Ephesians 4:1-2 Live A Life Worthy of the Call

Ephesians 4:1-6,

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

I do not know how many of you are familiar with the name ‘Martyn Lloyd-Jones’?

There is a growing number of people who are testifying to the impact that he has had upon the English speaking world. Pastor Eric Alexander, has said, “There is little doubt, that Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was the greatest preacher that the English speaking world has seen in the twentieth century.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, began his career as a renown physician and surgeon.

  • It shocked the medical community when he abruptly left that career to become a preacher.

  • Many wondered how such a gifted man, who had studied science and been so well educated, could leave the field of science to preach the gospel?

  • At that time, many had come to believe that the bible and its teachings was nothing but a myth.

One might wonder, what would cause Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones to do this?

The reason is described by Dr. Steven Lawson in this way, “Lloyd Jones came to the realization that in his medical practice, he was helping his patients to recover physically only to return to a decadent life spiritually.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones began to see that there needed to be a more profound healing in people than he was able to accomplish as a physician and as a surgeon. He realized that they were dead in their trespasses and sins and they needed the spiritual life that came through repentance and faith. He realized that so many people needed to hear what the sinful woman heard from Jesus in Luke 7:50, “Woman, your faith has saved you, go in peace.”

Martyn Lloyd Jones struggled with the decision to leave the medical field and to become a preacher. Again, Steven Lawson writes, “He was so consumed with ascertaining the divine direction that it adversely affected his physical health, as he lost some twenty pounds from his already thin frame. In this search for the will of God, there was no rest for his troubled soul nor sleep for his weakening body.”

He made his decision to enter the ministry after a night at the theater with his wife, Bethan. As they walked out of the theater he observed a Salvation Army band playing hymns and giving a gospel presentation. He was immediately struck by their zeal and strong convictions for the Lord. Later Martyn said, “When I heard this band and the hymns I said, ‘These are my people, these are the people I belong to, and I am going to belong to them.”

In that brief statement, Martyn Lloyd-Jones sums up the heart of our text this morning. One of the greatest gifts that God has given to every believer is other brothers and sisters in Christ. And to the church God has bestowed great grace so that these relationships may flourish.

Not all of us have had an experience like Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

  • Some of us have attended church all of our lives but they may not be able to say with Martyn Lloyd-Jones, ‘These are my people, these are the people I belong to, and I am going to belong to them.’

  • There are many more people who claim to be Christians and are rarely seen among the people of God.

Paul has spent three chapters pouring grace into our hearts and minds and he knows that this will result in a more profound love for Christ and for His church.

As we come to our text this morning, we will not witness a Salvation Army band or a street preacher on the busy streets of London. But we do get to see the apostle Paul, whose zeal and passion for Christ has landed him in prison. The apostle Paul, is continuing to minister so that we will be able to say, “These are my people, these are the people I belong to, and I am going to belong to them.”

It seems appropriate for Paul to begin with the words, ‘As a prisoner for the Lord’, while he is urging Christians to be humble, gentle, patient and to bear with one another in love. He could have made this command by speaking of his apostleship or by stressing his position as a minister but he doesn’t.

Dr. John Stott, gives some insightful words as he discusses this text and the graces of which Paul speaks of here. He says, “Meekness is the absence of the disposition to assert personal rights, either in the presence of God or of men. It is particularly appropriate in pastors who should use their authority only in a spirit of gentleness.”

This is precisely what we see the apostle Paul demonstrating here in our text this morning. Paul speaks to us in chains, from prison, while facing martyrdom; and yet, he displays humility, gentleness, patience and he is bearing the burdens of these Christians in love. We discovered this in Ephesians 3:1, “For this reason, I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles.”

Paul has just written half of this letter about the grace that God has given to His people: to both Jew and Gentile. Now Paul writes to tell them how they are to respond with having received this grace. Paul says to them, ‘I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received’.

One commentator outlined the entire book of Ephesians in this simple way. He said, “Chapters 1-3 are written to show how God now sees believer