Worthy living comes from being part of the body of Christ, receiving God’s equipping, and reflecting the maturity of the fullness of Jesus living through us. That’s not a worldly thought. That’s a heavenly thought. That’s a new mindset. Fueled by God’s power…
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms
1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.
Ephesians 1:18-20, 4:1, 17
Our approach to living does not determine our worthiness before God. When Paul instructs the Ephesians to live lives worthy of our calling, it is in reflection of what God has done, not in demonstration of what we can do before God.
A worthy life is living based on, rooted in, and inspired by God’s grace and his presence and power at work within us.
So often when we are told to live well or worthy or in holiness or righteousness or purity we respond with effort and intention and planning. It is absolutely true that we should abandon the futility of worldly thinking. That’s what Gentile thinking refers to: the ways and values and ideas of the world. Yet the answer to living a worthy life and not thinking like the world is not a recipe based in our achievement.
We need to start with the truth that God’s power is at work within us. Which power? The power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated him at the right hand of God. That same power. The power that enables God to do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)… that power.
God’s power is at work within us and he who began a good work in us will carry that work to completion (Philippians 1:6). God’s power in us will enable us to move in our mindset and our attitudes and our convictions, and God will work out the behaviour in our lives to be the fruit of his power and presence.
This is why Paul wrote to the Galatian church that it is no longer Paul who lives, but Christ who lives through him (Galatians 2:20). There is no room for boasting in self in that statement, is there? No pride in our holiness or our worthy living with Christ living in us. God gets the praise.
Part of the futility of thinking like the world is the idea that we can achieve every goal by our own wills and effort. Worthy living doesn’t come that way. As we read in Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus, worthy living comes from our unity, growth, and maturity as the Body of Christ.
Our role, it appears, is to be part of the body, participate in the equipping of God, and reflect the maturity of the fullness of Jesus living out through us. That is not a thought of the world. That’s a heavenly thought. That’s a new mindset.