In Ephesians 4, Paul is not just merely asking each believer to change their life style—Paul is making a demand—not only a demand, but the strongest demand. And, he is doing so in the authority of Christ.
Eph 4:17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.
The language shows that Paul’s admonition is both important and urgent, and that it comes with divine authority: I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord. The first verb, ‘I say, tell’, is strengthened by means of the second, ‘I affirm, declare’ (cf. 1 Thess. 2:12), which stresses its solemnity and significance, while the additional in the Lord points to the source of its authority. Paul does not simply urge his readers on his own initiative. He writes as one who is ‘a prisoner in the Lord’ (4:1) and whose admonition comes with the full weight of the Lord’s authority (cf. 1 Thess. 4:1).[i]
1 Th 2:12 we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
Eph 4:1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
1 Th 4:1 Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.
The significance of the “ought” exhortation is understood more fully in Luke24.46 because the same word is used as “should”. Just ask yourself, if Christ “should” suffer and rise on the third day for every Christian’s salvation and the same word is used for how every Christian ought to walk; is not our walk important to God?
Lk 24:46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead…
[i] O’Brien, P. T. (1999). The letter to the Ephesians (p. 319). Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Published on Saturday, July 18, 2015 @ 4:46 AM CDT