Summary: Living as Children of Light. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: Ephesians chapter 5 verses 1-21.
• Rory Bremner & Aliastair McGowan are famouse impersonators.
• As you look at then you see the person they are imitating.
• It may be a famous politician or sports star or a well known celebrity.
• Both Rory Bremner & Aliastair McGowan will look and sound like that person.
Now the word imitator:
• Is what Paul uses in verse 1;
• “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children”
• It is literally the word ‘Mimic,’
• And a mimic impersonates, copies, is a replica of someone else.
Verse 1: Goes on to explain who we are to mimic; we should be imitating God:
• This verse sets the theme for this section.
• Paul is simply teaching us that children are like their parents,
• Now I realise that this fact can be both encouraging and embarrassing,
• For both children and parents.
• It can be a pleasant or a scary experience,
• When you realise you are turning into your parents.
And there is always a family remembrance:
• Ill: Looks, a stranger could match family members together
• Ill: Mannerisms, we start acting like our parents!
• If we are the children of God,
• Then we ought to imitate our heavenly Father.
• This is the basis for Paul’s teaching in this chapter,
• And there are three admonitions in this section.
• God is love (1 John chapter 4 verse 8);
• Therefore, mimic him by, “walking in love” (verses 1-2).
• God is light (1 John chapter 1 verse 5);
• Therefore, mimic him by “Walking as children of light” (verses 3-14).
• God is truth (1 John chapter 5 verse 6);
• Therefore, mimic him by, “Walking in wisdom” (verses 15-17).
Pause to say:
• You cannot be a successful imitator of God,
• Unless you are connected to God through faith in Jesus Christ.
• A counsellor was given an opportunity to open a counselling office in a university.
• On the opening day, he sat at his desk for several hours before anyone came.
• Hearing someone enter the small waiting room,
• He picked up the phone and pretended he was talking to someone about their problems.
• The man who had entered stood there silently,
• Until the counsellor put down the phone and asked him how he could help.
• “I’m the telephone engineer,” the man replied.
• “I’ve come to connect your phone.”
• How many here tonight are playing at Christianity?
• Looking the part but not actually being connected?
Now if you claim to be connected to God then be an imitator!
• Ill: Jesus “I do always those things that please the Father!”
• Ill: God testified of him “I am well pleased”
• Tough question: Are you doing the things that please the father?
• Tough question: “Is he pleased with you tonight?”
(a). Walk in Love (Verses 1-2)
1Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Paul gave several reasons why the Christian ought to walk in love.
(1). Christians are Gods children.
When Paul encouraged his readers to “walk in love,”
• He was not asking them to do something that was foreign to the Christian life;
• The Bible teaches that at conversion every Christian.
• No exceptions, every Christian received a new nature,
• And that nature has to express itself in love.
The Bible clearly teaches:
• The old nature is basically selfish (sinful).
• And for this reason builds walls and declares war on others.
• But the new nature, which is from God, must reflect God and be loving,
• And therefore it builds bridges (not walls) and proclaims peace.
Jesus himself said in John chapter 13 verse 34:
• “This is how all men will know you are my disciples……
• That you go to Church each week!
• That you know your Bible inside out!
• That you don’t do this and you don’t do that!
• This is how all men will know you are my disciples……
• That you have LOVE for one another!”
(2). Christians are dearly loved.
• Are you aware that God actually speaks of us (you and me)
• In the same way He spoke of his son Jesus Christ?
• Matthew chapter 3 verse 17:
• “This is My beloved Son”, “My son who I dearly love!”
Because God has both expressed and demonstrated his love for us;
• The Question the apostle Paul is posing is this:
• Is it asking too much for us to “walk in love” to please Him?