Up to this point in Ephesians, we have been reading about how God seeks people out, regardless of their background, and gives them the grace and faith to trust and follow Jesus with all their hearts. He has changes their hearts through His Holy Spirit and brings them into His family. Now the rest of Ephesians will talk about how we are to live “in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called.” (v. 1) Paul is effectively saying, “This is who God has made you in Jesus Christ … now live like it.” God always tells us who we are in Christ before He tells us what we are to do for Christ. That is because our activity is always rooted in our identity. We aren’t acting in order to receive acceptance; we are acting on the basis of our acceptance. It is a place of incredible security and confidence.
So, what is the first thing that Paul tells us that we should be doing as followers of Jesus? We need to be living in fellowship and peace with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. This is an important truth for us to grasp in our hyper-individualized culture: God saves us in order to bring us into the church. The church isn’t simply an aid that God has provided to help us on our personal spiritual discovery, it is the goal of our regeneration. Look at everything that Paul tells us we have been called to do: be humble, be gentle, be patient, be understanding, and be eager to live at peace with our fellow believers. (v. 2) These are all things that we have to do in relation to other people. God isn’t just saving individuals for a resort-like heaven. God is saving a people for a new heavenly family. The only way the world can see a preview of this heavenly reality is if we are gathered together now in visible manifestations of the heavenly people we will be then. If we gather in the spirit of humility and patience, then the world begins to see the one Father “who is over all and through all and in all.” (v. 6)