Paul's command found in Ephesians 4:1 bridges his usual treatise on gospel identity for believers in chapters 1–3 with the outgrowth of that gospel identity in believers' lives in chapters 4–6.
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called…
Whoa! What's he gonna say next?! It could be anything! He's is about to explain what a worthy life as a believer looks like. Since Paul was the original rapid church reproduction strategist he might say any of the following things:
- Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called… and make disciples that make disciples.
- Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called… and share the gospel with ten people a week.
- Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called… and work to see a church planting movement of rapidly reproducing churches.
But… he says nothing like this. What's a life worthy of the gospel calling? Listen to the Paul of the book of Acts.
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
What?! Gentleness and tolerance?! Unity and peace?! Is this the Paul of rapidly reproducing CPM strategy? Why isn't he telling them to share the gospel? Where's the obedience-based discipleship? Why isn't he talking about multiplication and reproduction and pushing them to simplify their gospel and discipleship tools so that they will reproduce more quickly?
Simply put, Paul is following the Lord's strategy. That is to see the church, the body of Christ, become a purified people for God's own possession, zealous for good deeds. Churches that are growing in their awareness of their identity in Christ and living it out in faith, love and hope as a body aren't just reproducible…
Brothers, whatever work you are laboring at, seek to see the church grow into gospel-centered, gospel-powered health, and you will see the church share the good news, address injustice, care for the downcast, bind up the broken, and generally turn the world upside down. Because the body of Christ isn't powered by simple reproducing tools, but by the power of the gospel, the same power that created the world and raised Christ from the dead.