

The world looks at you and judges the gospel, Jesus Christ and God the Father by what it sees. You can damage the ability of the church to effectively distribute the good news of Christ, if you continue to live in sin. On the other hand, by walking worthy of your calling, you can bring praise and honor and glory to the name of our Lord. The choice, however, is yours.

Before The Throne:

Pray, "Lord, I know I am not worthy of your grace, but create in me a clean heart. Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to you. Lord, I want to present my body to you as a living sacrifice. Help me to walk worthy in the holy calling to which you have called me. Help me to follow the example of Jesus Christ and make my ministry profitable for your kingdom."

For Further Study:

** prisoner: Eph 3:1; ** of the Lord: ** beseech: Jer 38:20; Rom 12:1; 1Co 4:16; 2Co 5:20; 6:1; 10:1; Gal 4:12; Phm 1:9-10; 1Pe 2:11; 2Jo 1:5; ** walk: Eph 5:2; Gen 5:24; 17:1; Act 9:31; Phi 1:27; 3:17-18; Col 1:10; 4:12; 1Th 2:12; 4:1-2; Tit 2:10; Heb 13:21; ** vocation: Rom 8:28-30; Phi 3:14; 2Th 1:11; 2Ti 1:9; Heb 3:1; 1Pe 3:9; 5:10; 2Pe 1:3;


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