Summary: We are called to be like God in this present world. This sermon shows what a "God-copier" looks like.
A God Copier!
While I was still in High school, the Theatre Arts department took a group of students to New
York City. A friend of mine, named Jason Carr, was one of the lucky theatre people who got to go. While
in NYC, he encountered a man selling watches on the street. Jason paid $20 for a watch the man described
as a “genuine Rolex watch.” Jason bought the watch, not because he believed it to be real, but because it
was obviously a fake.
When the group returned to New Brunswick, Jason was proudly displaying his “genuine FAKE
Rolex” watch. If you have ever seen a Rolex, you would know that, first off, you couldn’t buy one for $20.
But upon closer inspection, the signature crown on every Rolex was crooked. Known for their quality
workmanship, the watch that Jason had could barely keep time. The “gold” had even begun to chip... He
had only had the watch TWO days... Needless to say, it was not the best copy of a Rolex.
In 1820, Charles Caleb Colton coined the phrase that states: “Imitation is the sincerest form of
flattery.” The phrase is often used, ironically, when someone tries to gain attention by copying someone
else’s original ideas. If I owned the Rolex company, I would not find the watch that Jason bought as a very
flattering piece. But that rule does apply, especially when you think of children.
James Baldwin, an American writer, once said, “Children have never been good at listening to
their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” Melissa and I cannot help but chuckle as Caleb
dons his guitar, and stands in the middle of the living room and begins his “service.” While we were in
Lower Hainesville, Caleb would be quick to hit the platform before Sunday School began and, like his
Daddy, begin to say ,“Well good morning everybody.” Everybody would laugh because they knew that
Caleb was just trying to do what his father does.
Caleb has since told me that once he turns 30, he’s going to play the piano in church. He just
wants to be like his Dad. I’m sure that will quickly change in the next few years, but for now I’ll take what
I can get.
In the heart of today’s Scripture, Paul uses the same child/Father imagery: “Be imitators of God,
therefore, as dearly loved children...” (Ephesians 5:1). If you have accepted Christ as your personal Lord
and Saviour, then you are a child of God. Just like my child imitates me, so we must become imitators of
our Heavenly Father. We must copy His walk, His actions and His voice. We must be willing to do the
things that He does, and act the way that He would act.
It was in Charles Sheldon’s 1896, In His Steps, where the now famous “What Would Jesus Do?”
question was first posed. Sheldon saw Jesus a more of a moral example than a Saviour symbol. But
variations of this phrase have been used by Christians for centuries as a form of imitatio dei, the imitation of
God. It was during the late 1980s, several youth ministers at churches in Holland, Michigan began putting
the "W.W.J.D." inscription on buttons and bracelets, and the theme was picked up by locally-based
If we are called to be “God copiers,” then what does a God copier look like? What needs to be
Paul goes on to say in his letter to the Ephesians that if you want to imitate God, you must LOVE
like God: “Be imitators of God…live a life of love” (Ephesians 5:1) To be followers of God, we must live
a life, or walk in a manner, that demonstrates His love. This type of love is a pure self-giving, that asks for
nothing in return type of love. This is God’s love, and He gives it to us in the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Last time we talked about putting off the old corruptible self, and to put on the new man. That
illustration pours into being an imitator of God. The new man is one who lives and loves like God. With
that in mind, Paul qualifies what an imitator God looks like.
1. Love spoken through the truth (4:25)
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbour, for we are all
members of one body.”
Our Daily Bread published an article on lying in the August 28, 1992 edition. In that devotional
reading, it stated that lying seems to be a way of life for many people:
“We lie at the drop of a hat. The book The Day American Told the Truth says that 91 percent of
those surveyed lie routinely about matters they consider trivial, and 36 percent lie about important