Summary: Life choices
Choose how you will live, Eph 5:1-14
Eric A. Snyder, Minister, Farwell Church of Christ
June 2, 2002
Imitation – the greatest form of flattery.
When I was a kid I had a vivid imagination. I can remember being in Elementary school imitating everything from my favorite superheroes to Knight Rider to the A-Team. I had one friend who always wanted to be the voice of the car. So we’d pretend the picnic table was the car and this friend would get underneath and pretend to be the voice.
Do you remember that A-Team show? What a great show, whenever we played I always wanted to be Face or Hannibal. There’s just something wrong about a 10 year old taking a stick and pretending to be smoking a cigar though.
Usually, what would follow was a severe beating, but it was so worth it.
In Junior High I moved on to my favorite sports heroes. 1988, Isaiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Dennis Rodman (before he went Psycho) and all the other bad boys of that championship team. Whenever I played basketball I wanted to be Isaiah Thomas, probably a better imitation would have been Kevin Mchale or Bill Lambeer (those are dopey looking white guys for those of you who don’t know).
In Senior High you really imitate each other. What becomes trendy for one eventually becomes trendy for everyone else? When I was in H.S. the thing to do was to role up your jeans at the bottom, there was even a certain fold you had to follow, and everybody did it. Everybody’s hair was feathered in one form or another, guys and girls. Even as adults we still get a kick out of trying to imitate celebrities.
We tune into SNL and laugh as actors imitate Sean Connery and Keannu Reeves on Jeopardy, Bill Clinton in a McDonalds, and Al Gore andGeorge W Bush eating at a Chi Chi’s. That’s funny stuff and we all laugh.
They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery and I’m inclined to believe that’s true.
I think that’s why Ephesians 5 starts out with a very simple statement “Be imitators of God.”
There are so many things we can imitate.
We can imitate pop culture.
We can imitate our parents (and should if they set a good example).
We can imitate the leaders of the country.
It should be the goal of every Christian to have their life look as much like God as possible.
The goal is to imitate God, and the next 14 verses of chapter 5 outline exactly what it means to be an imitator of God.
1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 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. 3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
The primary way we imitate God is by living a life of love.
The best example of that, according to Ephesians 5:2, was Jesus’ sacrifice for us.
Words are cheap and actions speak louder than words so Jesus didn’t just stay in heaven and say that he loved us. He actually did something about it. He came from heaven to earth and he gave up his life so that we wouldn’t have to.
God loved you so much that he had to do something about his love.
You see, the type of love that God demonstrated is not flowery love talk, it’s really not that poetic, but it is roll up the sleeves let’s do something about it.