We have concluded the first half of the letter. The first half is about the truth of the divine life in man; the second half turns to the way of that life under the commands. So far in the letter there has been only one imperative, but now we will find many.
As in other letters from Paul, the doctrine expounded upon in the earlier part is to be worked out according to practical guidance given in the later part, the transition from the one to the other being marked by the adverb “therefore.”
As members of the new humanity, the readers have already been reminded of the purpose to which God has called them: the hope of their calling (1:18) requires lives which are in keeping with their high destiny. Paul, as “the prisoner of the Lord,” appeals to them to conduct themselves accordingly.
In 3:1 he was Christ’s prisoner for their sake, and in 4:1 he addresses himself as a prisoner of the Lord in practice, meaning that it demands of him a certain walk, which is his calling, and now he invites them to consider their own calling. What does their own calling demand of them?
In chains Paul is the Lord’s ambassador, and ambassador in chains, 6:20. Out of chains, his readers are also the Lord’s ambassadors, as are we. No matter where we are or what is happening, we belong to the Lord and His calling is on our lives.
Similar wording is in Col 1.
For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
EPH 3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles 2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you; 3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.
Certainly, the life given to all of us is the same, but we all face different circumstances and in those circumstances we must walk according to our calling.
As in Paul’s prayer, we are members of God’s family, possessing God’s name. We are to represent that name in all places. This is why our calling cannot be followed by a list of rules. An admonition like this is more far-reaching than a list of detailed rules, for it affects areas of life for which it might be very difficult to frame rules. As members of a reputable family, “from whom the whole family on heaven and earth derives its name,” will have the family’s good name in mind as they order their public conduct, so members of the Christian society will have in mind not only the family’s reputation in the world but the character of Him who called it into being and the purpose for which He so called it.
The first sentence of the way of the life of Christ: EPH 4:1-3.
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
The first guideline drawn by Paul concerning lives worthy of our calling is mutual relations between members of the Christian society.
Like this first sentence we find another in the sister epistle.
And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
We are commanded to show humility and gentleness in our dealings with one another, along with patience and mutual forbearance and tolerance.
We have to set our minds to understand these words and be determined to apply their meaning to one another. When we do, the Holy Spirit will empower us, making them a reality.
Gentleness and patience are a part of the fruit of the Spirit.
Having such a mind toward one another, trusting in the Holy Spirit alone to be the furnace burning in the inner man, we would experience the most wonderful unity despite personal likes and tastes.
All of us have tastes when it comes to food and in fact people (not that you’re going to eat them). Personality differences, age differences, difference in culture, background, education level, socio-economic level, all remain but have no influence for or against unity. Love doesn’t seek its own, meaning itself. Love doesn’t seek what self wants but what others need, and what the community needs.
For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Certain practical consequences follow from our all being baptized by on Spirit, despite who we are by physical birth. There is one Spirit, which fact cannot be affected by anything human.
By the Holy Spirit we are all made a part of one body with Christ as its head and that forever.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
MAT 26:26 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." 27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.
Mat 29 "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom."