I wonder what you think when you read this phrase ‘to live a life worthy of your calling’? What response does it stir in you? For some it could be a feeling of dread, that there are demands being made that we may not be able to fulfil. The thought that we might not be good enough, not worthy, that we will fail and let the Lord down. But the words are an exhortation, written to inspire and encourage, not to condemn us….
Live a Life Worthy of Your Calling
To fully understand any random verse or statement we have to look at it in context. This phrase to live a life worthy of your calling is found in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus. The people there were mainly, but not solely, Gentile believers. The letter does not address any particular problems but lays out the purpose and role of church fellowship.
The letter focuses on the role of the church as being to strengthen our faith and support our families and communities. But Paul also emphasizes that the unity of the church not only has practical benefits but also makes a powerful declaration in the spiritual realm. This is the power of God at work, bringing diverse people together and making them one in Christ Jesus!
The first section of the letter concludes with a powerful prayer for the Ephesians – and for all believers everywhere. That we might be strengthened in the ‘inner man’ by the Holy Spirit, so that through faith we will be rooted and grounded in love. Then we will be able to comprehend, in some measure, the magnitude of Christ’s love. All of this is to bring glory to God who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine!
Then the letter moves on to the practical guidelines for daily Christian living. Paul begins this section of instructions with a plea to live a life worthy of the Lord.
As a prisoner of the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.Ephesians 4:1
What Is The Meaning of Ephesians 4:1-6?
Now that we understand the background of Paul’s appeal to live a life worthy of your calling, let’s explore the essence of his message. The apostle Paul pleads to the church to live in a way that reflects Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.
This is not a challenge about what we do for the Lord. It is not a call to action to be doing more, or that we need to earn our worth in some way. It is a plea to strengthen our inner being – the inner man or woman – by the power of the Holy Spirit that is within us.
Paul’s call is for unity and maturity within the body of Christ, displayed through humility, gentleness, and patience. These qualities are not always valued or even thought to be desirable In today’s go-get-me society. They may even be seen as weak, but these are the signs of true spirit strength.
Bible Gateway – Ephesians 4:1-6
Walk in Humility
To live a life worthy of your calling Paul lists the attributes of humility, patience, gentleness, and love. These are the characteristics of our Heavenly Father, and of His Son Jesus Christ, and the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
- Gentleness is a characteristic of God. We may not have made that connection before that God in all His power and majesty is gentle towards us! “You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great.” Psalm 18:35 NKJV
- Gentleness and humility are qualities of Jesus, our witness and teacher. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29
- The fruit of the Holy Spirit include gentleness and strength. “But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.” Galatians 5:22-23 TPT
Walk In A Manner Worthy of the Gospel
To live a life worthy of your calling is to walk in a way that honors the gospel, the good news of Jesus. Gentleness of heart is a core strength, and that is not a contradiction. What is in our hearts influences our language and our behaviors. Spiritually the strength of our inner being makes all the difference. And that develops with the willingness to submit and to co-work with the Holy Spirit.
The fruits of the Holy Spirit develop naturally, as we follow in the love of Jesus Christ. The way to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel is simply to walk in step with Jesus. And as we do to honor Him with our obedience by aligning our spirit with His Spirit.
Scripture encourages us to pursue gentleness and to put it on like a garment, clothing ourselves with the attributes of Jesus. There will be choices for us to make and things that we should avoid in life. But to live a life worthy of the gospel does not develop by following a list of do’s and don’ts. This maturity of faith evolves by immersing ourselves in the love of God so that we become more like Jesus.
Related post: Choose to Walk in Love and Freedom
Be Encouraged To Live A Life Worthy of the Lord
The exhortation in Ephesians to live a life worthy of your calling comes from the desire to see true Christian unity. And we need that prayer and plea today for the church to be a cohesive witness to all those who are lost without Jesus.
When diverse people, like you and me, are united in their love for Jesus it demonstrates the power of God at work in our lives. Our response to God’s love for us is to value the unity of the Holy Spirit. And in our relationships with other believers to make every effort to keep the bond of peace.
The inner strength that is necessary to live in peace with one another, as one body, comes from submission to God. A gentle, humble, surrendered spirit is precious to God and empowers living in a way that glorifies Jesus.
“Let your true beauty come from your inner personality, not a focus on the external. For lasting beauty comes from a gentle and peaceful spirit, which is precious in God’s sight and is much more important than the outward adornment of elaborate hair, jewellery, and fine clothes.”1 Peter 3:3-4
Gentleness is not developed by being told to be gentle, nor by solely trying to be gentle. To pursue gentleness is to move away from selfish desires by pursuing Jesus! Then our self-centredness will become Christ-centredness. We can let go of struggling and striving for ourselves and choose to trust in the Lord, every day, and, in every circumstance.
“For God alone my soul waits in silence and quietly submits to Him, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; my fortress and my defense, I will not be shaken or discouraged. On God my salvation and my glory rest; He is my rock of (unyielding) strength, my refuge is in God. Trust (confidently) in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us. Selah.”Psalm 62:6-8 AMP