Summary: Walk in love
June 13, 2010
This morning we begin chapter five of Ephesians, and we’ll cover the first six verses.
A recurring word in Ephesians is “walk” which is used to describe a manner of life. We’re to walk in the good works God has prepared in advance for us to do (2:10); we’re to walk in a manner worthy of our calling (4:1); we’re to walk in repentance and righteousness (4:17).
Later we’re going to see that the believer is also to walk as a child of Light (5:8), and he’s to walk in wisdom (5:15).
Today we’re going to study the believer’s walk in love.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2and walk in love,
1. Forgiveness and sonship motivate us to imitate God in love (:1-2)
“Therefore” points back to the previous verse: Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
The basis and motivation of kindness, tender-heartedness, and forgiveness is love. The standard for love is set forth by God. We’re to be as kind, and tender-hearted, and forgiving as God has been to us.
The LORD is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. 9The LORD is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works. (Psalm 145:8-9)
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. 9He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. 10He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. 12As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. 14For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. (Psalm 103:8-14)
We’re motivated to mimic this love because we are “beloved children.”
We love, because He first loved us. (I John 4:19)
Can you think of any better reason to be full of love?
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, […] 4But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:1, 4-7)
What’s a bad day after that? How can a Christian be full of hate after that?
And so we “imitate” God. The KJV says, “Be ye therefore followers of God.”
In First Corinthians 11:1 Paul uses the same Greek word when he says, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.”
The idea is that because we’re the forgiven and beloved children of God, we’re to mimic Him by walking in His kind of love.