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.
We were called, and knowing this, we are pulled towards a lifestyle worthy of that calling. That lifestyle pleases God, COL 1:10.
As Paul puts it in Colossians, God qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints. That inheritance is nothing material, as if the kingdom of God has any basis in the material things that men of the world love to possess. The inheritance of the saints is comprised of all the virtues and loves and knowledge of Christ. Part of that inheritance is humility, meekness, patience, forbearance, and love.
Christ used the same word, gentleness, when He said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Jesus Christ described Himself as humble and meek. This is a part of the inheritance of the saints.
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. 30 "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light."
We must remember that we are called also to be fishers of men. We are inviting the members of the world to be saved, and also we are inviting them to be a part of the family, the church, the society of Christians, the family of God. We are to project that family to the world; its unity and purity. I don’t know if any have come to Christ by being attracted to His family, but I do know that He said:
JOH 13:35 "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
JOH 17:23 I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me.
[sister passage to our own]
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.
Our election is into one body. All of us were baptized by one Spirit.
Humility and gentleness are a part of the types that rule with Christ in His kingdom. It is who we are. We are not applying for those positions, for:
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 [Eph 1-3], 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. 13 For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Showing forbearance (literally to hold up) to one another in love.
Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
So, in the first sentence of the second half of the letter, which is the way of the Christ-life, we are entreated to have a lifestyle in balance with who we are in Christ.
We each have a stewardship (part of our calling) entrusted to us that was given to us not of our will.
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.
We each have a stewardship entrusted to us. We did not apply for it. It was given to us in spite of our own will when we believed (by our own will) the gospel. The aspects of our lives that are in accordance with this calling: humility, gentleness, patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Humility and gentleness are selfless. Patience, forbearance, and love give to others, for their benefit, without thought to self, sacrificially, seeking nothing in return. We believed in Christ as Savior, not knowing all of His life, but to each of us, though we did not voluntarily ask for it, He gave us His life. The whole house has to be made new and redone. We wouldn’t have asked for that, so there is no reward as in the meaning of a wage paid for services or goods. There is a reward, but of the kind that comes from being involuntarily called to a way of life (after voluntarily believing in Christ to save), and that is to be able to give that life to others without cost.
We give of ourselves to others without them asking. We give to them without cost. We, in a manner, give to others as God gave to us, and this is our reward.
What is our reward for walking in a manner worthy? That we may give of our life to God and others without charge, just as Paul leads us to see here: “My reward? To offer the gospel without charge.”
The nature of the divine call is determined by God alone. Only one way is worthy of it. The new society which God is calling every day, as new believers are born-again, are to be one people composed of Jews and Gentiles, equal in Christ, as the single family of God. It is likely for this reason that the hypocrisy of Peter is recorded for all of us to see in Gal 2. He was immersed in unity until some Jews from James in Jerusalem stayed at the Antioch church who were not immersed in unity with Gentiles just yet. Peter began to eat with them and stood aloof from the Gentiles. When Paul saw this he publicly reprimanded him.
Secondly, after unity, the family of God is also called to be holy, distinct from the secular world, set apart and belonging to God alone.
The family of God must manifest their unity and purity. Unity in EPH 4:1-16; purity in EPH 4:17 - 5:21.