Summary: As a contemporary Christian are we an impostor or an imitator of Christ? This sermon leads one to decide which we are.
Impostor or Imitator?
Intro: One day a turkey farmer happened upon an injured baby eagle in the woods. He took the baby eagle home and care for it. He put the little eagle in his pen with his turkeys in the hope that they would adopt and care for the little fella. Many months later a forest ranger happened by the turkey farmer’s place and saw the eagle scratching and pecking like all the other turkeys in the pen. He was amazed at how this great, majestic, wild bird could be so tame as to peck at the ground like a domesticated turkey. --- The moral of the story is this: “It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you are surrounded by a bunch of turkeys.”
I. The eagle had only become what it had seen. It knew no other way of life.
A. I want to share with you some shocking statistics that I recently read: Pornography is one of the fastest growing industries in America.
Adult videos - $20 billion
Porn Magazines - $7.5 billion
Sex Clubs - $5 billion
Phone Sex - $4.5 billion
The average age of exposure to internet pornography is 11 years old.
B. As shocking as those statistics are, I was even more taken aback by the way people answered a recent survey question. The question was, “What would you do for $10 million?”
25% - abandon all their friends
23% - work as a prostitute for a week
16% - give up American citizenship
C. And we wonder, “What has happened to our country and our young people?” - America has become a wasteland of imitators of the wrong things. --- We can imitate pop culture, or our parents, or the leaders of our country.
II. I ask you, “have we become a nation of imitators or impostors?
A. Webster’s dictionary defines an impostor as “one who imposes upon others; a person who assumes a character or title not his own, for the purpose of deception, a pretender, and IMPERSONATOR.
B. The story is told of Alexander the Great that one restless night he awoke from sleep and took a walk around his encampment. He happened upon a young man who was sleeping on guard duty. (The punishment for this “crime” was instant death.) Alexander woke the young man. The young man, aware of who it was stood before him, was terrified. Alexander asked the young soldier, “What’s your name?” The young man answered, “Alexander.” To which Alexander the Great answered, “Either change your name or change your conduct.”
C. When I look at our world and what people who claim to be Christians do to and with others in the name of religion, I wonder if Christ Jesus doesn’t feel the same as Alexander; “either change your name or change your conduct.
III. Instead of being impostors of Christ, we should be, according to the lesson from chapter 5, verses 1 & 2 from Ephesians, we see it is Jesus who provides the standard. He is the one true example of righteousness and holiness. But, what does that mean?
A. Imitate according to Webster’s Dictionary means “to follow as a pattern, model or example; to copy or strive to copy in acts of manners. (to act like).
B. Jesus is the one true example of righteousness and holiness. Jesus serves as the supreme example for us of what love is all about. It is this other person centered love that is the basis of the unity of believers in the body of Christ.
C. The letter to the Ephesians told them and us there are certain things that please God and certain things that make God happy: all goodness, righteousness, and truth. Living a life of love keeping away from sin is the goal.
Conclu: To imitate God, we must take Jesus as our model as we strive to live sacrificially for one another. That is our challenge, and it will take more than the rest of your life to live out that calling. If you call yourself a Christian and are not an imitator of Christ you have two choices: you either change your name or change your conduct.