By Scott Brown
First Baptist Church, Waverly
Focal Passage: Ephesians 5:1-14
This chapter starts with the transitional statement to which the previous chapters have been building. Paul says, “Therefore (because of everything you’ve already read), be imitators of God, as beloved children.”
After this statement he begins to expound on what that will look like. When I think on that command to imitate God like beloved children, I think of my own children.
A few years ago, I was pastoring a church in Orlando and I was going on a visit with my daughter to see someone. I was rushing to get there and traffic was horrible. I started to get in the flesh and yell at the other drivers from the safety of my car. “C’mon! Get out of the way! You crazy Florida drivers!”
Just then I heard a small voice behind me doing the same thing. It shattered me. In that moment, my daughter was doing exactly what God made her to do, to imitate her Daddy. She was doing what came so natural from her time with and love for me, she was acting more like me.
It’s the same way with God, only in a good way. As we spend time with Him and experience Him, we naturally begin to emulate Him more and more. In verses 3-14 Paul goes on to describe what we would be like as we imitate Christ. He focuses on three specific areas here: sexual immorality, impurity, and covetousness.
As we walk in love, imitating the Lord, we also walk in light. The two are inseparable. God is love, He is personal and relational. God is light, He is holy and pure. As we walk with Him and know Him more, He not only reveals darkness but dispels it.
As we walk in the light we have no active fellowship with darkness. This means that we seek to expose sin for what it is, a deadly poison that destroys everything good and godly bringing death, corruption, and separation.
How can we then walk in love if we are not walking in light with the Lord and each other?
In my example my daughter began to join in my road rage, being unkind to others who had done nothing wrong simply because of my poor self-control. The way she talks to and treats others is entirely a reflection of what she sees and experiences in me. The way I treat her and the way she sees me treat others is revealed in the way she responds on her own to people.
Just like that, let us imitate Christ. Let us be to others the way He has been to us and let us always act toward others in a way that reflects how He acts and wills to act toward them. B&R — Brown is pastor of First Baptist Church, Waverly.