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Summary: If we want to be effective in winning the lost, we must be imitators of God. There are two ways to do this: walk in love and walk in light. (Part of a series)

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WALK IN LOVE AND LIGHT

Text: Ephesians 5:1 – 16

Introduction:

· “Followers” = imitators (v. 1)

· If we want to be effective in winning the lost, we must be imitators of God

· Two ways to do this: walk in love and walk in light

Body:

A. Walk in love

1. Meaning (v. 2)

· Sacrificial love

· Christ’s sacrificial love drove him to moral purity

· If we truly love the lost with a sacrificial love, we will deny ourselves and devote ourselves to moral purity so that we won’t hinder our efforts with the lost

· Do you know someone who says that they’ve been "burned" in a business deal with a Christian or preacher?

2. Illustration (vv. 3 – 5)

· It shouldn’t surprise people to find out that you are a Christian

· A person who continually walks in the lusts of the world is clearly not a Christian

· I was telling a friend of mine about someone I used to go to church with. His response was, "He’s a Christian?"

3. Application (vv. 6, 7)

· Don’t believe Satan’s lies that you can live like the world and be a credible Christian

· Avoid corrupt influences

· Birds of a feather flock together (drugs, alcohol, profanity)

B. Walk in light

1. Meaning (vv. 8 – 10)

· Reflect goodness, righteousness, truth

· Not our own; Romans 3:10 – 12; Isaiah 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9

2. Illustration (v. 13)

· Moon reflects light of sun to show what hides in the darkness

· We need to reflect the goodness, righteousness, and truth of God to a lost and dying world

3. Application (vv. 11, 12)

· Not enough to just avoid evil; need to rebuke and expose it by shining God’s light on it

· Silence = approval

· John the Baptist exposed and rebuked a sinful relationship between Herod and his brother’s wife, and paid for it with his life; Christ said that among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist

· Speaking up could result in persecution, but remaining silent could cost you your witness

Conclusion:

· Paul’s advice:

o Wake up and realize the dangerous condition you are slipping into (v. 14)

§ In Revelation, the Ephesian church had lost its first love

§ Frog will jump out of boiling water, but will stay and boil if heat is turned up gradually

o Walk carefully (v. 15)

§ Wouldn’t run into a minefield

§ Think about consequences

§ Think about effect on witness

o Don’t waste time when trying to win the lost (v. 16)

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