A few years ago, Dennis needed to some same-day cleaning for some clothes that were necessary for a trip he was taking. Then he remembered a store on the other side of his hometown of Katy, TX — “One-Hour Dry Cleaners.” So he gladly made the out-of-the way trek to the cleaning company and as he was giving his personal information to the clerk, he also mentioned, “I need this in an hour.”
She responded, “Oh, I can’t get this back to you until Thursday.”
“But I thought you did dry cleaning in an hour.”
“No,” she responded, “That’s just the name of the store.”
That was a business that failed to live up to its name.
Unfortunately, some people also fail to live up to their names. We all know of men who created a legacy for their family — their names stood for character, integrity, leadership, trustworthiness. And their children seemingly did all they could to dismantle the good associations with that name by their actions.
The believer in Jesus Christ also carries a particular name: “Christian.” That’s a name that means, “little Christ.” We are those who emulate Christ and live in a way that reflects His character and nature.
And Paul’s admonition to the Ephesians and us in chapter four is this: “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called” (Eph 4:1). That is, you have been called by God for a particular purpose — live worthy of that calling. Or, live worthy of the salvation you have been given. Since you have been saved, live a life corresponding to your salvation.
Now remember that these verses begin a brand new section in this letter. Chapters 1-3 are heavily theological with only one imperative and only 2-3 implied commands. Chapters 4-6 have 40 commands and many more implied commands. So chapters 1-3 explaining the provision of our life in Christ. They are the theological foundation of our lives. And chapters 4-6 serve as the manifestation of our lives in Christ — how do we daily live in light of what God has provided?
And Ephesians 4:1 serves as the “topic sentence” for all three of the remaining chapters. “Live worthy of your calling” would be a fitting summary of chapters 4-6. The believer — the little Christ — is to constantly be attentive to the reality of the gift he has been given in salvation, and to be attentive to living out the implications of that gift each day and in every circumstance of his life.
Does my life correctly correspond to my new name as a follower of Christ?