This chapter is quite challenging. Paul asks us to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” And the bar is set really high. To do that we need to be
- completely humble (v. 2);
- gentle (v. 2);
- patient (v. 2);
- bearing with one another in love (v. 2);
- united in the Spirit (v. 3);
- putting off our old self (v. 22);
- made with a new attitude (v. 23);
- created like God in true righteousness (v. 24);
- holy (v. 24);
- putting off any falsehood (v. 25);
- speaking truthfully (v. 25)
- building one another up with our words (v. 29);
- rid of all bitterness, range, anger, slander, brawling, malice (v. 31)
- kind (v. 32);
- compassionate (v. 32);
- forgiving (v. 32).
Paul also tells us we must not
- live as the Gentiles do (v. 17);
- give ourselves over to sensuality (v. 19);
- indulge in impurity (v. 19);
- be full of greed (v. 19);
- be corrupted by deceitful desires (v. 22);
- sin in our anger (v. 26);
- let the sun go down while we are still angry (v. 26);
- give the devil a foothold (v. 27);
- steal (v. 28);
- let any unwholesome talk escape our mouths (v. 29);
- grieve the Holy Spirit (v. 30).
That’s quite a list!
However, it’s in the context of the previous chapter promising us that Christ is working in us and the rest of the chapter about the body of Christ. We’ve been given prophets, apostles, evangelists, teachers and pastors to teach and encourage us. They help us to grow into mature believers that are equipped for every service.
So with Christ working in us through the Spirit and through unity in the body of Christ, we can live a life worthy of our calling.