Summary: Being an imitator of God means that we must live a life of love and light. Verse 2 of Ephesians 5 describes living a life of love (imitation of Christ's love) and walking as a child of light (verse 8) another imitation. Word imitation means to mimic.
The Way You Walk
Scripture Text: Ephesians 5
Introduction: -- Plato once said: “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark: the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
Instead of trusting Christ, modern-day thinkers insist on using human wisdom alone for answers to eternal questions.
The tragedy of this situation was graphically illustrated in a humorous skit performed by Karl Vallentin, a Munich comedian. Walking on a stage where everything was dark except for a small area under a street lamp, he began to look for something on the ground. He told the policeman who came on the scene that he was trying to find a key, whereupon the two continued the search. Finally the officer asked, "Are you sure you lost it here?" "Oh, no," said Vallentin as he pointed to a corner, "It was over there, but here is where the light is!"One way that Paul described salvation is by being an “imitator of God.” The word imitator comes from the Greek word meaning to ‘mimic’. Peter O’Brien, in the Pillar New Testament Commentary calls this Paul’s language of imitation. In several passages in the New Testament, he speaks of others imitating him and other Christians. In Philippians 1:6 he says, “You also became imitators of us and of the Lord,” Beyond this are hardly no other references in the rest of Scripture to imitating the Lord; but the Old Testament is full of passages related to wholeheartedly following God. The Scripture says, ‘Be holy because the Lord is Holy’….. “Jesus taught his disciples that if they love their enemies and do good to them, they will be ‘sons of the Most High’. He urged them: ‘Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful’ (Luke 6:35–36; cf. Matt. 5:44–48). God’s kindness and mercy are to be the model of their conduct.”
Propositional Statement: Being an imitator of God means that we must live a life of love and light.
I.Live a Life of Love (v. 2) Ephesians 5:1-2 are a summary or consolidation of the previous passages. Some of your versions say “Therefore, Be imitators of God….”
-The previous passage in Ephesians 4:32 calls us to forgive each other…..WHY? or HOW?.... because Christ forgave us. In the passage at hand, Ephesians 5:1-2, we have a similar given reason to not only forgive; but be imitators of God. It says, live “just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” The idea here is not that we are grateful and therefore we will assent to imitate God. Not that God did something for me, so I will do Him a favor. “Christ’s offering of Himself for fallen mankind pleased and glorified His heavenly Father because it demonstrated in the most complete and perfect way, God’s sovereign, perfect, unconditional, and divine kind of love (MacArthur, Bible Commentary, 1698).” Jesus’ sacrifice pleased God completely and sufficiently pays the debt for our salvation. We could never provide God a favor for our salvation; but because (and if we do) belong to Him, our minds, attitudes, and actions should be reflective of and identify with Jesus. Being a dearly loved child of God as in verse 1 does not mean simply receiving the gifts that are given to children; but is also the basis upon which we should be obedient to Our Loving Savior and Lord.
Video: Josh McDowell-Loving Father
A. Living a Life of Love Means That There is Not Even A Hint of Sin– (v. 3). MacArthur wrote in his Commentary on the Bible, “Such sins are so godless that the world should never have reason even to suspect their presence in Christians.” There are two major areas of sin mentioned here: Sexual Immorality and Greed. Obscenity or foolish talk, and course joking; are also included in the list of items that are out of place. (What should replace all of this?)
-In one of his booklets, Adrian Rogers tells of some gold prospectors who discovered an exceptionally rich mine. One of them said, "Hey, we’ve got it made as long as we don’t tell anybody else before we stake our claims." So they each vowed to keep the secret. Because they had to have more tools and provisions, they headed for town. After buying all the supplies they needed, they hurried back to the mine site. But they weren’t alone. A crowd of people followed them because their discovery was written all over their faces. What happens on the inside shows on the outside. Joyful Christians with the light of God on their faces are needed in the darkness of this world.
-The reason there should not be a hint is because these are improper for God’s set apart people. We are called to be holy!