“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.” (Ephesians 4:1–3 (ESV)
How are believers in Christ to walk, or live, in a manner worthy of the calling of God to which each believer has been called? In other words, what is consisted in a praise worthy life that is lived for the glory of God?
Please realize that such a life does not earn one a place in heaven. Salvation is by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, and in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone (Ephesians 1:1-2:10). However, the believer’s justification is foundational and complementary to their corresponding sanctification. God’s call unto justification is proven and substantiated by one’s obedience unto sanctification.
The Apostle Paul provides a brief list of characteristics of the believer’s new life in Christ. Remember, these qualities display a pattern for living the Christian life and not how to enter into the Christian life.
The first quality of a worthy walk is humility. Humility (ταπεινοφροσύνη; tapeinophrosyne) means to live in modesty (Acts 20:19; Eph. 4:2; Php. 2:3; Col. 2:18, 23; 3:12; 1 Peter 5:5). It is the disciplined practice of esteeming other people as being better than yourself. It is not thinking of yourself more highly than you should (Romans 12:3).
One commentator explains humility as, “a grateful and spontaneous awareness that life is a gift, and it is manifested as an ungrudging and un-hypocritical acknowledgment of absolute dependence upon God.”
Dr. John MacArthur writes, “Humility” is a term not found in the Latin or Greek vocabularies of Paul’s day. The Greek word apparently was coined by Christians, perhaps even by Paul himself, to describe a quality for which no other word was available. Humility, the most foundational Christian virtue (James 4:6), is the quality of character commanded in the first beatitude (Matt. 5:3), and describes the noble grace of Christ (Phil. 2:7–8).
Dr. John Walvoord states that, “Paul listed virtues that are to enhance a believer’s walk. The first of these is humility. In Greek culture, humility was thought of as a vice, to be practiced only by slaves. But Paul stated that saints should be completely humble in their daily walks. This is the opposite of pride. On the other hand Christians should not promote false humility, but should recognize who they are in God’s program (cf. John 3:30; Rom. 12:3). This virtue is listed first because of Paul’s emphasis on unity (pride promotes disunity; humility promotes unity) and to counteract their past pride, so as to facilitate obedience to and dependence on God. Christ was the supreme example of humility (Phil. 2:6–8).”
May the Lord give each believer in Christ today the strength to be humble in character and behavior. Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Soli deo Gloria!