How has the invisible God chosen reveal Himself in the visible world?
Through the testimony of the lives of His children.
SCRIPTURE READING:Ephesians 5:1-21, ESV:
Imitators of God
When God is seen as He is, what do we see?
At the very core of His being, everything that emanates from Him is rooted in LOVE. 1 John 4:8, ESV
Why is it important that a child of God imitate the loving nature of The Father? John 13:34-35
Two important truths:
· LOVE is the proof of Jesus’ transforming power.
· LOVE is the authenticator of my relationship with God.
We must ask ourselves the question and not shrink back from its implications:
· what testifies that I have become a new creation…
· that I have passed from death to life...
· that I have moved from darkness to light?
Attendance at church?
Reciting the sinner’s prayer?
Reading the Bible?
These are good things, and each has its place in the life of a true disciple of Jesus, but any sinner can do them. What a sinner cannot do is LOVE. Not according to the definition given by Jesus and Paul.
VS 2 …as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
This is not the emotion of warm, cuddly feelings or a choice of convenience, but the choice of sacrifice.
“I choose to give of myself for your well-being”
· not because you deserve it…
· not because you earned it…
· not because I find you appealing…
Ø but because you are in need and I have what you need. Romans 5:8; John 3:16
· I deserve nothing but condemnation.
· The wages of my life have only earned me death.
· There is nothing in my flesh appealing to God. In fact, Scripture tells me that my very best works before God are nothing but putrid, blood soaked, rags. Isaiah. 64:6
But in LOVE God saw my need, and knowing that He possessed in Himself what my need required, He gave of Himself, so that through His loving sacrifice, I could be set free. 2 Corinthians 5:21
That is what is meant by LOVE.
· It sees the faults and failures.
· It agrees that sin deserves condemnation.
· It agrees that righteousness must prevail.
Ø But it takes into account the magnitude of forgiveness received…
Ø the immeasurable mercy poured out at the cross…
Ø and in the likeness of The Father, is compelled to GIVE of SELF for the well-being of another.
Sacrificial Choice is the LOVE God toward us.
· Not what’s in it for me?
· But what’s in me for them.
This is what it means to be an imitator of God, walking in love.
Romans 13:8-10, NLT
…as dearly loved children… walk in love….