In Week 6 of Ephesians, our lesson focused on Ephesians 4:1-6. Paul, in the previous chapters, reminded the believers of their position in Christ. He instructed them that they were formerly dead but were now alive in Christ and that they were formerly far off but have been brought near to God. Paul also explained that they were chosen, adopted, redeemed, and recipients of grace that have been sealed with the Holy Spirit, the pledge of their inheritance.
“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,” Ephesians 4:1
In Ephesians 4-6, Paul now switches gears to instruct how they are to walk as believers based on the explanation of their calling given in the first three chapters. Paul’s word choice of worthy means “‘properly’ or ‘that which balances the scales.'” Paul instructs that their walk should be balanced with their calling. Since God calls the believer, the calling, therefore, is high and the walk should rise to the call.
Paul continues that they are to walk with humility and gentleness which brings and promotes unity among believers. He also states that they, with patience, are to show tolerance for one another in love. Paul also exhorts that they need to be diligent in preserving the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. What if believers pursued these traits with careful diligence? How would doctrinal disagreements among believers change? How would these changes be reflected in today’s churches?
Paul concludes his train of thought by listing the seven commonalities among all believers as proof of unity.
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 1:4-6
As part of our lesson, we investigated two of these commonalities a little closer. The first one we considered was that as believers we are one body. We reviewed every reference to the body that we marked. We have learned that the church is the body of Christ (1:22,23) made up of Jews and Gentiles reconciled to God through the cross. (2:15,16)
We also considered the one Spirit. In Ephesians 1-3, we have learned that all believers are sealed with the Holy Spirit, that the Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance (1:13,14), that the church has been brought near and given access through Jesus in one Spirit to God, and that believers are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. (2:17-22) We also learned that the mystery of the two becoming one was revealed in the Spirit to the apostles and prophets (3:5) and that believers are strengthened by power through His Spirit in the inner being. (3:16) In addition, we are not to grieve the Spirit who seals us for the day of redemption, (4:30) but be filled, (5:18) and to pray and petition God at all times in the Spirit of God using the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. (6:17,18)
In the video offered for this lesson from Precept Ministries, Kay Arthur taught and encouraged the listener to walk worthy of the calling as she taught line by line these seven verses. She highlighted two major points. The first point is that as believers walking worthy is a matter of character. (4:2) She cross-referenced Galatians 5:22-25 stating that when we live by the Spirit and walk by the Spirit then the fruit of the Spirit should be evident in our lives. The second point Kay Arthur highlighted was that as believers walking worthy is a matter of choice. (4:3) To this point, she challenged us to seek peace and unity in the body of Christ and to preserve unity by holding to the seven givens believers have in common found in Ephesians 4:1-7. She concluded by exhorting the listener to be diligent to walk worthy because Christ is the head of the church and not to grieve Him by wounding a part of His body, the church.
This week we begin the Week 7 Lessons. Keep at it! We are getting close to the end.