We’ve seen that we are saved by grace. Does this mean that we can live however we want? Is our salvation a “magic pill” that will allow us into heaven no matter how we behave? Or is there more – a way to live that honors the name of Christ? How important is it that we walk the talk?
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Eph 4:1- (ESV)
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. Eph 4:17-19 (ESV)
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Eph 5:1-2 (ESV)
for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Eph 5:8-10 (ESV)
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Eph 5:15-17 (ESV)
We have many commands to walk differently once we’re in Christ! In the last two weeks, we’ve listened to Paul as he tells us who we are in Christ, and now Paul is turning his attention to the way we should walk. Let’s go back Ephesians 4:1-8 for more details.
Therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Eph 4:1-7 (ESV)
Paul wrote this letter from prison. Even as a prisoner, he had a heart for the churches under his care. He wanted to make sure that they understood their duties as believers. It amazes me to read his letters, knowing that he was in an uncomfortable situation himself – yet his love and compassion for fellow believers was so great.
What did he urge us to do?
What specific behaviors/attributes are we to show the world?
What is the basis of our unity in Christ?
How accurately does your walk reflect the qualities that Paul listed? What areas need work? Are you patient when your kids, spouse, or boss is acting rudely toward you? Do you look at your friends with love – even though they drive you crazy – and pray for them instead of gossiping about them? Are you humble or arrogant?
Take some time to really look at these verses. Ask God to tell you which areas your walk matches these attitudes – and where you need work. We need to live our lives as Christ lived. He was a humble servant, not arrogant. His anger was only evident when God was offended. He stooped to wash the disciple’s feet. He trudged up that hill to die for us. He could have “had it all” on this earth, but He chose the path God had set out for Him. We need to model His behaviors, and thereby show Jesus to the world.
I know that I have areas where my modeling doesn’t match my mouth. I will pray – and I hope you will, too!
See you Wednesday!