Tuesday September 29, 2020
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.
You were called - aorist passive indicative of kaleo = at salvation God called you. You couldn’t call yourself.
Aorist points to the moment of your salvation, passive means that God called you and that no one elects themselves, and the indicative means that your calling is not in doubt.
It is of extreme importance that a believer know without a doubt that he is elected. He can know, not from any sign or work, for those could be in doubt, but because he has believed in Jesus Christ as his Savior. Salvation is by faith and not by works.
Knowing that we are elected, we are entreated by Paul to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which we have been called.
“worthy” - axios = of weight or worth. Our lives compare well with who God has made us to be and blessed us with.
Imagine a scale in which God’s blessings are on one side and your lifestyle is on the other. Is the scale in balance or out of whack? By the grace of God we can even the scales in a short time. If you have been overcome by sin and have fallen flat, through the forgiveness that is God’s redemption, even though you are reaping what you have sown, you can even up those sides of the scale by returning to the ever-present life within you.
The door to the new and living way is always open. The worthy walk is always available.
This is also extremely important to know, and we can see why this truth is also heavily attacked by false teachers.
Our mouth has spoken freely to you, O Corinthians, our heart is opened wide. 12 You are not restrained by us, but you are restrained in your own affections. 13 Now in a like exchange — I speak as to children — open wide to us also.
The Corinthians were beholding to false teachers and so had their affection for Paul grow cold.
Their affections for Paul and his were restrained or constrained (vs. 12: literally - crowded into a narrow place).
The word means to be crowded into a narrow place. Despite all that they had done, Paul’s affections for them were wide open, but theirs were restrained towards him.
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
"I will dwell in them and walk among them;
And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
17 "Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate," says the Lord.
"And do not touch what is unclean;
And I will welcome you.
18 "And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,"
Says the Lord Almighty.
Because of who we are in Christ, we are to be bound to the same and not to what is antagonistic toward Christ. Hence, unity in the body of Christ.
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
If you have not been walking worthy, as it would seem a majority in Corinth were not, then we can immediately turn to it if we choose to. He says, “Let us cleanse ourselves and perfect holiness,” but no ritual is given nor procedure. I think it is clearly assumed by Paul that they simply do it by recognizing the wrong or sin and repenting or turning from it to the life of God (2CO 7:9-11).
Humility - lowliness of mind.
Gentleness - meekness (often assoc. with humility).
Patience - longsuffering with people.
Forbearance - tolerance or endurance with others.
These are not just a description of what a nice guy might be like, it is the members of God’s kingdom, and being made members of it by Christ’s sacrifice, we are obligated to it.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
So, are we to compete with one another by trying to be greater than another? Such a thought flies in the face of “showing forbearance to one another in love.” We find the disciples competing with one another and Jesus correcting them.
"What were you discussing on the way?" 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest. 35 And sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, "If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all." 36 And taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, 37 "Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me."
Note that their conscience knew their discussion was wrong, hence they wouldn’t admit it to Jesus, but they did it anyway. Jesus knew they were discussing it, so He again attempts to teach them the humility that the man of God possesses.
For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel. 17 For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will [he was called], I have a stewardship entrusted to me. 18 What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.