One People Called by One God
1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
After introducing the blessings of covenant in chapter 1 through 3, Paul turns his focus to the expectations of the covenant. These come second because obedience must never be confused with merit. Obedience is in response to God’s action. Merit is an attempt to get God to act. But God has already acted. He has blessed us exceeding above all we could ask or imagine. We respond in worshipful obedience as children of the covenant.
The Calling – Walking in the Spirit and direction of the covenant
Paul’s exhortation to walk worthy of the calling indicates the idea of walking toward a specific destination. This is not aimless wondering but walking toward the Promised Land. Like the children of Israel, we journey toward the full realization of God’s covenant in our lives. We journey as free people, as nobility. We are called to walk as Knights of God. We embrace traits as noble citizens of heaven: humility, gentlessness, love unity and peace. This is one of many lists Paul uses to describe how the church behaves toward one another.
We work our calling in particular contexts. These words are not pointing toward some general disposition of life but rather, specific relationships. We cannot love people in general. We love persons with whom we enter into relationship. It requires a specific context and as a result, it means we will literally bear one another’s burdens.
In verse 1-16, Paul is beginning to show how we can live as the family of God without sacrificing our personalities or the unity of faith.
The Confession – Following the one in three God
The heart of our faith is Trinity. One is mentioned seven times during verses 4 through 6. It is also divided into three sets that turn focus onto the Spirit, Son and Father: body-Spirit-hope; Lord-faith-baptism; Father-of all-above all-through all-in all.