Sometimes the Bible gives us a big picture command or exhortation with little explanation:
“…I am the LORD your God and you are to sanctify yourselves and be holy because I am holy…”
(Leviticus 11.44, NET)
“Be holy” to the new believer or to those who have never been discipled might leave them more confused than clear. In Ephesians 4.1-3 Paul gives his readers a clear charge but them immediately unpacks it:
“I, therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live worthily of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, putting up with one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Thankfully, for our ease of understanding, vv.2-3 explain v.1. The call and the charge is to live worthily of the calling with which you have been called. This could legitimately mean many things to many people;
To the alcoholic it may mean getting sober.
To the addict it may mean breaking the addiction.
To the lazy and slothful it may mean serving others.
Naturally, each person is going to most likely focus on one or two areas of their life in which they need to live worthily. Really though, Paul is thinking big picture, evidenced by his explanation in vv.2-3:
“…with all humility and gentleness, with patience, putting up with one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
It is not enough to sanctify one or two areas of our lives. We ought to, based on what we read in chapters 1-3 be living with all humility and gentleness. We should strive to live with patience and in doing so be putting up with one another in love. Being a born again believer in Jesus gives us the charge to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Yes, there will be specific areas of our lives that need addressing when we accept and affirm the Gospel truths we have read so far in Ephesians. But, moving forward, the Gospel is a big picture life change that comes with and calls for humility, gentleness, patience, and unity.