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          “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,  endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3 NKJV).

 

            In his letter to the brethren at Ephesus, Paul wrote of the importance of a common faith and unity. He encouraged the brethren to walk in a godly way (Ephesians 4:1) that is worthy of the name of the Lord. Paul encouraged the brethren to have a character molded to the image of Christ (Ephesians 4:2) and then encouraged them to be united through the Spirit of God. He stated, “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). He also gave several thoughts and characteristics that will help us to walk worthy of Christ. He wrote, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).

 

Paul encouraged Christians to mature, grow up, in the way of the Lord. He reminded them that God had set things in order so that the church could

 

mature (Ephesians 4:7-13). He then wrote that these gifts of God were given “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From Whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:12-16). 

 

            Children of God are unique in character (I Peter 2:5, 9). Paul told the brethren to put off the old way of life and live in accordance with God’s word. He stated, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24). Those who are in Christ are renewed to the image of Christ: Paul told the brethren at Corinth “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;” (II Corinthians 5:17-18). To the brethren of Galatia Paul wrote, For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.  And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God” (Galatians 6:15-16). 

            Paul stated that the children of God are created in righteousness and true holiness. Man is made new, righteous through the new birth (John 3:1-11). Peter stated that these are kept by the power of God and have an inheritance with Him in heaven. We are told, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (I Peter 1:3-5). 

            Like Jesus the Christian character will submit to the will of God. Peter stated that Jesus was our example and those who are called to salvation will follow His example even in suffering. He wrote, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously: Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed”  (I Peter 2:21-24). 

            When God’s family fails to develop “Christian Character” we grieve God and bring shame on ourselves as well as on the church. Paul wrote, “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). Let us walk in a way that is pleasing to God and fully embrace His will so that He will give us an eternal inheritance in heaven (Ephesians 1:1-14).                      ---PER