Pastor's Connect Blog

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Ephesians 4:1-3

Paul begins this passage with “I therefore,” and then begins to tell the saints at Ephesus how they ought to behave… their conduct should reflect Christ in them … their character should reveal their relationship with the Lord … , their attitudes and activities were to evidence their redemption; and their behavior to Whom they belonged.

Paul walked the talk … who he was, could be seen in what he did … what he did proved Whose he was.

Does what you practice prove your profession? Does your conduct certify your Christianity? Does your activities affirm your allegiance?

The Chain that Binds the Saint

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord….”

“I therefore” … looking back to chapter one at the God’s redemptive plan set into motion before the foundation of the world for the purpose of His own good pleasure … God’s adoption of Paul, a sinner, into His family, making him a child of the King, and a joint heir with Jesus Christ … not because of anything He saw in Paul, chapter two, and not because of anything he had done, or would do but by grace through faith He redeemed him setting him free from the penalty of sin …

Paul couldn’t help himself … though held captive by Rome, he was bound by the chains of compassion … the prisoner of the Lord ... his heart was enslaved by the knowledge of the love of God and the sacrifice of the Lamb of God

SEE/DISCUSS Romans 12:1; 2 Corinthians 5:15, 15.

The Conduct Becoming the Saint

“… beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.”

Paul turns his attention from his own life to the lives of the saints in Ephesus “I beseech, plead, with you … you as one who is blood bought, redeemed from the penalty of sin, delivered from darkness, rescued from the fires of hell, adopted into the family of God, and secured a place in heaven, forever.

So before you say, “no,” remember who you were before you became who you are.

It’s not that we have to serve the Lord, it is that we get to serve the One Who sacrificed His all for us.

“walk” – comes from the Greek word, peripateo, which means walk about, to order one’s steps, and here, refers to one’s conduct .. behavior.

“worthy” comes from a word which means to ‘way as much.’ To walk worthy is behave in such a way as to prove your profession of faith and to accomplish God’s expectations … your confession and calling are confirmed by your conduct.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see our good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Matthew 5:16

“Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

1 Peter 2:12

“vocation” – our job … Christianity is our primary vocation/occupation … we are employed by God

The Characteristics becoming the Saint

“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.”

Real Christianity exemplifies the characteristic of “lowliness.”

Lowliness means to esteem ourselves as small; a deep sense of our own moral and spiritual smallness and demerit.

Compare Isaiah 6:5 “Woe is me, for I am undone...”

A person who is haughty and proud is guilty of an exaggerated estimation of his worth before man and God and limits what God can do in him and through him.

Real Christianity exemplifies the characteristic of “meekness.”

“Meekness” not to be confused with weakness, is giving to God control over our lives; like the reigns on a horse God directs us where and how He wills.

“Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.”

Numbers 12:3

Meekness allows God to use our lives for the benefit of others … once again we learn life is not to be about ourselves

Real Christianity exemplifies the characteristic of “longsuffering.”

There are two words in the Greek for patience (longsuffering): hupomene, which means to have patience with regard to things, circumstances, and makrothumia, which means to have patience with regard to people. The word here is the latter and means when someone wrongs you, you don’t blow up and strike back.

Real Christianity exemplifies the characteristic of “forbearing.”

First, note to recipient of “forbearing” is “one another” …. Others of the family of God

Anecho (“forbearing”) takes longsuffering to the next level and means to endure the wrong heaped upon you.

This can only be accomplished as you are motivated and empowered by love … the willingness to sacrifice oneself in order to help someone else

The Charge before the Saints

“Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

“Endeavoring” – to do one’s best

“keep” (tereo) – to guard what is in one’s possession so as not to lose what you have.

“unity” – agreement. Working together for a common goal. In the absence of unity, dissension and division reign. Where the Spirit leads, unity reigns.

Therefore,keep your eyes open to anything that might create friction among the believers leading to disharmony.

WHAT WOULD THIS LOOK LIKE? (What warning signs might one see in a church, among believers, that would signal impending danger (disunity)?

“Bond of peace” – what binds the believer to the believer is their relationship with Jesus Christ. If our relationship with the Lord is as it should be we will seek, even at person sacrifice, unity in the “body of Christ.”

The enemy of unity is self-preference … a “my way” attitude will ultimately lead to a divided fellowship.


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Atkins First Baptist Church

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201 N Church St
Atkins, AR 72823

www.atkinsfbc.com

(479) 641-2693