Picking up in Ephesians were we left off, in chapter 4 verse 1 it reads, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,”
In chapters 1-3 Paul appears to have written with more doctrine in mind but now he seems to be getting into the more “practical’ living with regards to our faith. Matthew Henry divides the book into 2 sections. Chapters 1-3 is about our privileges and chapters 4-6 is about our duties as Christians. I am dividing up the book by relationships. We started with our relationship to God (1-2:10), then our relationship to Christ (2:11-3:21), and now we are starting to look at our relationship to fellow Christians and the World in general (4:1-5:21). Hey, this is my blog, I can divide the book of Ephesians up the way I see it. If you don’t like it, go write your own blog. 🙂 Following this, I see three other relationships that we will discuss later.
Paul begins this chapter with instructions to the Christians at Ephesus to regulate their life in a manner worthy of the invitation in which we are called / bid / invited, and more broadly, to all those reading his letter. (Remember at the beginning of our study on Ephesians we discussed that this letter may have originally been written to be circulated to many churches and not just the church as Ephesus.)
It is interesting that Paul says they are “worthy”. We, in and of ourselves, are not worthy of anything. But, as Paul writes earlier in his letter, we have been chosen before the foundations of the world, we have been predestined unto the adoption of Christ, and we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of HIS grace, we have been made alive with Christ, we’ve been made nigh to Christ, Christ has broken down the partition between us, through the Spirit we have access to the Father, as Gentiles we are made fellow heirs by the Gospel, we have boldness and access with confidence by Christ Jesus, that is how we are worthy, not by our deeds but by Him.
As I read this passage and try to internalize it I then have to ask myself what is a vocation? When I go to www.blueletter.com to get the definition, we see that it is defined as a calling, an invitation. It is a call to an action, a response is required. Once I am called or invited, I have a decision to make. I have to accept or decline the invitation. Then I have to decide to act. And then how do I act? In what manner do I act? I don’t believe that just being born into my family is a calling or vocation, because I did not have to make such a decision, but I do believe that my vocation(s) affects such relationships in a major way.
So what is my vocation? Of course the first thing that came to my mind was my job, I have heard many messages referring to our employment as our vocation. Although a different title, I’m the Human Resources Director at a world class international organization. I can therefore begin to apply the next verses given by Paul. But is that it? I should think not. My vocation does not stop there. It is multifaceted.
Next time we will go deeper into this multifaceted vocation.