|DEVOTION FOR TUESDAY, JANUARY 16, 2018|
|CALLING: LIVING WORTHY OF OUR SALVATION|
Pastor and author John Piper explained in a sermon: “The deep horror of our sin is not simply that we Cross over some line that God told us not to cross. The ultimate essence of evil is not simply that we break God’s commands. The problem with our sin is that we love or prefer anything over God.” If we fail to understand this, “the glory of Christ’s victory on the cross, the majesty of God, and the deep satisfaction of the Christian life will all be lost on us.”
To live Worthy of our salvation, then, means to value God above all else. Obedience to His commands follows from that. Just as Paul had devoted his life to his calling to proclaim the gospel (3:7–8), so now he exhorted the Ephesians and us to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (v. 1). Here “calling” refers to God’s sovereign choice of us for adoption, redemption, and forgiveness (1:3–14). We’re to live worthy of His grace and gift of life (2:8–10). That’s a lot to live up to! Fittingly, this can only be done in God’s strength.
What does this mean specifically? Today’s passage gives us three examples. First, it means to be humble and gentle (v. 2). These qualities, seen as weak, were not prized in Roman culture. Second, it means to be patient and loving. And third, it means to live in unity and harmony with our Fellow Believers (v. 3).
Paul expanded on this third command, in keeping with his focus on the church in this epistle (vv. 4–6). Unity or oneness among fellow believers is founded upon a series of “ones”—one Spirit, one hope (of salvation, see 1:18), one Lord (Christ), one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all.
|APPLY THE WORD|
Water baptism is an ordinance or sacrament (depending on your tradition) of the church wherein we publicly identify ourselves as followers of Christ (see Rom. 6:4). It makes sense that Paul would refer to it when addressing unity in the body of Christ. If you’ve never been baptized, speak to your pastor or another church leader and learn more about it.