Summary: Ephesians Series #17 Our world is filled with cheap replicas…imitations of something greater. Imitations come into being because there is a market for something that looks like the truth, but a lack of desire to pay the price for authenticity.
A Walk that is Worthy Part 17
“Imitation or Imitators?”
Text: Ephesians 5:1-2
This morning I would like to continue on once again in our study in Ephesians entitled a walk that is worthy.
Specifically this morning we will be looking at a message entitled “Imitation or Imitators?” Now when you think of imitation I am sure all kinds of cheap replicas come to mind…
Imitation Wood Grain
Imitation Orange Juice
We buy imitation because of the price it costs us, and so at first glance people might be sold on the idea that it is real. But if you hang around imitation long you find that it is simply a cheap replica of something greater.
God is calling each one of us to be greater than this.
God is calling us not to be cheap replicas of plastic and particle board but an Authentic Representations of the Son of God.
Pastor Mark Thompson of Faribault, Minnesota, suffered terrible knife wounds from an assailant in his home, in October 1988. One of the many consequences of his difficult recovery was being forced to miss watching his son Chris run in the state cross-country championship meet. Pastor Thompson commissioned his brother Merv to go in his stead.
According to the account in the St. Paul Pioneer Press & Dispatch, Mark told his brother, "I can’t be there to see Chris run. So I want you there at the beginning of the race. Holler a lot. ... Then at the end, I want you to really cheer loudly. And I want you to make your voice sound like mine."
Merv heeded the advice, and Chris ran a strong race, finishing second. Merv, also a pastor, discerned the theological truth in the story. "That’s what Jesus wants us to do." he said. "Make your voice sound like mine."
Our text says… Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 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.
Jesus’ Disciples were commanded to be imitators of Christ…
He asked them to do several things
1) Preach the message: “The Kingdom of Heaven is Near”
2) Heal the sick
3) Raise the dead
4) Cleanse those who have leprosy
5) Drive out demons.
6) Freely you have received, freely give.
7) Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; 10take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.
Then Jesus gives them an incredible promise in John 14:11-15 if they are faith to be imitators of Him.
We cannot be imitators of God in our own power. In our own strength at best we can only be a cheap replica that might fool people at first glance. Jesus goes on to say in John 14 that they way in which we truly will be imitators of Him is have the Holy Spirit at work within us.
It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can truly be an authentic representation of the power of God. Now notice I did not say substitute.
We never were called to substitute for Christ.Those who substitute themselves for God in peoples lives prove themselves to be cheap replicas. How many ministries have fallen over into this trap. Taking credit for what God has done instead of simply representing the power of God.
God allows us to share in many things with him…
1. Grace: Phil 1:7
2. Kingdom: Col 1:12
3. Holiness: Heb 12 :10
4. Glory: 2 Thes 2:14
5. Sufferings: Rom 8:17
Many things that He shares with us…but one thing he will not share and that is his Majesty and Lordship.
He demands that we point people to Him and not to us.
He demands that we build His kingdom and not our own.
He demands that we be an authentic representation and not a cheap replica.
He demands that we be imitators and not imitation.
So how do we do this…I believe our text gives us some help on this.
1) Pursue God
a) Live as dearly loved children
b) Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
2) Flee the World
vv7 “Do not partner with the world”
Our world is filled with cheap replicas…imitations of something greater. Imitations come into being because there is a market for something that looks like the truth, but a lack of desire to pay the price for
2 Tim 3:1-5
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”