Summary: Do people see you and see godliness? As we mature, those of us who claim Christ as Savior, should see our lives continually transformed into a life that is more Christ-like. How can we see that and what does it look like?
Like Father, Like Son
I am sure most of us have heard the phrase, Like Father, Like Son.
It’s a great saying when your kids do something positive, but not so great when they don’t.
For the Christian, those who have trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, we are supposed to follow the ways of our Father, but we don’t always do that, just like our kids don’t always follow us. Part of the reason is that we fail to learn.
So, Paul, instructs the Ephesians to be imitators of their heavenly Father and he teaches them what that should look like in their life.
So, today, we are going to jump right in to our text in Ephesians 5:1-20
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."
15 Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ok, Paul starts out this chapter telling us to be imitators of God and he talks about three ways we need to be living to live our life in this way.
And he tells us first to
Live a Life of Love
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love,
Do you ever read a Scripture and think to yourself, “Boy, it should we be great if so and so would read this.” Or hear a sermon and think of someone you know who you wish were hearing that message.
Well, stop it. This is for you and for me.
It is us that needs to live a life of love. Yes, others do too, but we can’t make them do it. We can only affect our own living.
So How do we live this life of love? Well, Paul goes on to give us some practical ways to actually do that..
He starts out setting Christ as our example calling us to love by being sacrificial
Ephesians 5:2b - live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Love is not just an emotion or feeling we feel. Love is actions we take and sacrifices we make.
Loving actions will always be sacrificial. It really isn’t love if it is beneficial to you.
So just as Christ loved us and give himself up for as a sacrifice, we need to live sacrificially with others.
Now that will look different toward different people.
We are going to be more sacrificial to those who are close to us than those we don’t know. That is normal.
But we should be asking ourselves as we go through this life, how can I love like Jesus loved?
A second way that we live a life of love is to