Walking Worthy of Our Calling, Part 8 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #210)
A series of homilies on Ephesians.
A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”
I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.
TEXT: Ephesians 4:1-3:
1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
A.W. Tozer said, “The spiritual man habitually makes eternity-judgments instead of time-judgments. By faith he rises above the tug of earth and the flow of time and learns to think and feel as one who has already left the world and gone to join the innumerable company of angels and the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn which are written in heaven. Such a man would rather be useful than famous and would rather serve than be served. And all this must be by the operation of the Holy Spirit within him. No man can become spiritual by himself. Only the free Spirit can make a man spiritual.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “The last words of Jesus to the church in Revelation were ‘Repent!’”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “North of New England, the Maritime Provinces of British North America (Canada) experienced the ‘New Light Revival.’ Evangelist Henry Alline and others impacted Baptist and Congregational churches with the revival message. Methodists conducted camp meetings and established new churches throughout Upper Canada. The revival later touched Presbyterians in the same region.”
When Paul says a Christian is to walk worthy of his vocation or calling, he is referring to the lifestyle of the believer. He is referring to how we carry ourselves as those who have been set apart for God. Our lifestyle ought to be distinct from that of the world. People ought to be able to look at us and see that we are living according to the values of the Kingdom of God.
One commentator stated, “Paul is not asking too much of the saints (the set apart ones) at Ephesus. Indeed, this is a call to walk on a plane commensurate with our heavenly position in Christ and our earthly possession of every spiritual blessing in Christ. Our calling and our conduct should be in balance. We do not become Christians by living the Christian life; rather, we are exhorted to live the Christian life because we are Christians, that our lives may measure up to our profession and our position in Christ. Paul’s call for a worthy walk resonates throughout his epistles. The point is that it is not enough to just know the truth, but we must live it out.”
The Christian is to represent Christ well in the world. Our words, behavior, and attitudes ought to bring glory to Him. When we act outside of the will of God, we bring shame to the Kingdom of God.
Recently, during the Olympics in Brazil, the actions of a few American swimmers brought shame to the name of the other Olympians and to the United States. These swimmers were wearing American uniforms, they entered the Games under the American flag, they won medals that brought glory to the United States. But their actions outside of the swimming pool were clearly not in accordance with the values espoused by the U.S. Olympic Team and the U.S. Olympic Committee.
When we act foolishly and sinfully as Christians, we are not acting in accordance with the values of the Kingdom of God. We are not walking worthy of our calling.
This hymn reminds us of how we should walk:
Christian, walk carefully; danger is near!
Go on thy journey with trembling fear;
Trials from without, and temptations within,
Seek to entice thee once more into sin.
Christian, walk cheerfully through the fierce storm,
Dark though the sky be with threats of alarm;
Soon will the clouds and the tempest be over,
Then with thy Saviour thou wilt rest evermore.
Christian, walk prayerfully; Oft wilt thou fall,
If thou forget on thy Saviour to call;
Safe thou shalt walk through each trial and care,
If thou art clad in the armour of prayer.
Christian, walk hopefully; sorrow and pain
Cease when the haven for rest thou shalt gain;
Then from the lips of the Judge, thy reward:
“Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”