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‘Imitating God’ Ephesians 5: 1-16, Luke 23: 33-43


‘Imitating God’  Ephesians 5: 1-16, Luke 23: 33-43


Paul’s instructions to the church in Ephesus about healthy living states: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviour. Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” [4:31]

Paul continues: Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” [5:1-2]

What was the Ephesian church’s response to this? Sure, God was to be feared, God was to be worshipped, but what does Paul mean by encouraging them to imitate God?

We are God’s children and just as children learn from their parents –  by watching and imitating them – so we must learn from God in the same way.

We are created in the likeness of our Father God and we are called to imitate Him. We will never be God but we are called to live in His light – not in His shadow.

The challenge for us is to reflect on our lives and take stock of how we are living them. We may not be indulging in objectionable practices like the early Ephesians, but what are our modern idols? Does greed and selfishness cause us to stray from God’s lighted path?


Ephesians 5: 1-16

1Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Renounce Pagan Ways

3 But fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints. 4Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving. 5Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient. 7Therefore do not be associated with them. 8For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— 9for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. 10Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; 13but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
‘Sleeper, awake!
Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.’

15 Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16making the most of the time, because the days are evil.