1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,
Chapter four transitions from the doctrinal to the practical. The final three chapters deal with practical implications of positional truth found in the previous three chapters. The emphasis in these chapters is upon the believer’s “walk” in light of our identity with Christ. This is the great dividing point or turning point of Ephesians. Ephesians divides first into doctrine then into deed, from belief to behavior, from creed to conduct, from standing to state, and from revelation to responsibility.
Ephesians 4:1-16 sets forth the believer’s walk in unity. Having argued for unity between Jews and Gentiles, Paul now showed how they were to walk daily in unity.
4:1-6 gives the basis of unity between believers.
4:1-3 is a challenge to unity.
4:4-6 gives the components of unity.
4:7-16 is a challenge to keep unity among Christians.
4:7-11 explains God’s dissemination of gifts among believers.
4:12-16 shows God’s purpose for the distribution of gifts.
Paul personally made an appeal for unity among Christians.
“Therefore” harks back to chapters one through three and our identity with Christ, our status quo with God in Christ. Ephesians transitions from principle to the applied, from positional to practical, from doctrine to duty.
the prisoner of [in] the Lord,
Paul stated that he was speaking from prison. However, he indicated that he was not a prisoner of Caesar but “in the Lord.” The word “of” should be in. The idea is that Paul was in vital communion with the Lord Jesus. Non-Christians might have viewed his situation as disreputable, but he counted it a high honor to be in chains for Christ. Paul’s entire imprisonment had to do with his connection to the Lord. He did not bring up his imprisonment to raise the sympathy of the Ephesians but to demonstrate that he counted it worthy to suffer for Christ’s sake.
The word “beseech” means to entreat. The idea is to call someone to your side in order to help them. Paul implored the Ephesians to walk according to their belief. “Beseech” is not the language of the law but that of grace.
Right practice always rests on right principle.
Right doctrine is foundational to right living. It is impossible to live the Christian life without understanding biblical doctrine or principles from the Word. The only way we know about God is through revelation. Without coming to grips with Bible doctrine, we cannot live the way God wants us to live.
New programs without biblical teaching do not build the kind of church designed in the New Testament. We need “the spirit of wisdom of revelation in the knowledge of Him” expressed in 1:17. That is why we teach “every man with all wisdom” (Co 1:28).