Waking with The Word | Ephesians 4:1-3
:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; :3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
We looked yesterday at verse one alone but for verse two and three to have their proper context I have included verse one as well. When we read the first three verses together we understand that these verses are dealing with the walk of the Christian. Verse one implores us to walk worthy because it is our calling and duty. Verse 2 tells us the attitude in which we should walk, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering and forbearance are all necessary traits if we plan to carry out the instruction of verse three,"Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Verse three also serves as a passage way to the theme and idea of the rest of the chapter, unity and oneness. Now if that is the goal, unity, then these fruits of the Spirit laid out in verse two are going to be absolutely necessary for unity within our churches and The Church.
Lowliness, meekness, longsuffering and forbearance are not so much personality traits as they are fruits of the Spirit(Gal 5:22-23). They are also the qualities we find in Christ, it only makes sense that we, as the body of Christ, become more unified when we become more like Christ. The more our life begins to resemble that of our Savior's the more unity we will have with the members of the Body of Christ. This is a process, and not one that happens over night. It is the process of sanctification, a process where we become less like our old self and more like Christ and if we live in the Spirit then let us also walk in the Spirit.(Gal 5:25). Concerning our first two walking partners, Lowliness and meekness, these two are almost inseparable, like the letters Q and U you won't often find Q without U. You may find lowliness without meekness but I can assure you you will not find meekness without lowliness. Lowliness doesn't have to have the chief seat, even if He be the Chief guest, lowliness will make much of others and little of self. Meekness, to often, gets confused with weakness but this couldn't be farther from the case. Meekness is not powerlessness but power under control. Jesus had both of these traits, He even said:
Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
He was more worthy of exaltation than any human has ever been or will be and yet we have never found another more meek and lowly. Christ set the perfect example of how we as Christians ought to behave our self. Not boisterous and proud or loud and arrogant but meek and lowly. Allowing others to be put before us, controlling ourselves in all area's of life. We said that meekness was power under control. Power without control is useless, with great amounts of power there has to great amounts of control. We build dams with this very purpose in mind, to harness the power of a river or lake. We live near the River Nile and there is a new dam being built just a few hours away. The portion of river where they're are building is extremely swift, class 5 rapids. The power of that river is hard to fathom but it is uncontrolled, it crashes on the rocks and banks and anything that gets in it's way will be destroyed, until there is a dam built to take that extreme amount of power and funnel it into channels that will turn turbines that will produce electric power that will power thousands of homes. That is power under control and from it more power and useful power comes. Now Christ had and has infinite power but it isn't without control, He came and was obedient unto to death even the death of the cross, O what power under control from His longsuffering and lowliness and meekness and forbearance we have life. He wasn't killed but by His own will, and The Fathers will, He showed us the ultimate display of power under control that day when he hung between heaven and earth and put away sin once and for all. What longsuffering and forbearance He had when he resisted unto blood in the garden Gethsemane. By this ultimate display of meekness was our eternal redemption won and Now the wrath that would have washed us away and destroyed us was funneled to Christ on the cross and transformed from a force that would destroy us to a force that will save us. O what marvelous meekness that took my sin and judgment and used it to bring salvation to me!! Now that level of meekness isn't found in any other place but on the cross of Calvary but that same meekness should prod us to also practice meekness and to walk in the Spirit of Meekness. I assure you that all the power you could muster will be a force of destruction if it isn't controlled, if you don't walk with lowliness and meekness.
Longsuffering and forbearance are our other two walking partners and are also displayed and perfected in Christ. If you will look a Christ you will find the traits of a Christian in their most perfect form. Longsuffering is the ability to suffer long, to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Forbearing on another in Love is the ability to not only bear your own weight and burdens but to bear the burden and weight of a weak brother or sister. There will be times in this walk of the Christian life where we aren't only carrying our own burdens and weights but will also be called upon to forbear another's. Then the day will come when we are calling on someone to forbear and carry our burdens. This chapter four is about unity and will have be bearing one another in this walk if there is to be unity. We will have to Endeavour to keep this unity of The Spirit in the bond of peace. The word endeavor means that this will not be something that happens without effort on our part. To endeavor means to work at something and to apply effort in the pursuit of a desired end. That end being unity in The Spirit. How out of place would a body be if its member's started warring against each other. Perhaps the hands turned on the neck and declared war. Perhaps the mouth was at odds with the stomach, what a disaster our experience would be. So is the case of the Body of Christ when we take up arms against our brothers and sisters and don't walk in Unity and peace. We've seen it over and over again, what happens when people in the church aren't meek and lowly, when they are not willing to be longsuffering and forbearing. Instead of endeavoring to keep the unity and peace they begin to endeavor to backbite and gossip until one side has taken up arms against the other and a house that is divided cannot stand. May that trouble never visit you and the congregation you are a part of. Rather, let us walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
According to the riches of His Grace!!