“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. The next quality is gentleness.
Gentleness (πραΰτης; prautes) may be translated as either mildness or meekness (1Cor. 4:21; 2 Cor. 10:1; Gal. 5:23; 6:1; Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:12; 2 Tim. 2:25; Titus 3:2; James 1:21; 3:13; 1 Peter 3:16).
Dr. John Walvoord explains that, “A believer is to be gentle or “meek” (prautētos; cf. the adverb of this word in Gal. 6:1; 2 Tim. 2:25 and the noun in Gal. 5:23; Col. 3:12; 1 Peter 3:16). This is the opposite of self-assertion, rudeness, and harshness. It suggests having one’s emotions under control. But it does not suggest weakness. It is the mean between one who is angry all the time and one who is never angry. One who is controlled by God is angry at the right time but never angry at the wrong time. Moses was known as the meekest of all men (Num. 12:3, kjv). Yet he got angry when Israel sinned against God (Ex. 32). Christ was meek and humble in heart (Matt. 11:29). Yet He became angry because some Jews were using the temple as a place for thieves (Matt. 21:12–13).”
What a delicate balance is required as we seek to be gentle people of God. May the Lord gives each of us the discernment to be angry at the right time and not to be angry at the wrong time. Have a God honoring day.
Soli deo Gloria!