Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints. Coarse and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks. For know and recognize this: Every sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of the Messiah and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient because of these things. Therefore, do not become their partners. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light — for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth — discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:1-10 HCSB)
Be imitators of God. What a high command. This is the call of every Christian—no excuses. So what does it mean? Firstly, it’s a denial of self.
Christ was always denying Himself and giving glory to the Father and doing whatever He told Him to do.
Jesus answered them, “My teaching isn’t Mine but is from the One who sent Me. If anyone wants to do His will, he will understand whether the teaching is from God or if I am speaking on My own. The one who speaks for himself seeks his own glory. But He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. (John 7:16-18 HCSB)
This is the attitude and obedience we are supposed to imitate. And of course, being a servant to others from the love of the Holy Spirit who has been poured into our hearts.
But Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and the men of high position exercise power over them. It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life — a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28 HCSB)
Now here’s a hard reflection: are we imitating Jesus? Maybe we are sometimes, but think of the times we aren’t. Is that okay with God? If we cuss at times, or get drunk, or have an outburst of anger, is that fitting for someone who is supposed to be imitating the forgiveness, love, patience, and humility of Christ? How about if we do these things often?
Christ enables you to repent if you are sincere about following Him. He can renew and establish you in the faith, cleanse you and make you holy; make you like Him. He is able, we only have to be willing.
Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. (Philippians 2:14-16 NKJV)
May we all grow more like Christ from glory to glory.
Grace and peace to you,