God had given Paul the responsibility of being a messenger of God’s grace to the Gentiles. (see verse 2) Gentile and Christian, fellow heirs (v 6) through the works of Christ Jesus. Through faith we continue to trust in Christ and what He has done for us. (see verse 17)
Concerning verse 20, MacArthur says, “When the conditions of v 16-19 are met, God’s power working in and through believers is unlimited and far beyond their comprehension.” (p 1808)
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (v 20-21, NKJV)
Faithfulness of the saints, giving glory to God!
4:1 ~ “Therefore…” MacArthur explains that there is a “transition from doctrine to duty, principle to practice, position to behavior.” (p 1808) We are now called to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called”. Definitely we are called to practice a different behavior than before we were called out of our former lifestyle. We are called to change our behavior through the faith we gain as we read His Word. If you say you can’t change, your faith is lacking because God can do all things.
4:2 continues to give us examples of putting into practice what God is revealing through Paul. He calls for “humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (v 2-3, ESV)
MacArthur helps us understand that our walk points to our daily conduct and the word humility here is a word not found in the Latin or Greek vocabularies during Paul’s time. The Greek word apparently came about by Christians, “perhaps even by Paul himself, to describe a quality for which no other word was available. Humility, the most foundational Christian virtue (James 4:6), is the quality of character commanded in the first beatitude (Matt 5:3), and describes the noble grace of Christ.” (p 1808)
He goes on to explain that “meekness”, an inevitable product of humility, refers to that which is mild-spirited and self-controlled. “Humility, gentleness, and patience are reflected in forbearing love for others that is continuous and unconditional.” (p 1808)
As we continue on with Ephesians next week, we will start to understand where we, as believers, were before Christ called us and find there are no excuses as we learn from His Word what he has called us to task.
I trust that you had a blessed Thanksgiving and are now looking forward to a season where we point to our Precious Savior’s birth. May you feel the challenges of God’s calling, read the Word daily. From November 28th to December 5, Amazon will offer the Kindle edition of “Faithful Promises of God” for 99 cents. It will walk you through the Word day by day and help you to apply God’s Word to your own life. Until next week, be blessed in Him alone!