Updated: Feb 15, 2021
Text: Ephesians 4:17-32
The apostle Paul, earlier in chapter 4 of Ephesians, has instructed Christians to "walk worthy" of our calling (ref. Eph. 4:1). Through chapter 4, he begins to teach what this looks like, Paul is putting it all together. Later, Paul recorded:
"This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness." (Eph. 4:17-19 NKJV).
Paul is drawing a contrast. He is contrasting a life outside of Christ with that of a life in Christ. Walking in ignorance, with a darkened understanding, alienated from God is not a life walking worthy of the calling of Christ. This life is calloused to the Lord's desire and given to sensuality, greed, and every kind of impurity.
However, as Christians, this is not the life we are called to. This type of lifestyle is not what we have learned from God's word. Christians are to be "renewed" in the spirit of our mind (ref. Eph. 4:23). In contrast to how we once walked, what does it look like to walk worthy of our calling or to walk in a renewed spirit?
The apostle Paul helps us understand what he is talking about. Christians are to be honest and sincere. We are to demonstrate the love of Christ, not being known as one who is easily angered and holding grudges. Our work is to be noble and seeking to share with others. In our speech, we should be building one another up, not taking part in slander. The life we are called to in Christ looks much different than the life we once lived. Walking worthy of our calling looks different than much of what we see in our culture. The life of a Christian should stand out in contrast to the values so often demonstrated around us.
The life of a Christian is renewed.
"And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you."