Summary: Once lost in sin, now Christ has saved us and put a new nature in us. We must renounce our former state and by grace and the Spirit we must choose to be imitators of Christ and soar as His chosen people.
October 8, 2006
New Covenant EPC
Body Life The Book of Ephesians
I. The stamp on an object tells a lot about its maker.
A. Too often it says, made in China or made in Taiwan.
1. It is reassuring when a well made product is stamped with Made in the USA.
2. Most products have stamped the place of origin and the party which made it.
3. The old Shenango China had such a marking.
a. Each piece was stamped with the company which made it and place of origin
B. The person or persons we set as examples or heros in our lives, put a lasting stamp on who we are.
1. Who are our heros? Cal Ripken, Doug Flutie, Hank Aaron, Lance Armstrong, Mia Hamm, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra?
2. Who to we emulate? Whose example to we try to imitate?
3. As believers in Christ, we are called to imitate, copy God and particularly Jesus Christ.
C. God is holy. He is without sin, without even the hint of immorality
1. That is why the inference that Christ some how lead an immoral life or compromised His purity is so repugnant to the Christian faith.
2. Jesus Christ was the incarnation of the Holy God. Jesus was devoid of error or compromise.
3. Our standard of comparison is not the world nor anyone in the world.
II. Verse 1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children
A. Did you ever look up to your parents?
1. Some of us have remarkable parents who went through the depression, wars, financial adversity, physical limitations, etc.
a. Many of our parents exemplify the epitome of moral courage.
b. They did without so others in their family could have food, clothing and shelter.
c. They became heros because they sacrificed themselves for something noble and right.
2. As parents, it is encouraging to see our children learn our better traits and live them. All three of our children love books and love to read.
a. Each of our children learned good traits from their parents.
B. God is our Father if we have received His Son as Lord and Savior.
1. We are His dearly loved children.
2. As the Father’s children, nothing endears us more to Him than following His moral and holy example.
a. Like Father Like Child.
b. 1 Peter 1:16 for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." (NIV)
c. Leviticus 11:45 I am the LORD who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy. (NIV) Appropriating the lesson of the parents is a sign of maturity.
3. Maturity in the Christian faith is seeing the image of God and seeking by grace and the power of the Spirit to look like Him
4. No longer a child lead along by the wimps of immaturity, the prodigy are striving to emulate the Father.
C. Be Imitators
1. The word imitate in the Greek is MIMETES from which we get the word MIMIC.
2. MacArthur’s New Testament Commentary: Ephesians
a. It means to copy specific characteristics of another person
b. As imitators of God, Christians are to imitate God’s characteristics, and above all His love.
c. The whole of the Christian life is the reproduction of godliness as seen in the person of Christ.
3. God’s purpose in salvation is to redeem men from sin and to conform them “to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29).
4. 1 John 3:2 “We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is”
D. When Alexander the Great discovered a coward in his army who also was named Alexander,
1. he told the soldier, "Change your character or change your name"
2. Those who carry God’s name are to be imitators of His character.
E. To know what God is like we must study His Word, His revelation of Himself, His great Self-disclosure.
1. The more we learn of God’s character the more we learn how impossible in ourselves it is fulfill the command to be like Him.
2. That is why we need “to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man” in order to “be filled up to all the fulness of God” (Eph. 3:16, 19).
3. The only way we can become imitators of God is for the Lord Jesus Christ to live His perfect life through us.
III. Verse 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
A. Christ is a person who has and continues to sacrifice self for the betterment of others.
1. His self actualization was to surrender self for those He loved.