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Unity in the Body of Christ


I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called,

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The three remaining chapters consist entirely of practical exhortations. Mutual agreement is the first subject, in the course of which a discussion is introduced respecting the government of the church, as having been framed by our Lord for the purpose of maintaining unity among Christians.

1. I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord. His imprisonment, which might have been supposed more likely to render him despised, is appealed to, as we have already seen, for a confirmation of his authority. It was the seal of that embassy with which he had been honored. Whatever belongs to Christ, though in the eyes of men it may be attended by ignominy, ought to be viewed by us with the highest regard. The apostle’s prison is more truly venerable than the splendid retinue or triumphal chariot of kings.

That ye may walk worthy. This is a general sentiment, a sort of preface, on which all the following statements are founded. He had formerly illustrated the calling with which they were called, 138138     Τὢς κλήσεως ἧς ἐκλήθητε “Arrian, Epict. page 122, 1. 3, says, καταισχύνειν τὴν κλὢσιν ἣν κέκληκεν, ‘to disgrace the calling with which he has called thee.’ He is speaking of a person, who, when summoned to give his testimony, utters what is contrary to that which was demanded or expected from him.” — Raphelius. and now reminds them that they must live in obedience to God, in order that they may not be unworthy of such distinguished grace.