Walk Worthy

Walking Like We're Blessed  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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Ephesians 4:1–6 NASB95
1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
Chapters 1-3 are considered doctrinal or an expositional argument about what GOD and Christ have accomplished for humanity, specifically believers who are now in Christ. We learned: Saints are spiritually blessed (possess all spiritual blessings in Christ, expounding on those spiritual blessings we see where GOD has brought Jews and Gentiles to life and exalted them just as he did Christ, saved by God’s grace, made one and possess same access to GOD through the Spirit. All of these have been freely given by GOD through Jesus, therefore they are blessings. Recalling our definition from earlier in the year, blessings are favorable conditions that someone receives and enjoys. Those conditions create, support, and sustain life. Chapter 4 begins the exhortatory section of the letter, which is where Paul calls them to action. In other words, based on all that GOD has done to bless saints with salvation through Jesus, how should that shape their behavior? How should they respond?
A Worthy Walk Keeps Up (Lives Up To The Calling)
Paul describes how saints should respond using a word he’s used twice so far, and that’s how they walk. Remember, the first time he used it to describe their old way of life, marching to the beat of the world and satan. The next time he says that GOD has saved them by grace and prepared good works for them to walk in. Now he will describe their response by telling them how to walk. There are 5 walks he instructs, and the first one in this passage is “Walk Worthy”. In response to how much GOD has blessed us, we must “Walk Worthy”.
Paul urges them to walk worthy, which means behave in such a way that looks like you deserve God’s invitation and blessing of salvation and being his people. Reminder, they were not called or invited to experience eternal life because they earned it and therefore deserve it, else it wouldn’t be grace. Paul’s point is that now, it should produce a behavioral lifestyle that levels with all the blessing. Paul mentions the worthiness of this lifestyle a couple other ways, in 1 Thess 2:12 the GOD who calls you, and Php 1:27 the Gospel of Christ. This calling is from GOD and is the good news of Christ. Thus, the lifestyle must reflect the one who calls and the message!!
A Worthy Walk Doesn’t Want To Be In Front (Is Not So Significant)
Well what does a worthy walk look like? It first must include the full extent of humility. Ancient Greeks viewed humility as a bad thing, but in Christ it became a good thing. It is not thinking or viewing oneself higher than they should. It is not posturing oneself as most significant. Not regarding ones reputation when dealing with people. Philippians 2:6–7 “6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.”
Application: When you consider God’s blessings of salvation, does it move you to think less significant of yourself. To walk worthy, we must internalize God’s salvation blessings in such a way that everywhere we walk, humility can be seen.
A Worthy Walk Is Not Aggressive
But wait, humility has a pair. Like peanut butter and jelly go together, humility and gentleness go together. The word was sometimes used to describe animals that were very disciplined and controlled. The idea here is not wilding out or being violently and forcefully aggressive. Jesus is described with this same pair gentle in Matt 11:29.
Application: Likewise here, God’s blessings should mean so much that it shapes a gentle attitude within us. Not forcing our ways upon others borderline violently.
A Worthy Walk Is Slow To Stop for Retaliation
So for their worthy walk, two virtues that must be with them are humility and gentleness. But there’s another item, patience. It is long suffering, to the point that one is slow to retaliate when they are done wrong. The opposite is when one is quick-tempered and will respond in rage.
Example: David let his kingdom because of his son Absalom, and Doeg cursed him. David’s cousins wanted to stop and get with him. But David refused and said let’s keep going.
Application: People will certainly offend you. My worthy walk is accompanied by patience. I was that close to snapping back, but I remembered how much GOD has done to make me alive in his Son Jesus.
Paul then give two actions that should be seen if it their walk is going to be worthy.
Illustration: Reminds me of someones arms going back and forth as one walks.
A Worthy Walk Stays With The Group (Shows High Tolerance}
What action? Showing tolerance. This action connects and expounds on the patience. It is when someone has faults and mistakes that get under one’s skin, but they stick with them in spite of. Not foolish and false positions that corrupt what’s spiritually healthy! This was Paul’s issue with Corinth, that people were teaching them a different Jesus, and they tolerated it way too easily. But this pertains to saints who still do some things that we don’t like. And what drives this tolerance is when we act out the love that GOD has poured into us.
This Tolerance must be mutual!!
Application: GOD showed us tolerance, until we responded in faith to the message. Where is our tolerance level? What about the blessings of salvation should we review to help increase our tolerance.
A Worthy Walk Hurries Runs To Keep Everybody Together (Invests In Unity)
The last action connects back to chapter 2 where we learned that Jesus is our peace and he has made Jew and Gentile one or unified. Here Paul says it is the unity of the Spirit, which means the unity is produced from the Spirit. Also showing that Jesus and the Spirit are joint in producing peace and unity for saints in Christ. But this is about how saints can live up to their calling. That is done by being serious and seeing an urgency to maintain that unity. And as I mentioned last week, there is no peace without unity, so this unity is held together in peace!!
Application: What demonstrates a worthy walk is how interested are we in guarding and maintaining that peace!! Reminders that Jesus is bigger than whatever issues!! Stop clinging to laws and traditions that keep division!
Unity becomes a primary theme for a few more verses, and to motivate saints how important unity is, Paul gives 7 units, that cannot be broken or divided. The Lord, Faith, Baptism, Body, Hope, Spirit, and God and Father.
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