Ephesians 5:1-2 ESV
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
If we are imitators of God, this is not a fake thing, like we have people who professionally imitate and mimic other people. For this means that we are following him and we are emulating him. We are patterning our lives after God and his holiness and righteousness, but in truth and in righteousness, and not in fakery. We are modeling our lives after the likeness of Jesus Christ, and not after other humans. We are following his leading.
And how we walk is how we conduct our lives, our patterns of behaviors, our attitudes, thinking, words, and actions. And this love (agape) comes from God, for he is love, and so it is centered in moral preference and in what God prefers. And he prefers holiness, righteousness, moral purity, honesty, uprightness, and faithfulness. So this is an unselfish love which does no deliberate harm to another but does for others what is for their good.
And Jesus Christ is our example of pure and unselfish love. For he, although he was God – the second person of our triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) – left his throne in heaven, came to earth, took on human form (born as a baby to a human mother, conceived of the Holy Spirit, with God the Father as his birth father), grew up to manhood, and ministered God’s love and grace mostly to his people, to those of his own race and faith in God.
But most of them rejected him, and they mocked him, and they tried to trip him up with his words, and they harassed him, for he claimed to be God, and he confronted people with their sins, and he taught them that they must deny self and die daily to sin and follow (obey) him or they will not have eternal life with God. And they didn’t like him because he did not kowtow to them and to their customs and practices (the hypocritical ones).
So, they hated him and eventually they plotted his death. And they had him hung on a cross to die as though he was a common criminal. But this was all in God’s plan, for in Jesus’ death he who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. He died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And he shed his blood to buy us back for God so that we would now honor God with our lives (2 Corinthians 5:15,21; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Ephesians 5:3-5 ESV
“But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 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.”
We cannot live like this and have any inheritance at all in the kingdom of Christ and God, although many people are convinced that they can. Many people are making shallow professions of faith in Jesus Christ which do not require dying with Christ to sin and living to him and to his righteousness, but allow for the “believer” to continue living in sin, only now with the promise of forgiveness of all sins and heaven as his eternal destiny.
But please know what the Scriptures teach. Read them in their context. They do not teach that we can make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ and now all our sins are forgiven and heaven is guaranteed us regardless of how we live our lives. They teach dying with Christ to sin, and not just once, but daily, and walking in obedience to our Lord’s commands, in holiness and in righteousness. For if sin is what we practice we do not have eternal life.
[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Ephesians 5:6-11 ESV
“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true) and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”
So, don’t allow yourselves to be deceived by people speaking empty words not from God, but coming from their flesh. Yes, they will quote Scriptures and use them to support their teachings, but most of these are taken out of context and twisted and are being made to say what the Scriptures do not teach. So this is why context is so critical. For example, don’t just read Ephesians 2:8-9, but read verse 10, too, and read all of Ephesians.
Don’t just read Romans 10:9-10, but read all of Romans, in particular Romans 6 and 8 and 12, and Romans 2:6-8. For lip service only will not get us into heaven. We must have changed lives by the power of God’s Spirit. And don’t just read John 10:28-30 but read verse 27 which tells you who that promise is for. It is for those who are listening to the Lord and who are following him in obedience. They will not perish in their sins but will have eternal life with God. For all of God’s promises have conditions.
So, don’t buy into this diluted and altered gospel message which is telling people that they can make a profession of faith in Christ and be assured forgiveness of all sins and heaven as their eternal destiny, regardless of how they live their lives. We cannot walk in sin and have eternal life with God, for if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, we will die in our sins, and heaven is not our eternal destiny regardless of what faith our lips professed.
So, we are not to be partners with those who say how we live doesn’t matter, or who claim we don’t have to obey the Lord and we don’t have to repent of our sins. We are not to be partners with those who make allowances for sin and who say our sins no longer matter for eternity. But we are to walk (in conduct, in practice) as children of light in holiness and in righteousness, and in walks of obedience to our Lord and no longer in darkness (sin), and then we have the hope of eternal life with God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13]
An Original Work / April 15, 2012
Walking daily with my Savior
brings me joy.
Loving Father; precious Jesus;
He’s my Savior and my Lord.
Gently leads me; follow Him.
I’ve invited Him within.
Now abiding in His presence,
oh, what peace.
From my self-life
He has brought me,
By His mercy, full release.
Hope and comfort,
peace and safety Jesus brings
When I daily bow before Him;
Obey freely; do His will.
Follow Him where’er He leads.
Listen to Him; His words heed.
Now obeying his words fully,
oh, what love
That He gives me
By His Spirit, from above.
Loving Father; precious Jesus,
He’s my friend.
With my Savior, by His Spirit,
I will endure to the end.
Share the gospel, tell what’s true.
Witness daily; His will do.
Tell the world of how their Savior
bled and died.
On a cruel cross He suffered
So that we might be alive.