The Calling to Which We Have Been Called

Ephesians 4:1-3 ESV

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to 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.”

Do you who read the Scriptures in their context ever wonder how in the world people come up with some of the beliefs that they do, especially the one where they say that God requires no works of us at all – no submission to him as Lord, no repentance, and no obedience to his commands? I mean, all throughout the New Testament Scriptures we are taught that our walk must match our profession of faith in Jesus Christ and we must obey Jesus.

So, when Paul says, “I urge you,” that is an imperative. It is not a casual suggestion he is making. And he is not teaching works-based salvation. He is saying here, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that it is essential that we walk (in conduct, in practice) in a manner (way, conduct) worthy (fitting, suitable, appropriate) to the calling to which we have been called of God.

And what is it we have been called to? We have been called to belong to Christ, i.e. that we are now his possession and thus he is our Lord (Owner-master), i.e. he is the one directing our lives. And we are called to be saints, and a saint is a called out one, one who is holy unto God, who is separate (unlike, different) from the world because he is being conformed to the likeness (character) of Jesus Christ.

We have also been called according to God’s purpose and his purpose for us is that we die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, that we no longer walk in sin, but that we now walk (in conduct) according to the Spirit in holiness and righteousness, in the power of God’s Spirit. And it is that we submit to him as Lord of our lives, that we honor him with our lives, and that we walk in obedience to his commands in humility.

And we are also called to freedom from slavery to sin, so sin is to no longer have dominion over our lives, for Jesus bought us back for God (he redeemed us) with his blood so that we would now honor God with our bodies. So our bodies are no longer to be given over to the sinful passions of the flesh, but we are now to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the power of God. And now we are to be slaves to God and to his righteousness in the power and working of God’s Spirit in our lives.

[Rom 1:6-7; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-29; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Co 1:9; 1 Co 3:17; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Gal 5:13-21; Eph 1:3-4; Eph 2:10,21; Eph 5:27; Col 1:22; Col 3:12; 1 Thess 4:7; 2 Tim 1:8-9; 2 Tim 2:21; 1 Pet 1:13-16; 1 Pet 2:5-9,24; 2 Pet 1:3; Tit 2:11-14; Lu 9:23-26; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 2:3-6]

Ephesians 4:25-32 ESV

“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

I don’t know how it can be more clear than this. All throughout the New Testament we have instructions in godly living, and in the things that we are to put off (out of our lives) and the things that we are to put on (applied to our daily walks of faith in Jesus Christ). Again, how is that so many people are buying into a false gospel which tells them that all they have to do is “believe” (undefined) in Jesus, and now their sins are forgiven, heaven is their eternal destiny, and nothing can take that away from them?

Not only do the Scriptures make clear what needs to go out of our lives and what must be part of our lives if we are to have salvation from sin and eternal life with God, but we have plenty of passages of Scripture with lists of sinful practices. And we are told that if these sins and others like them are what we practice deliberately and habitually, and if we do not repent and turn away from them to follow Jesus in obedience, that we will not inherit the kingdom of heaven but hell will be our eternal destiny, instead.

So, we need to take the word of God seriously, and we need to stop listening to humans who are not teaching the word of God in context, but who are pulling Scriptures out of their context and are twisting them to say something the Scriptures do not teach. And by context I mean biblical (historical and doctrinal) context. For example, we are no longer under the Old Covenant, but the New Covenant is not lawless. We are still required to obey the Lord and to not walk in sin, for this is part of the faith that saves us from our sins and which promises us eternal life with God.

So, know the truth by studying the Scriptures in their context and by comparing Scripture with Scripture. Don’t build your doctrine of salvation around a few select Scriptures taught out of context. And certainly don’t build your doctrine of salvation merely from the teachings of other humans who could be in error. Test everything you read and hear against the Word of God, but in context. And let the Word of God and the Holy Spirit lead you to all truth. For many liars and deceivers are out there.

[Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:28-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:3-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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