Summary: Paul gives us four areas in which we should imitate our heavenly father the way a child imitates his eartly father.
Becoming A Childish Imitator
Intro: Two weeks ago we began to look at Paul’s standards for being part of the perfect church. At the end of chapter 4 Paul gave us the 4 standards we are to live up to regarding the old life; the old life of sin. We found that Paul says that we should be Christ-like in our Thinking, Christ-like in our Speaking, Christ-like in our Disposition and Christ-like in our Behavior. Today, we find Paul giving us the standards we must keep regarding the evil that is all around us. He gives us the standards that all Christians; the Church should live up to while living in the world but not being of the world. Evil is all around us and comes in many forms and Satan is just waiting for us to fall pray to is evil ways. Paul is telling us how we must relate to this evil.
Have you ever watched a little boy watching his dad work on something and trying to imitate him? As dad works with his hammer to build a sand box the little boy is behind him with his toy tools doing everything his dad does. Dad takes a piece of board and measures it, the boy takes out his toy tape measure and does the same. Then dad takes the power saw and makes the cut, his son does the same. Then dad lays the board down next to another board, again, his son does the same. Then dad takes his hammer and a few nails and starts to drive a nail into the end of the board, of course the son does the same thing. All of a sudden the dad hits his thumb with the hammer and yells “xoxalkjkjajga” and you guessed it, his son says the same thing.
We all have imitated someone in our lives and for the most part most of us have been imitated by someone else. We may not realize we are being imitated but we are. Our kids will imitate people they think are “cool” or “popular” or “famous”. They will try to imitate famous athletes, what to see this in action watch the kids when they play basketball. Many of them will try moves that only Michael Jordan could make only because they are trying to imitate someone. Speaking of Michael Jordan, when he was at the height of his basketball career there was a song out called, “I want to be like Mike.” The entire song was by a boy who simply sung, “I wana be I wana be like Mike.” The urge to imitate someone is not limited to kids. Go to the race track sometime and watch as men as they pull out of the parking lot on to the highway. You can tell many of them are trying to imitate the drivers they just watched.
The problem is many people, kids and adults alike, pick the wrong role model to try to imitate. As much as I hate to say it, there are many young boys and young girls in our country today who will try to imitate the performers that put on the halftime show during the Super Bowl. The question is today, how are you imitating with your life? As I said, all of us, weather we believe it our not imitate someone with our lives, so who does your life style imitate?
In our text today Paul says we are to be “followers of God, as dear children.” That word “followers” here actually means “imitators”. What Paul is actually saying is we are to be “imitators of God like dear children.”
Paul then gives us four areas that we should imitate God.
We should imitate God by our…
1 Loving others Sacrificially Vv. 1-2
a) Why we should love sacrificially:
1) Because we are God child and it should be our nature: 2 Peter 1:4 “4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, …”
(a) If we have the nature of God in us then the nature of God should come out of us and God is Love 1 Jn 4:8 tells us.
2) Not only are we God child but we are His Beloved Child V.1
(a) The word “Dear” is actually “Beloved”
(b) The same word used to describe God’s relationship to Jesus in Matt. 3:17).
3) Because we were purchased with a great price.
(a) It was His love for us that held Him on the cross - John 15: 13 Jesus said “13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. “
(b) But He loved us even when we were not loveable - Rom. 5:10 “10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”