Will You Help Us Help You?
by Joseph Franks
Christians, after we are declared holy following the substitutionary life and death of Jesus Christ, we are progressively made holy through the gracious work of Christ’s Holy Spirit. The work of Christ in our justification is complete; it is finished. However, the work of Christ in our sanctification continues. As believers, we are made right with God due to the “walking” and “calling” of Christ alone. We then continue to make progress in our experience of grace as we seek to “walk worthy of the calling to which we have been called.” (Ephesians 4:1)
So, how ought we respond to our calling? What does a worthy walk look like? Throughout Ephesians 4, Paul lists numerous characteristics of the worthy-walking Christian. Due to the grace of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, every believer is to be:
- Pure and Honest in Speech
- Connected to Christ’s Local Church
- Less Devilish
- Less Grieving to the Holy Spirit
- More Like Jesus Christ
Obviously, the grace of Jesus Christ at the cross has not accomplished all these things in our lives. In this long list, there are many spiritual characteristics found wanting in our lives. So what does that mean? We need the grace of Jesus poured out at the cross for our justification, and we need more grace from Jesus in order to make progress in our sanctification. And the good news is, Christ’s fountain of grace is exhaustive; it has no limits.
But how will he grace me? Where am I to go to wash in the fountain of God’s sanctifying grace? Hear the words of Saint Paul from this same chapter:
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
At the writing of the letter to the Ephesians, Paul is blessing them with his spiritual counsel. And in his spiritual counsel he lets them know this is the norm. God graces his church through the revelation of the apostles and prophets, and then through the teaching of evangelists, shepherds, and teachers.
So, will you help us help you? Will you spend more time in worship? Will you take advantage of the teaching opportunities provided for you in the church? Will you ask your church leaders for more classes, seminars, and conferences? And will you strive to become more and more acquainted with God’s Word so that you can become teachers one to another?
God’s grace is available. He normally passes it along through men and women teaching the Word of God. Therefore, as you seek to “walk worthy of the calling to which you have been called” will you more regularly walk through the Scriptures with your brothers and sisters of the faith.