May 31, 2020. Ephesians 5:1-2

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Ephesians 5:1-2 New King James Version (NKJV)

1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

  • The imitators
    • “imitate” from Greek is word we get “mimic” from–“followers” in KJV
      • Not the word for “disciple” (matthieus) – learner or trainee
      • Emphasis = to exactly follow & do what master instructs
    • Paul uses the term to apply to himself
      • 1 Corinthians 4:16 imitate me
      • 1 Corinthians 11:1 imitate me as I imitate Christ
      • This passage is a summation of chapter 4, especially, 4:32
    • To imitate God is to pattern life after God in virtue & charitable works
      • We can’t be like God in essence or position, for he is the only God (Is. 14, Gen. 3 no one else can be as God is)
      • Genesis 1:26-28 man was made in the image of God
        • Man has an eternal soul
        • Man has intellect, will, & conscience
        • Man is a moral agent, knowing right from wrong
      • As his children (teknon) –to be like Father (true offspring)
    • When man sinned in Eden, he lost the ability to be like God
      • John 16:7-11 only the restraining power of the Holy Spirit prevents men from being as wicked as he could be
      • Genesis 6 God had to destroy all mankind (except 1 family) due to the extreme wickedness of the entire human race
    • Old Testament saints were empowered by God to imitate him (Abraham, Joseph, Job, Moses, Daniel…)
    • Christ via the Holy Spirit empowers believers to imitate God in lives
      • The Holy Spirit empowers believers to imitate God
      • The end purpose of salvation is to BECOME LIKE CHRIST — COLOSSIANS 1:19-29  to present every believer mature in Christ
    • Modern concept of mentoring
      • Moses mentored Joshua, Elijah mentored Elisha, Jesus mentored his disciples, Paul mentored Timothy…
      • With a complete Word of God, the indwelling of the Spirit, & mature believers, we are mentored by Christ
  • Walk in love
    • Walk = a metaphor for a way of life
    • Christ showed the way of love
      • John 3:16 sent by God
      • Romans 5:8 became our for sin, he took our form to be an offering to God in our place
      • Ephesians 3:19 Christ continues to love us
    • Love focuses on the object being loved and not the one loving
      • phileo (affection) centers on emotions of the one expressing love
      • agape’  (choice love) centers on the object being loved
        • incorporates emotion, charity, choice, & service
        • a love not conditioned on being loved in return
      • New Testament infuses agape’  with the meaning of selfless sacrifice (classical Greek uses it as a statement of fact without assignment motivation)
    • To walk in love is more action than speech or emotion
      • Walking in love is showing love
      • Concern, charity, grace, sacrifice, commitment, succor, support, encourage…
  • Christ’s love–our example
    • Christ’s love for us = shown in his sacrifice
      • No greater demonstration of love
      • By his actions Christ demonstrated his love for us
      • Christ’s love for us was despite our rebellion against him (Romans 5:8)
      • We are the object of his unconditional love
    • Christ’s sacrifice was a sweet aroma to God
      • euodias – lit., “good odor”
      • I Samuel 15 sacrifice was sweet if from a repentant believer
    • A walk of love by a faithful believer is a sweet aroma to God

Key Verse:

Colossians 1:19-29 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. 24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, 26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.