Daily Devotional Ephesians 4:1–16
In his beloved hymn, “Amazing Grace,” John Newton celebrates how God “saved a wretch like me.” The apostle Paul would have agreed. He said of himself, “For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God” (1 Cor. 15:9). Yet in the very next verse, Paul asserts, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect” (15:10).
I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
When Paul urged the Ephesians in verse 1 to live a life “worthy” of their calling, he was not contradicting himself. The worthiness he speaks of is not based on what we deserve but on what God has promised to do in us through Christ. The striking feature of the lifestyle he describes in verses 2–3 is that, instead of being a list of tasks, it is a catalog of character traits. A life worthy of the gospel is one in which God lives up to the promise of power described in the preceding chapter (see also Eph. 3:16–19). We live that power out in daily experience.
Christ has made this possible for us by joining believers to one another through the Holy Spirit in the community (or “body”) that we call the church (vv. 4–6). He has also empowered individuals through His Spirit to strengthen the church through ministry. In other spiritual gift lists, Paul describes abilities or the power to perform tasks given to individuals, but in verses 11–13, the apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors are themselves the gift. The last category Paul mentions in this list seems to be a combination of two abilities: shepherding and teaching.
>> Take time to pray for those who preach or teach in your church. Write a note or send them a text to tell them how they have helped you. If you are able, describe a specific instance where God used their message.
Pray with Us
Lord, as we grow in spiritual maturity through the teaching of our pastors and elders, we pray that You would help them also to mature as they meditate on Your truth in order to teach others.