Ephesians 4:1
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,

King James Bible
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

Darby Bible Translation
I, the prisoner in the Lord, exhort you therefore to walk worthy of the calling wherewith ye have been called,

World English Bible
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called,

Young's Literal Translation
Call upon you, then, do I -- the prisoner of the Lord -- to walk worthily of the calling with which ye were called,

Ephesians 4:1 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

I, therefore - In view of the great and glorious truths which God has revealed, and of the grace which he has manifested toward you who are Gentiles. See the previous chapters. The sense of the word "therefore" - οὖν oun - in this place, is, "Such being your exalted privileges; since God has done so much for you; since he has revealed for you such a glorious system; since he has bestowed on you the honor of calling you into his kingdom, and making you partakers of his mercy, I entreat you to live in accordance with these elevated privileges, and to show your sense of his goodness by devoting your all to his service." The force of the word "I," they would all feel. It was the appeal and exhortation of the founder of their church - of their spiritual father - of one who had endured much for them, and who was now in bonds on account of his devotion to the welfare of the Gentile world.

The prisoner of the Lord - Margin, "in." It means, that he was now a prisoner, or in confinement "in the cause" of the Lord; and he regarded himself as having been made a prisoner because the Lord had so willed and ordered it. He did not feel particularly that he was the prisoner of Nero; he was bound and kept because the "Lord" willed it, and because it was in his service; see the notes on Ephesians 3:1.

Beseech you that ye walk worthy - That you live as becomes those who have been called in this manner into the kingdom of God. The word "walk" is often used to denote "life, conduct," etc.; see Romans 4:12, note; Romans 6:4, note; 2 Corinthians 5:7, note.

Of the vocation - Of the "calling" - τῆς κλήσεως tēs klēseōs. This word properly means "a call," or "an invitation" - as to a banquet. Hence, it means that divine invitation or calling by which Christians are introduced into the privileges of the gospel. The word is translated "calling" in Romans 11:29; 1 Corinthians 1:26; 1 Corinthians 7:20; Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 4:1, Ephesians 4:4; Philippians 3:14; 2 Thessalonians 1:11; 2 Timothy 1:9; Hebrews 3:1; 2 Peter 1:10. It does not occur elsewhere. The sense of the word, and the agency employed in calling us, are well expressed in the Westminster Shorter Catechism. "Effectual calling is the work of God's Spirit, whereby convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ freely offered to us in the gospel." This "calling or vocation" is through the agency of the Holy Spirit, and is his appropriate work on the human heart.

It consists essentially in influencing the mind to turn to God, or to enter into his kingdom. It is the exertion of "so much" influence on the mind as is necessary to secure the turning of the sinner to God. In this all Christians are agreed, though there have been almost endless disputes about the actual influence exerted, and the mode in which the Spirit acts on the mind. Some suppose it is by "moral persuasion;" some by physical power; some by an act of creation; some by inclining the mind to exert its proper powers in a right way, and to turn to God. What is the precise agency employed perhaps we are not to expect to be able to decide; see John 3:8. The great, the essential point is held, if it be maintained that it is by the agency of the Holy Spirit that the result is secured - and this I suppose to be held by all evangelical Christians. But though it is by the agency of the Holy Spirit, we are not to suppose that it is without the employment of "means." It is not literally like the act of creation. It is preceded and attended with means adapted to the end; means which are almost as various as the individuals who are "called" into the kingdom of God. Among those means are the following:

(1) "Preaching." Probably more are called into the kingdom by this means than any other. It is "God's great ordinance for the salvation of men." It is eminently suited for it. The "pulpit" has higher advantages for acting on the mind than any other means of affecting people. The truths that are dispensed; the sacredness of the place; the peace and quietness of the sanctuary; and the appeals to the reason, the conscience, and the heart - all are suited to affect people, and to bring them to reflection. The Spirit makes use of the word "preached," but in a great variety of ways. Sometimes many are impressed simultaneously; sometimes the same truth affects one mind while others are unmoved; and sometimes truth reaches the heart of a sinner which he has heard a hundred times before, without being interested. The Spirit acts with sovereign power, and by laws which have never yet been traced out.

(2) the events of Providence are used to call people into his kingdom. God appeals to people by laying them on a bed of pain, or by requiring them to follow a friend in the still and mournful procession to the grave. They feel that they must die, and they are led to ask the question whether they are prepared. Much fewer are affected in this way than we should suppose would be the case; but still there are many, in the aggregate, who can trace their hope of heaven to a fit of sickness, or to the death of a friend.

(3) conversation is one of the means by which sinners are called into the kingdom of God. In some states of mind, where the Spirit has prepared the soul like mellow ground prepared for the seed, a few moments' conversation, or a single remark, will do more to arrest the attention than much preaching.

(4) reading is often the means of calling people into the kingdom. The Bible is the great means - and if we can get people to read that, we have very cheering indications that they will be converted. The profligate Earl of Rochester was awakened and led to the Saviour by reading a chapter in Isaiah. And who can estimate the number of those who have been converted by reading Baxter's Call to the Unconverted; Alleine's Alarm; the Dairyman's Daughter; or the Shepherd of Salisbury Plain? He does "good" who places a good book in the way of a sinner. That mother or sister is doing good, and making the conversion of a son or brother probable, who puts a Bible in his chest when he goes to sea, or in his trunk when he goes on a journey. Never should a son be allowed to go from home without one. The time will come when, far away from home, he will read it. He will read it when his mind is pensive and tender, and the Spirit may bear the truth to his heart for his conversion.

(5) the Spirit calls people into the kingdom of Christ by presiding over, and directing in some unseen manner their own reflections, or the operations of their own minds. In some way unknown to us, he turns the thoughts to the past life; recalls forgotten deeds and plans; makes long past sins rise to remembrance; and overwhelms the mind with conscious guilt from the memory of crime. He holds this power over the soul; and it is among the most mighty and mysterious of all the influences that he has on the heart. "Sometimes" - a man can hardly tell how - the mind will be pensive, sad, melancholy; then conscious of guilt; then alarmed at the future. Often, by sudden transitions, it will be changed from the frivolous to the serious, and from the pleasant to the sad; and often, unexpectedly to himself, and by associations which he cannot trace out, the sinner will find himself reflecting on death. judgment, and eternity. It is the Spirit of God that leads the mind along. It is not by force; not by the violation of its laws, but in accordance with those laws, that the mind is thus led along to the eternal world. In such ways, and by such means, are people "called" into the kingdom of God. To "walk worthy of that calling," is to live as becomes a Christian, an heir of glory; to live as Christ did. It is:

(1) To bear our religion with us to all places, companies, employments. Not merely to be a Christian on the Sabbath, and at the communion table, and in our own land, but every day, and everywhere, and in any land where we may be placed. We are to live religion, and not merely to profess it. We are to be Christians in the counting-room, as well as in the closet; on the farm as well as at the communion table; among strangers, and in a foreign land, as well as in our own country and in the sanctuary.

(2) it is to do nothing inconsistent with the most elevated Christian character. In temper, feeling, plan, we are to give expression to no emotion, and use no language, and perform no deed, that shall be inconsistent with the most elevated Christian character.

(3) it is to do "right always:" to be just to all; to tell the simple truth; to defraud no one; to maintain a correct standard of morals; to be known to be honest. There is a correct standard of character and conduct; and a Christian should be a man so living, that we may always know "exactly where to find him." He should so live, that we shall have no doubts that, however others may act, we shall find "him" to be the unflinching advocate of temperance, chastity, honesty, and of every good work - of every plan that is really suited to alleviate human woe, and benefit a dying world.

(4) it is to live as one should who expects soon to be "in heaven." Such a man will feel that the earth is not his home; that he is a stranger and a pilgrim here; that riches, honors, and pleasures are of comparatively little importance; that he ought to watch and pray, and that he ought to be holy. A man who feels that he may die at any moment, will watch and pray. A man who realizes that "tomorrow" he may be in heaven, will feel that he ought to be holy. He who begins a day on earth, feeling that at its close he may be among the angels of God, and the spirits of just men made perfect; that before its close he may have seen the Saviour glorified, and the burning throne of God, will feel the importance of living a holy life, and of being wholly devoted to the service of God. Pure should be the eyes that are soon to look on the throne of God; pure the hands that are soon to strike the harps of praise in heaven; pure the feet that are to walk the "golden streets above."

Ephesians 4:1 Parallel Commentaries

Library
June 15. "Grow up into Him in all Things" (Eph. Iv. 15).
"Grow up into Him in all things" (Eph. iv. 15). Harvest is a time of ripeness. Then the fruit and grain are fully developed, both in size and weight. Time has tempered the acid of the green fruit. It has been mellowed and softened by the rains and the heat of summer. The sun has tinted it into rich colors, and at last it is ready and ripe to fall into the hand. So Christian life ought to be. There are many things in life that need to be mellowed and ripened. Many Christians have orchards full of
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity the Christian Calling and Unity.
Text: Ephesians 4, 1-6. 1 I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you to walk worthily of the calling wherewith ye were called, 2 with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

Of the Church
"I beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Ephesians 4:1-6. 1. How much do we almost continually hear about the Church!
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

The Ascension of Christ
It seemed expedient for him to stay, to accomplish the conversion of the world. Would not his presence have had an influence to win by eloquence of gracious word and argument of loving miracle? If he put forth his power the battle would soon be over, and his rule over all hearts would be for ever established. "Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee." Go not from the conflict, thou mighty bowman, but still cast thine all-subduing darts abroad.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

Cross References
Romans 8:28
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 11:29
for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Romans 12:1
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Ephesians 3:1
For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles--

Philippians 1:27
Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Colossians 1:10
so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

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