Summary: God commands us to be Holy. We are to love others as God loves us.
This sermon can be heard at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKSMttyr-gU
Be Like God
(Video: Be like Mike)
1 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
As far back as Leviticus 11:45 God said, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
God created us in His image and commands us to be like Him.
Paul writing to the believers in Ephesus, telling them the same thing.
He is giving them a hint as how the are to live.
He is straightforward in telling them, "Imitate God."
That is what we are to do as born-again believers in Jesus Christ.
When we become children of God we are to become imitators of Him.
What Paul is saying to the believers in Ephesus is, “Be like God.”
Jesus set the example...He showed us how to be live holy lives.
We’re to walk in love just as Christ walked in love – a sacrificial love.
When we imitate Jesus, we become role models for others to follow.
We are to be like God and God is love – God’s love is an agape love.
Eros / Philia / Agape
True agape love is not a love common to man.
Man’s love is self-centered and self-serving.
Man only loves with the expectation to be loved in return.
Man’s love is too easy.
Jesus explains it very simply in Matthew 5:46-48.
46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
There He goes saying it again, just as God spoke it in Leviticus 11:45.
We’re to love others with a perfect love – God’s agape love.
We are to love in the same way Christ loved us; unconditionally.
Jesus willingly went to the cross only because He loved us.
This type of love offers a sweet aroma to the Lord.
Verse 2 of today's scripture reading tells of a sweet smelling love.
"He (Jesus) loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God."
Agape love smells sweet – Selfish love stinks.
Romans 5:8 tells of God’s powerful agape love.
"But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners."
God loved us even while we were sinners...We were His enemies.
We are commanded to love others, which means everyone, with that same kind of love.
We are to be reflections of that love in this world.
Jesus commanded us to “love one another” just as He loved us.
We may not always agree with others, but we can always love them.
Does the way you live serve as a witness to Christ?
Truth is there are some people who are harder to love than others.
Loving everyone all the time is truly an enormous and difficult task.
There are times in our lives that loving some folks seems impossible.
I know I feel that way sometimes, but then I stop & think about Jesus.
I reflect upon my life and the many times I’ve acted against His will.
I know there times in my life when I make it hard for Jesus to love me.
Again, we are to live like Jesus lived – We are to Be Like God.
God makes it possible to love others by the power of the Holy Spirit.
When we live by the Spirit, we can love anybody.
We have to remember what love is and what love isn’t.
Paul gives us the best description of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."
Let us love like Jesus loves.
Let us live like Jesus lived.
Let us be holy like Jesus is holy.
Let us strive daily to Be Like God.