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Be Imitators of God

Acts & the Pauline Epistles   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Imitators of God

Last week we stopped here. In the last part of chapter 4 we are told to get rid of a number of bad things: bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, and malice. Instead we are told to be kind and compassionate to one another. We are told to be forgiving.
In verse 1 of chapter 5 we read, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
This morning I want to continue to look at what it means to be an imitator of God.
Ephesians 5:3-
Ephesians 5:3–7 NIV84
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
No Hint Of

Not Even A Hint Of:

Sexual immorality—Greek word “porneia” from which we get our word pornography.
Impurity—Greek word “akatharsids” moral impurity, impurity—this phrase covers anything that porneia may have missed.
Sexual immorality and pornography is going to be the down fall of our land. Today the statistics are staggering.
—90% of children 8-16 have viewed pornography.
—The largest consumers of pornography are boys ages 12-17.
—70% of men 18-34 visit porn sites monthly.
—34% of women view porn regularly.
—38% of adults in our country say porn is morally acceptable.
—35% of all downloads on the internet are pornography.
—And porn sites receive more hits and traffic than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined!
We cannot imitate God when we are following the god of pornography.
No greed—wanting more and more, never being satisfied.
No obscenity—shameless talk or sexual talk
No foolish talk—stupid words!
No coarse joking—vulgar jokes
Instead, our lives should be marked by thanksgiving.
Paul tells us that people who chase after such things are actually idolaters—they are worshiping idols and thus should not expect to have any inheritance in the kingdom of Jesus and God.

Don’t be deceived

There is an entire world out there filled with empty deceptive words, and with these words they lead people away from God, and because of these words, God is angry with them.
Paul tells us that we are even supposed to be partners with them.

Dark or Light

Ephesians 5:8-14
Ephesians 5:8–14 NIV84
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
We were once darkness—do you remember what living in darkness was like? Darkness cannot mix with light.
So Paul says Live as children of light!
—Fruit of the light includes all goodness, righteousness, and truth!
—As children of the light we need to find out what pleases the Lord!
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness
Instead we are to expose the deeds of darkness
—It is shameful to even mention what the disobedient do in secret!
—Everything exposed by the light becomes visible.
God says we need to “Wake up,” we wake up when we realize that we are doing things that displease God and we stop doing them.

Live Wise—not unwise

Ephesians 5:15–21 NIV84
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Ephesians 5:15-
We are to be careful how we live: live wise, not as unwise.
We need to understand that the days we live in are evil!
We are to be careful not to be foolish—the foolish do not understand what God’s will is. We have already been told to know what pleases the Lord (verse 10)
—Don’t get drunk on wine which leads to debauchery—in this use it means living foolish, wasteful, out of control life.
—Instead we are to live lives filled with or controlled by the Holy Spirit of God!
—Being filled with the Holy Spirit causes us to treat each other differently. So we speak to each other with psalms (songs), hymns, and spiritual songs.
—At the same time we are to sing and make music in our hearts to the Lord.
—We always giving thanks to the Lord.
Finally we submit to each other because of our love and reverence to the Lord.

So What

It really is the same “So What” as last week, we need to be imitators of God. We need to know God’s will. We need to live the way God says to live and to follow Him, knowing what His will is.
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