Summary: Ways to imitate God and thereby cash in on the spiritual riches in Christ. (Expository sermon)
We’re in the series "Simple Living," based on the 2nd half of Paul’s correspondence to the Ephesian Christ followers of the First Century.
In the first half of the letter, believers are described as “spiritually rich,” and in the second half, the part upon which this series is based, we’re told how to spend our spiritual riches!
One of the simplest techniques for simple living and thereby be able to cash in the spiritual riches we have in Christ, is to IMITATE GOD.
Our grandson Andrew is at the age of imitation. We don’t get to see him in person that often since his mom and dad serve the church in Spain, but we do use our video camera frequently enough to notice him mocking what he sees. At nearly two years of age he apes what he sees mom and dad and others around him doing.
Here’s a brief video to show you what I mean.
Today I want to talk to you from Scripture about imitating our heavenly Father. He has set this wonderful example of behavior for us and a simple rule of living is to act how God acts. Look at Ephesians 5, verses 1 and 2.
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. Ephesians 5:1-2 (NLT)
Notice the Bible says imitate God in “everything you do.” We’re not just to imitate God on Sundays or set times of spiritual activity. We’re to imitate God in everything we do. This is a simple maxim but it has a broad application. I’m to imitate God in my relationships, my thought life, my private life, my leisure, my business, etc. And this imitation centers on the sacrifice of Jesus on skull hill. The pivotal event of the biblical narrative, the sacrifice of Christ for our sins, is to become the primary focus of my imitation of God lifestyle.
WAYS TO BE LIKE GOD
3 Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, ["Impurity" means "morally impure." By using the word impurity, Paul is going beyond the specific act of having sex before or outside of heterosexual marriage and saying that we should be free from all association with sexual sins. Impurity includes stuff like porn, and any thought or activity that leads to sexual lust. The word “impurity” is translated “uncleanness” in the KJV. Demons were often referred to as “unclean” spirits, so impurity is something associated with Satan’s followers.] or greed [Excessive desire for wealth or possessions.] among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. 4 Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. 5 You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Ephesians 5:3-5 (NLT)
God’s nature is pure and holy. That’s one of the things we love so much about Him! It’s one of the primary reasons we worship Him. Who would want to worship an impure God?