Summary: 1) The Plea (Ephesians 5:1–2a), 2) The Pattern (Ephesians 5:2b), the warning of 3) The Perversion (Ephesians 5:3–4) and finally the consequences of rejecting the walk in facing 4) The Punishment (Ephesians 5:5–7).

Ephesians 5:1-7 [5:1] Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. [2] And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God[3] But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. [4] Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. [5] For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. [6] Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. [7] Therefore do not become partners with them; (ESV)

The world claims to want love, and love is advocated and praised from every corner. Romantic love especially is touted. Songs, novels, movies, and television serials continually exploit emotional, lustful desire as if it were genuine love. Questing for and fantasizing about the “perfect love” is portrayed as the ultimate human experience.

Whatever God establishes, Satan will counterfeit. Where God establishes true love, Satan produces counterfeit love. Counterfeit love characterizes Satan’s children, those who are of the world, just as true love characterizes God’s children, those who are citizens of heaven. In contrast to godly, unselfish, forgiving love, the world’s love is lustful and self–indulgent. It loves because the object of love is attractive, enjoyable, pleasant, satisfying, appreciative, loves in return, produces desired feelings, or is likely to repay in some way. It is always based on the other person’s fulfilling one’s own needs and desires and meeting one’s own expectations. Worldly love is reciprocal, giving little in the expectation of getting much. Speaking of that kind of love, Jesus said, “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax–gatherers do the same?” (Matt. 5:46).

A biblical understanding of love with not only help us in genuine worship but in every relationship of our lives. We will know how to properly serve God in our relationships with Him and everyone else. Coming to grips with biblical love will help us distinguish genuine from false motives in others and ourselves. It will help prevent deception from others and in our own actions.

In Ephesians 5:1-7, the Apostle Paul first presents the positive truths about true godly love and then the negative truths about Satan’s counterfeit love and its consequences. He shows this through: 1) The Plea (Ephesians 5:1–2a), 2) The Pattern (Ephesians 5:2b), 3) The Perversion (Ephesians 5:3–4) and finally the consequences of 4) The Punishment (Ephesians 5:5–7)

Believers can Walk in Love by following:

1) The Plea (Ephesians 5:1–2a)

Ephesians 5:1-2a [5:1] Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. [2] And walk in love, (as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God). (ESV)

Therefore refers back to the last part of chapter 4, especially verse 32. Kindness, tender–heartedness, and forgiveness are characteristics of God, who is love. God Himself is infinitely kind, tender–hearted, and forgiving. We achieve those virtues by imitating their Source. To be “be/become imitators of God” uses the word: Mimetes (imitator) is the term from which we get mimic, someone who copies specific characteristics of another person. Those who by grace are made children of God are by constant perseverance, and imitation of the divine copy (cf. 1 Pet. 2:21), to be/become more like the heavenly Father (cf. Matt. 5:44–45, 48; Luke 6:36). As imitators of God, Christians are to imitate God’s characteristics, and above all His love. The whole of the Christian life is the reproduction of godliness as seen in the person of Christ. God’s purpose in salvation is to redeem people from sin and to conform them “to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29). To be conformed to Christ is to become perfect, just as God is perfect (Matt. 5:48). The only way we can become imitators of God is for the Lord Jesus Christ to live His perfect life through us. We are totally dependent on His Spirit to become like Him. If we are to obey Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians, “let all that you do be done in love” (1 Cor. 16:14), we must submit to the controlling influence of the Spirit. (Foulkes, F. (1989). Ephesians: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 10, p. 144). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.).

Please turn to 1 Peter 1

When Alexander the Great discovered a coward in his army who also was named Alexander, he told the soldier, “Renounce your cowardice or renounce your name.” Those who carry God’s name are to be imitators of His character. Be like Christ, or be not called a Christian. (Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: Ephesians (p. 469). New York; Chicago; Toronto; London; Edinburgh: Fleming H. Revell Company.)

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