J. N. Darby.
(Notes and Comments Vol. 2.)
My attention has been drawn to the use of "Walking worthy." In Ephesians we see clearly its connection with the noticed force and character of the Epistle. This treats of the Christian and then of the Church's privileges, and the saint is to "walk worthy of his vocation" here, especially in Church place, and the worthiness to be of that.
In Colossians, where the glory of the Person of Christ is brought out as they were slipping away from the Head - I do not say His headship, but the glory of Him who is Head - they are to "walk worthy of the Lord." It is in this part that God and Father, the Lord and the Spirit are brought out.
In the Thessalonians, who, from being heathens, had been brought to know the one true God, the Father - "The Assembly of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father" having not intermediate and indeed demon powers, but being in direct, immediate relationship with the one true God, they are called to "walk worthy of God who has called us to his own kingdom and glory" - so they were "turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God."
Philippians, in which we have the experimental condition of the Christian, and the Gospel is spoken of as in conflict in the world (Paul being in the bonds of it) they were to "walk worthy of the Gospel." So Paul was "set for the confirmation and defence of the Gospel" - he speaks of the "beginning of the Gospel" - Timothy had served with him "for the Gospel" - the women had "contended with him in the Gospel" - Paul was set "for the defence of the Gospel" - they had fellowship "in the furtherance of the Gospel." So it will be seen that when they are called to walk worthy of it, conflict is also spoken of, for which a right walk was needed, but they were not to be terrified by their adversaries. The true Gospel was as a cause, as a person in conflict in the world - they who stood by it as one they contended along with, were to walk worthy of it. They were "striving together with the faith of the Gospel," contending along with the faith of the Gospel in the world - not "for" the faith, but "with" it, as an associate with it in its conflicts.
There is thus in the three "walkings worthy," I think, a practical difference though essentially the same. In Thessalonians it is the essential measure and its nature - "Worthy of God?" imitators of God as dear children, "Who has called us to his own kingdom and glory." Then the manifestation of what this is in a divinely perfect expression of it in Christ, "Worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing." In Ephesians 4 we have more our own present place in it by the Holy Ghost - "the vocation wherewith we are called" - all our privileges and place being known to us through the Holy Ghost sent down when Christ was glorified - the place we are in in connection with Him glorified now.