April 18, 2021
BE FOLLOWERS OF GOD
Ephesians 5 : 1 - 2
Children physically resemble their parents. They have mannerisms just lie their parents. We should resemble God the same way.
As we begin to study the 5th chapter of this great book, we are immediately confronted by a passage that demands that we do the impossible. We are called to be like God. We are called to love like He loves. It sounds like an impossible task. How can we, sinful, human, frail, failing people ever be like Him or love like Him? This particular text has much to say about this call to be like the Lord.
Our lesson will come out of these two verses today. My subject will come from verse 1, where Paul writes, "Be Ye Followers of God." Let us look at some challenges that are presented to us in the text.
WE SHOULD BE IMITATORS
The word "therefore" refers to what Paul wrote in chapter four. We are reminded that the saints of God have been saved by the grace of God, and because they have been saved, they are to be different in the way they walk, the way they talk, and the way they think. They are to be different in every area of life. We are to put off the old man of sin, and put on the new man of righteousness. In order to be imitators:
A. There Is A Command - "Be ye followers of God." - The word "followers" means to "mimic" to be an "imitator." The command here is for the people of God to imitate God. We are to learn all we can about God, and we are to mimic His characteristics. We are to learn all we can about the Lord from His Word and we are to put into practice everything we know about Him.
B. There Is A Condition - We are to imitate God, but we are told to do so as "dear children." it is natural for children to imitate their parents. Children often have their parent's nature, their behavior, and their actions. They not only look like their parents, but they have their mannerisms. We are unable to imitate God through our own power. While we cannot be holy on our own, as redeemed children of God, we have been empowered to live like, act like, and talk like our heavenly Father. So, walk with Him. Learn from Him. Be like him.
1. We Should Be Imitators
WE SHOULD BE INITIATORS
We have just been told to be an "imitator" of God. Now, we are told To initiate His "love." "And walk in love." * The word "walk" means "to regulate one's life." our very lives are to be controlled, to be driven, to be defined by love. * The word " love" translates the word "agape." It is God's love for mankind. Martin Luther King , Jr. says it like this, "It is God's love working through us. We have to be the initiator of his love. When I love Him, I will be like Him. When I am like Him, I will love like He loves.
1. We Should Be imitators
2. We Should be Initiators
WE SHOULD BE ILLUSTRATORS
To illustrate what genuine love looks like, Paul calls upon the sacrifice of Jesus for His people on the cross. The greatest expression of love the world has ever witnessed was the love that
sent Jesus to the cross to die for us.
Verse 2 says Christ "....hath given Himself for us..." He did that because He loved us. We are to illustrate that same kind of selfless, self-sacrificing love toward others. The call here is for the people of God to illustrate their father, and their Savior, by practicing unconditional, sacrificial love.