“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
Eph 5:1-14 KJV
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”
This devotional, continues to look at the second main division of the book of Ephesians. Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3). It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.
In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.
- The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
- The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
- The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
- The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
- The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
- The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
- The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
- The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-21)
The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of IMITATION (5:1-14). The word translated “followers” is a Greek word that carries with it the idea of “to mimic” or “to imitate”. It is from this word that I got the title for this section of our study.
Keeping all this in mind, lets turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I. Imitate Christ (vs 1-2)
II. Do Not Imitate The Children of Disobedience (3-7)
III. Imitate Children Of Light (vs 8-10)
IV. Wake Up and Forsake Darkness (vs 11-14)
(Ephesians 5:2) And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
Paul now describes our need to imitate the love of Christ …
And walk in love,
Paul reminds us of the need to live a lifestyle of love towards others. There are two different Greek words translated by “love in the Bible”:
1. “agape” – this describes an unconditional self-sacrificial love.
2. “phileo” – this describes a family love that is deserved by the recipient.
In this verse, “agape” is the word translated “love”.
Based upon this, we are to possess a love for others that motivates us to sacrifice ourselves for their good. This willingness to sacrifice ourselves should be limited to the undeserving among us (ie strangers and even our enemies).
“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
And unto him that smiteth thee on the [one] cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not [to take thy] coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask [them] not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend [to them] of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and [to] the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” (Luke 6:27-36)
as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us
As we exercise agape love towards others we will be following the example that Christ has set for us…
“Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16)
God’s great love was on display as He sacrificed Christ for each one of us. He did this for those who were His rebellious enemies…
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Romans 5:8-11)
an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
Christ’s death acted in a two-fold manner to work salvation on our behalf…
1. an offering – Christ’s willingness to die. He was not forced to die, but willingly gave Himself (Hebs 9:14)
2. a sacrifice – Christ’s giving of Himself for the benefit of others. He died so that we might live (1 Ptr 2:24)
His death and its results were accepted by God. This is much like incense that ascended to heaven and was pleasing to God.
“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us]. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:12-14)
May the Lord, by His grace alone, enable us to follow His example of love and be willing to live our lives for the benefit of those around us.
May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more!
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