Why imitate God Ephesians 5:1-6

June 24, 2018


Sermon: Why imitate God  Ephesians 5:1-6
The reason why we do something is just as important as doing it.  It is our motivation for doing it.  Just preaching morality will not change anyone to become moral, but Paul gives us a reason above all other reason as to why we are to be moral.  
One Way Christian Center is a Reformed Baptist Church, located at 605 E. 6th Street in Olustee, OK close to Altus, OK and Altus AFB.  
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 By: Bryan Walker Given on: 6/10/2018  Sermon plays on KWHW 93.5 FM on: 6/24/2018
Ephesians 5:1-6 ESV  
5:1  Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.
Matthew 5:48  You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Luke 6:36  Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
    • This means God is our standard and we should strive to be like him
    • Incommunicable Attributes (not shared)
        • All powerful, all knowing, all present, infinity, self-existence
        • God is perfect and unchanging – we don’t share this
    • Communicable Attributes
        • Moral attributes: love, goodness, kindness, holiness. Even anger, jealousy, wisdom, knowledge
    • Imitate your father:
        • Dad is working on a car, young son carries a wrench
            • How effective is the child with the bolt, young man, man
            • His desire is to please his father
    • Which father are you imitating?
            • Christ always did the works of his Father
    • “Beloved” children
        • 61 or 62 times (depending on the translation), only used 3 ways
        • (1) Either used by the father to indicate love for the son, (2) the love of God toward his elect, (3) love we have toward Christians.
        • Example:
Matthew 3:17 ESV  and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
    • Several Greek words for love with many variations one English word love – wife, dogs, brother in Christ, co-worker, neighbor, enemy
        • This word beloved is a special love.
Paul’s pattern:
Ephesians 4:31-32 ESV  [What to not do] Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  (32) [What to do] Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, [Reason] as God in Christ forgave you.
    • The reason should be our motivation – the key to it all
        • A child might ask why, because I said so?
    • [What to do – Positive] to walk in love
        • This can be further broken down:
            1. (Positive) Doing for one another
            2. (Negative) Abstaining from things that offend each other, words, conduct, mannerisms…
    •  [Reason] as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us
        • What is the reason for the world to love one another – why???
            • Think of a compelling reason, why???
        • If I love someone they might love me back
            • Selfish but it is a reason
                • What if they don’t love you back?
        • To maintain law and order in the state
            • Is this a compelling reason?
                • How’s it going so far?
                • Crime statistics shows a lack of love for one another
        • Because it is the right thing to do?
            • According to who’s right and wrong
                • What if I don’t agree
            • If we evolved from apes, the survival of the fittest.
    • The Christian always has a reason, Christ’s love
        • But you must understand Christ’s love to appreciate it
        • How holy God is and how wretched we are
        • Sadly many churches seek to bring God to our level
            • Minimize the holiness of God
            • Lack of Godly reverence and fear
        • Many churches don’t mention sin anymore
            • When you understand how holy God is, you can begin to understand how wretched and sinful you are!
        • BUT, you are a good person, God owes you a sacrifice
            • It’s only fitting for God to redeem you
            • God owes you nothing but wrath and judgement
    • How great is our reason???
        • There is no reason that compares to our reason
            • An eternity of judgement whipped away
            • A highly deserved judgement
            • No, way for us to pay the debt.
            • No, obligation on Christ’s part to pay it for us.
    • Christ loved us and gave himself up for us
        • If you want morality, PREACH the gospel
        • We can’t have morality without a change of heart
        • A list of do’s and don’ts’s inspire no one without a reason
        • Paul is giving a list but with the highest reason possible
            • Not simply because we are God’s children
            • Not because I said so
            • Because of Christ and his love for you
a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
    • God was pleased with the sacrifice of his Son.
        • The Old Testament sacrifices pointed to this once and for all sacrifice
Genesis 8:21  And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma
    • The sacrifice of His son pleased Him!
        • It appeased the wrath of God!
        • This is God providing the sacrifice
            • No spot or blemish in his Son
        • How grateful must you be?
        • He was not obligated to send his son but he did
    • So… do you continue in sin after all of this???
        • If you do, you still don’t understand the reason.
  (3) [Don’t do] 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, [Do] but instead let there be thanksgiving.  (5) [Reason] 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.
    • sexual immorality
        • Good luck defining this today.
        • You need a moral standard to define what is immoral
            • Immoral is the opposite of moral
        • God is our unchanging moral standard
Hebrews 13:4 ESV  Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
1 Corinthians 7:9 ESV  
Leviticus 18:20 ESV  
Same sex:
Leviticus 18:22 ESV  
Romans 1:26-27 ESV  
Pornography is adultery and uncleanness:
1 Corinthians 6:9 ESV  
    • all impurity
        • Notice he says ALL impurity
        • How do you define impurity without knowing what is pure?
        • What standard does the world have?  Shifting standards
            • God is unchanging
    • covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.
        • What is covetousness?
            • NOT just a desire for other people’s goods?
Covetousnessbeing excessively eager to obtain and possess; directed to money or goods
    • This is the love of money and the love of the things money can provide
    • 1Ti 6:10  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.
        • Very strong statement
        • Churches today, encourage covetousness
            • Health, wealth and prosperity gospel
            • Encouraging people to love money and things
            • Your love for God is based on the things He gives you
                • Not on His son, the sacrifice for sin
                • Things stop flowing and problems occur
                    • Will you curse God???
                        • Is your relationship is based on perishable things or the unchanging God
                    • It’s all about you and not the sacrifice
    • Pastors who preach covetousness are evil and should be rebuked
2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV  
(4)  Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place,
    • We must guard our tongue
    • What is filthiness and crude joking?
        • You are saints, set apart AND you represent God
    • When you go out people judge you for your children’s actions
        • That apple didn’t fall far from the tree
        • You represent God at all times
Romans 2:24 ESV  
    • What is foolish talk?
        • Light, vain, idle words, unfruitful, unprofitable words
Matthew 12:36 ESV  
    • Do you speak idle words?
        • It is a sin to be unprofitable with the words you speak!
            • How much more a pastor or a leader?
            • If you have an opportunity to preach and squander it on stories unrelated to the text, you are sinning.
    • How many jokes do we need to tell to keep you listening?
        • Foolish talk is entertainment vs. gospel preaching!
        • Is God Holy, then keep your speech holy, imitate God
    • Praise songs are increasingly filled with meaningless lyrics
    • Oh, but the Holy Spirit is in that church???
        • An evil spirit controls the church who encourages covertness (the love of money) or filthiness, foolish talk or crude joking
    • The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin an evil spirit encourages these things
John 16:8 ESV  
(5)has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
    • What does this mean?
    1. Some say they make it to heaven but have nothing when they get there.
    2. Other say they are not part of the kingdom of Christ (this one)
        • These are VERY dangerous sins
    • What about a Christian who falls into sin, can they be restored?
        • Noah’s drunkenness
        • Moses striking the rock instead of speaking to it
        • Solomon’s wives turned his heart away from the Lord
        • David affair with Bathsheba and the murdering of her husband
        • Peter’s denial of Christ
        • Paul tells us we battle against sin
            • These sins do not characterize these people
            • They had conviction and repentance from their sin
    • No inheritance is not just falling into sin but comes to be defined by sin  
        • Being in sin and being proud of it
            • Lack of repentance and their sins become their god
            • Their actions prove they were never with us
            • The seed that fell among the weeds
1 John 2:19 ESV  
    • Not just a list of do’s and don’ts’s
    • Put off the old and put on the new
    • The [do] is to give thanks to God and to love one another
        • but instead let there be thanksgiving.
        • (2)  And walk in love…
            • We are thankful for the sacrifice of Christ
    • Can you be characterized by immorality
        • Is it out of character for you to have foul language, sexual immorality, covetousness (love of money and things), and so on.
        • must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.
        • Do not be deceived They have no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
        • Deceived – deceived by who? And in what way?
    • Be imitators of God
        • The ability of a child, young man, man, elder man
        • How can you imitate God if you don’t know Him?
        • How can you imitate God if you don’t read His word?
    • MOST IMPORTANTLY: What is your reason for all of this?
        • Wife, kids, church family, the things God has given you?
            • What if you lose these tomorrow like Job?
                • Will you curse God?
                • Do you see the love of Christ?
                • Do you have a reverent fear of God
    • Our reason MUST be in the most loving and unchanging God
        • Our situation and circumstances change
        • If you lost everything and you ended up in prison does this diminish the love of God for you.
            • The love of God who sent his son to die on the cross!
        • Our foundation must be on the ROCK, Christ
        • as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us
This must be your reason

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