Walking out our beliefs

16 04 2020

We have progressed half way through Paul’s letter to the Ephesian congregation, and we should pause here to notice some structural elements of the epistle.

Mountain Ranges of Truth (chapters 1-3) contain:

  • high truths about our relationship with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
  • six references to “in the heavenly places
  • begins and ends with a great prayer
  • emphasis on our vertical relationship with God.

Great Plains of Practice (chapters 4-6) contain:

  • attention to our horizontal relationships with each other
  • four mentions of “one another” (see below)
  • five uses of the phrase “therefore…walk,” meaning to live or conduct ourselves
  • Paul’s classic teaching on the equipping of the saints, marriage, and praying with the full armor of God

For today, let’s take our first steps from the lofty heights of orthodoxy down toward the plains of orthopraxy (right practice). Paul implores us who believe,

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called” (Eph.4:1).

The Greek word “worthy” is built on the word “weight.” Paul says, given all that God has done for us,

now live in a way that is suitable and fitting of the weightiness of all these gifts.

As we move from mountains to plains, we turn the invisible realities into tangible activities.

We show the heavenly in earthly garb.

This is how the kingdom comes on earth as it is already the rule of heaven.

Perhaps this week your frustration is building over “social distancing” and all that comes with this Covid-19 virus. Scripture implores us to keep our vantage point in the grand vistas of our true position in Christ.

Lord, help me today to have both feet on the ground of my present circumstances, while capturing the joy of my eternal standing in your love and grace. Amen.

Notice repetition of key phrases

“in the heavenly places” (mostly in first half of epistle)

1:3-14  our reserved blessings and inheritance
1:20-23  authority of Christ over all
2:6   our position in Christ
3:10   witness of the church manifest
3:15   the family of God
6:12   our wrestling with wicked forces

“Therefore… walk” (all in second half of epistle)

4:1  walk worthy of your calling
4:17  walk differently, as new
5:1-2  walk in love
5:7-8  walk in the light
5:15  walk carefully

“one another” (all in second half)

4:2  bearing with one another
4:32  be kind to one another
5:19  speaking and singing to one another
5:21  submitting to one another

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