“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. The third quality is patience. This is followed by the active behavior of bearing with one another in love.
Bearing with (ἀνέχομαι; anechomai) means to endure, and persevere (Matt. 17:17; Mark 9:19; Luke 9:41; 1 Cor. 4:12; 2 Cor. 11:1; Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:13; 2 Thess. 1:4). This personal behavior not only pertains to patience, but also to gentleness and humility.
To whom are we, as believers in Christ, to demonstrate these qualities? The text says one another. We are to first and foremost demonstrate these qualities to fellow believers in Christ.
The attitude we are to have in doing so is love (ἀγάπη; agape), which is a self-sacrificing love of the will. Therefore, our behavior is not based upon our emotions but rather upon a resolution of our wills.
Dr. Don Carson writes, “Royal princes are treated by their educators not with the stick, but with an appeal to their rank and standing’. Perhaps, but the appeal here is not to the aristocratic qualities of imperious resolve, tenacity and authority. It is a call, rather, to the corporate humility, gentleness and patient, forgiving love that exemplifies reconciliation” (cf. Col. 3:12–13).
Pray today that the Lord will reveal to you how to demonstrate humility, gentleness and patience to fellow Christians. Have a blessed day.
Soli deo Gloria!