Ephesians 5:1,2--Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.
Imitation conveys a sense of inferiority in most people’s minds. Can copies ever be as good as the original? The Bible teaches us that our mission is to be like God. How at odds this is when our society screams that we are to be independent! Ephesians calls us to live a life of love for God and others. But it would seem that each succeeding generation further refines a “me-first” philosophy. Why should I be like God when I love who I am?
1. To be like God means there are many things we cannot do—5:3-7,11,18
2. To be like God results in good fruit—goodness, righteousness, and truth—5:8,9
3. To be like God we should understand His will and what pleases Him—5:10,17
4. To be like God we are properly filled—5:18
The Greek present tense is used to indicate that the filling of the Spirit is not a once-for-all experience. Repeatedly, as the occasion requires, the Spirit empowers for worship, service and testimony. The contrast between being filled with wine and filled with the Spirit is obvious. But there is something in common that enables Paul to make the contrast, namely, that one can be under an influence that affects him, whether of wine or of the Spirit.—The NIV Study Bible notes on Ephesians 5:18
5. To be like God we need wisdom to live carefully, maximizing every opportunity because we live in evil times—5:15,16
6. To be like God we submit to one another out of reverence for Christ—5:21.
On the basis of love, God asks us to be like Him. We know that He will not make anyone follow Him. But He clearly warns us of the great cost for defying His will—eternal separation from His presence. Unless we are committed to imitation, we remain vulnerable to independence. Over time the fruit of each becomes obvious—light vs. darkness. Why should I be like me when I love who God IS!
The Spirit of God lifts the natural reaction of imitation into another domain and by God’s grace we begin to imitate our Lord and show forth His praises. It is the natural instinct of a child to imitate his mother, and when we are born again the Holy Spirit lifts this instinct into the spiritual domain and it becomes the most supernaturally natural thing for us to imitate our Lord.—Oswald Chambers in The Moral Foundations of Life
©2003 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)