WORKING OUT THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE GOSPEL

Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 4:1-3

“I therefore, a prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  (Ephesians 4:1-3)

Paul is exhorting us to live our lives in a worthy manner.  Basically we are to live our lives in a manner worthy of God’s calling upon our lives — He has called us to be holy as He is holy (I Peter 1:14-16).  This means that we must work out the implications of the gospel in every area of our lives.  This includes the way we choose to treat other people.

We must remember that we are to be rooted and grounded in love (3:17) and that Christ dwells in our hearts through faith (3:17).  Thus we must yield to the Lordship of Christ over every area of our lives.  It is then that we find the ability to work out the implications of the gospel.  This is especially true in our relationships with others.

Look at Jesus Christ.  He is a king, yet He became a servant (Mark 10:45).  He is Lord over all, yet He humbled Himself (Philippians 2:8).  He is gentle in His dealing with us (Matthew 11:29).  He is the source of true peace (John 16:33).  This Jesus lives in us.  As we yield ourselves to Him and submit to His will for our lives, we can walk in a manner worthy of our calling.

We can become humble and gentle because Jesus lives in us.  We can be patient with others because the Spirit of Christ produces fruit, which includes patience and self-control (Galatians 5:22,23).  We can bear one another in love, for the love of Christ controls us (II Corinthians 5:14).  We can speak truth in love to others because Jesus Christ is the truth (John 14:6).  We can be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace because the peace of God guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

As believers, we have the ability to honor God as we walk in a manner worthy of our calling.  We can be humble, gentle and patient.  We can bear with one another in love and eagerly desire to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace because Jesus dwells in our hearts through faith.

We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).  The choice is ours.  We will either yield to our own selfish desires or we will yield to the will and power of the indwelling Christ.  We can never do the things Paul is telling us to do in our own strength.  But with Christ all things are possible.

Lord Jesus, strengthen me today to treat other people in a manner worthy of my calling to be Your disciple.  Enable me to draw off your power so that I can be humble, gentle and patient.

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