". . .Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
In the first chapters of Ephesians (1-3), Paul has been teaching doctrine. He covered the doctrine of God, and Jesus Christ, and then taught about the Church, and salvation. In chapters 4-6 he is teaching how believers in Christ live. Keep in mind that these chapters are only for believers because we learn of the blessings we have in Jesus Christ, and how we (His Church) can glorify Him in the world. In our verses for today, we learn of a basic mindset for believers.
“Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,”
Because of our calling in Christ as believers, we need to be sure that our “walk is worthy.” That is, our way of life (behavior) is in line with our belief as the children of God. We live according to His will, and His Word.
This word “vocation” is from the Greek word meaning “calling,” and Paul used it three times in this book, referencing the believer’s “calling.”
Here are four qualities that our “worthy walk” should embrace.
“With all lowliness”
Lowliness is “having a humble opinion of one’s self,” with a “deep sense of one’s (moral) littleness.” I am not a “big shot” but the “little guy.” The “lowly” believer is modest, and humble, and has an attitude of “lowliness.”1
“The Gospel has elevated the word to express a Christian grace, namely, the esteeming of ourselves small, inasmuch as we are so…” (Trench)2
Meekness here is the word that means “gentleness, mildness.”3
The “meek” believer has no issue with accepting God’s will for his life. He accepts what God wants for him without debate or belligerence. His mindset lets him treat others in the same way.
Note that “lowliness” and “meekness” in the believer makes the next two qualities possible.
Longsuffering in the original means “patience, endurance,…steadfastness, perseverance,” and a “slowness in avenging wrongs”4 done to itself.
“Forbearing one another in love;”
Forbearing means “to hold up; to hold one’s self…” upright; “to sustain, to bear, to endure.”5
“Forbearing” puts up with a lot. And it’s not just putting up with but having a good attitude at the same time.
“Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Unity and peace go together. “Love” in verse two, is the “bond of peace” in verse three. The unity here was made by the Holy Spirit, and believers strive to keep it. Our love for the Lord, His Word, and each other help us to keep it peacefully. Only as we live by His directives in His Word.
Believer, how do these qualities match your walk? Which areas need work? The Lord will give you the grace to obey and serve Him in helping others. One suggestion for serving others, while you take care of people, keep your eyes, your focus on the Lord. And remember, it’s all about His glory.
1. J.H. Thayer, Thayer’s Greek Definitions, the electronic version in eSword.
2. Jamison, Fausset, and Brown. Jamison-Fausset-Brown’s Commentary, the electronic version in eSword.
3. J.H. Thayer, ibid.