A Worthy Life

Geoffrey Cox

READ : Ephesians 4:1-16

. . . therefore . . . lead a life worthy of [your] calling . . . (v. 1)

As he usually does in his letters, Paul turns in Ephesians 4 from doctrine to practice. The pattern of New Testament teaching says, “What you believe must shape what you do.” “Therefore,” Paul writes—because of who God is and what he has done for us—we are now to “lead a life worthy of [our] calling” (v. 1).

The key mark of a life that is worthy of the Christian calling is unity. All Christians are one in Christ, says Paul. There is only one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God (vv. 4-6). So the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22) which Paul lists—humility, gentleness, patience, love, peace (vv. 2-3)—should be growing in every Christian. When that happens it creates peace in the unity of the Spirit. Then the gifts of the Spirit, which differ in each Christian (v. 11), can develop and build up the body of Christ.

And it’s all done “in love.” We are to bear with one another “in love” (v. 2); speak the truth “in love” (v. 15); build up the church—“the body“—“in love” (v. 16). Try substituting “Jesus” for “love” in each of those phrases. When we can learn to love and build up one another in Christ, we will lead a life worthy of our calling.


Lord, may I live in your love. Amen.