Ephesians 4:1-3 I, therefore,
the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which
you were called,
2 With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
3 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
In order to walk worthy of our calling we must, first of all, have a revelation of our calling. We must know God’s purpose for our lives, at least enough so we can begin the walk toward the fulfillment of our call. Since it is a walk, we understand there must be a continual progression toward the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). Step by step we draw closer to the Lord in our relationship with Him. As we do our love for Him will continually increase, and that is the captivating force that will make us prisoners of the Lord.
Verses 2 and 3 are most important, for without them you would not be able to experience verse 1. You could spend your whole life trying to walk worthy of your calling and never succeed without verses 2 and 3 becoming a reality in your life. Let’s take a close look at these verses.
Ephesians 4:2 With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love.
Lowliness, gentleness (meekness), longsuffering, and love - that sounds simple, doesn’t it? Obtaining any one of those characteristics would be the most difficult thing you have ever tried to do, for they are not inherent within human nature and neither can human nature be disciplined to produce them. These qualities are all attributes of the divine nature and must be appropriated. Along with the appropriation of them there must also be the elimination of their counterparts in your man nature. In short, there must be a transformation. The divine nature of the Lord must come forth in you. Now, let’s take a look at each one.
Lowliness: Human nature recoils at the thought of lowliness. It likes to be exalted – pride and arrogance reside in it. It is the Edomite that Obadiah spoke of in his prophecy. The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; you who say in your heart, who will bring me down to the ground? Though you ascend as high as the eagle, and though you set your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down, says the Lord. Obadiah 3-4.
All pride and arrogance will be brought down and none of us are free of it until God brings the deliverance. Oh, human nature can put on a face that looks like the real thing. It can look so humble, but under the right circumstances that pride and arrogance will break through and show its ugly face. In fact, God will cause some circumstance for you that will reveal the pride and arrogance in you. Thank God for that because then you have the opportunity to throw it off and to appropriate the lowliness of the Lord. Your human nature will not only deceive others, but it will deceive you, too. It can put on such a false face of piety that you will think you are really spiritual when you really aren’t. Paul warns us saying, Through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. Romans 12:3.
Your man nature can be so deceptive. Listen to what the Word says about man. There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understand; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes…For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:10-18,23. You say, “Well, I’m a Christian now.” Yes, you are a Christian with a human nature. Being forgiven doesn’t change your nature. Becoming a Christian merely puts you in the place where you can begin putting off the old man with his deeds and putting on the new man according to the image of Christ (Colossians 3:9-10).
Do you want to walk worthy of your calling with all lowliness? Then get ready for a fight! The arrogance and pride of your human nature is not going to just slink away into the pit at the drop of a hat. But you say, “I’m not having any trouble with pride and arrogance.” Oh, well then, try appropriating the lowliness of the Lord Jesus Christ and see how fast it rises up to resist you. The lowliness of Christ is your passport into the Kingdom of God. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3. You cannot walk worthy of your calling without lowliness of spirit.
Meekness: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5. Why will the meek inherit the earth? It is because they claim nothing as their own. For the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness. I Corinthians 10:26. Man wants to own things and he wants to own more than other people. When he buys something he wants the very best, the most expensive. I’m talking about the man nature of Christians. He wants to feel and look important. It is a manifestation of lust and has to be overcome if he wants to walk worthy of his calling. Listen to what the Apostle Paul says. Learn not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? I Corinthians 4:6-7. One that is meek, gentle of spirit, will walk worthy of his calling.
Longsuffering: Have you experienced the longsuffering of the Lord? Are you aware that God could have snuffed out your life at any time and been justified? He has been longsuffering waiting on you to deny yourself, take up your cross, and to follow Him (Matthew 16:24). Yet you can’t tolerate someone who crosses your will. How easy it is to be angry with a wife or husband over the least little thing! How easy it is to reject a brother or sister in the Lord when they have done you wrong. When you do, you have the greater sin. We talk a lot about Christ coming forth in us. If He is in us, where is His lowliness? Where is His meekness? Where is His longsuffering? These things are absolutely necessary to walking worthy of your calling.
Bearing with one another in love: Longsuffering is a result of love – not human love, divine love. The love in human nature is corrupt and demonic. Human love cannot bear long with another. That is why there are so many divorces – even among Christians. How did you respond the last time someone did you wrong? “Well, you don’t know what they did to me.” It doesn’t matter what they did. What matters is your response to it. It may have been God that caused them to do you wrong so you would know about your wrong spirit.
Here is the evidence of real love. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. I Corinthians 13:4-8.
We can all cry, “Guilty! Woe is me, for I am undone!” Now what are we going to do? Are we going to feel sorry for ourselves and eat worms? No! We are going to realize what we are, make no excuses for it, and turn to the One that can conquer our flesh and save us from ourselves. We are going to invite the Lord to come forth in our lives conquering and to conquer our flesh nature (Revelation 6:2). We are going to give Him access to slay the Agags of our flesh nature. Arise within us, O Lord; let not our man nature prevail (Psalm 9:19).
Ephesians 4:3 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
I can’t begin to tell you how important this is. The unity of spirit is where God commands the blessing. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing – life forevermore. Psalm 133:1-3.
Division, on the other hand, is Satan’s most used tool. He has caused the bulk of Christianity to be ineffective by dividing it up into sects. Division is deadly. If he can cause you to have a problem with another brother or sister in the Lord so you are divided, he has defeated you and you have been deceived by the devil. You have rejected Christ! Whatever he or she has done to you or said about you is no excuse for unforgiveness and division. The moment you close yourself off from another and will not fellowship with him, you have separated yourself from Christ. This is why Paul says that we must endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. We cannot walk worthy of our calling if we are divided.
Copyright © 2004 by Henry DuBose