Theme: Personal maturity is the substance of unity in the local church.

As the glorious church of a glorious Savior, we have a glorious opportunity to live His character in our culture. When unbelievers observe our interaction, they should be amazed at the love we display (John 13:35). Maturing saints will be able to maintain the unity produced by the Spirit in a way that pleases the Lord.


The Petition for a Worthy Walk (verses 1)

The word “therefore” connects the first and second halves of Ephesians. Because we have been made one body in Christ, the church will come to have unified thinking about how we carry God’s character into the culture. He first changes us from the inside, and our outward behavior follows – in public and private, at work and at home.

The personal focus in this verse means that each Christian must regularly evaluate his or her own maturity in various areas of life.

Paul again calls himself a prisoner (see 3:1), but this time the phrase emphasizes his responsibilities to his Lord. There are terms and conditions when you are born again. God expects His born-again children to live out their salvation by growing in character.

Paul implores (begs, pleads) with believers on the basis of all the riches we have in Christ: Live the kind of life that resembles the holy character of the salvation you’ve been given. As Paul had appealed to his own will, he urges the Ephesians to walk in a consistent lifestyle. This lifestyle is “worthy” if it is balanced, focusing on both doctrine and practice.

The Purity of our Worthy Walk (verses 2-3)
G. Campbell Morgan said his wife was “known for the quiet ability to endure his busy schedule, all the while, behind the scenes, persevering through the hardships of ministry with patience that allowed all the saints to grow up over time.” This description reads just like Ephesians 4:2.

First-century unbelievers would hear “humility” as a demeaning servility. To have anyone else be lord over one’s life was shameful in secular society, not unlike today. In the New Testament, humility is the longing to serve the Lord as if no one is watching.

Gentleness or meekness is also misunderstood. It is a great ability to serve the Lord and others instead of self, also described as power under control. It even functions when ministering to someone who has fallen into sin. We approach fallen believers with the aim to serve them and help them grow in maturity.

New-Testament patience involves three things: taking what people dish out, with the right spirit, even when it’s harmful; enduring difficult things while we trust in God’s plan; and showing love to the brethren by allowing room for failure. We show tolerance in love even as we confront about sin, out of our own knowledge of Christ’s love in forgiveness.

“Diligence” in verse 3 is a term used to describe an athlete who is focused on the finish. Our diligence to preserve unity flows from our personal desire for a worthy and pure walk.

Application Points
  • Are you a learner? There is always more to learn from Scripture, spiritual leaders, and Christians who are older than we are. Are you progressing in a deeper understanding of the Scriptures, of who you are in Christ, and of how to live that out? What human examples should you learn from?
  • You have been called out and exclusively chosen to live out God’s character in the world. As we live this out in humility, gentleness, patience, and service, this church will enjoy the Spirit’s unity and movement as many congregations do not. We do not want to miss God’s intention for this place. Has the Lord laid something on your heart where you need to grow in the purity of your walk?
Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore:

  • 1 Thessalonians 4:9 – Keep learning and maturing.
  • Acts 20:18-21 – Paul describes his own humility.
  • Mark 10:45 – Jesus’ humble service.
  • Matthew 11:28-29, Zechariah 9:9 – Jesus’ meekness.
  • 2 Corinthians 10:1-3 – Paul’s meekness.
  • Galatians 6:1-2, Matthew 18:15-17 – Meekness is also required when a believer falls into sin.
  • James 1, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Peter 2:20 – Patience as persevering.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:18 – Be patient with all people’s failures.
  • Colossians 3:12-14 – Minister to one another in sacrificial love.
  • Psalm 133 – God commands eternal blessing on those are spiritually unified.

A Hymn to Encourage: “Chosen As His Children”

Chosen by the Father’s mercy,
Set apart to serve His Son,
Sanctified by His own Spirit—
Praise the Holy Three in One!
Saved by resurrection power,
Shielded in His faithful love;
Now, no enemy can tarnish
My inheritance above!

I’m born again!
I’m God’s own chosen child of mercy!
Born again! What love and grace!
Father, keep me walking worthy
‘Til I look upon Your face.

Led by wisdom into suff’ring,
Grieved by many trials below,
Yet rejoicing in His purpose,
That my faith as gold may glow.
Granted faith for overcoming,
Filled with love for Christ unseen;
Even angels cannot fathom
What salvation God will bring!

Fixed upon this hope completely,
As obedient children fear;
For the Holy One who called you
Purchased you with blood so dear.
Born anew from seed eternal,
By His lovingkindness spurred,
Lay aside all tasteless yearnings—
Crave the true and living Word!

Built on Christ, the sure foundation,
We are free from guilt and shame;
He is fitting us together
As a house to praise His name!
We are chosen as God’s people,
Called from darkness into light;
O what mercy now entreats us
To proclaim His glories bright!