Walk in Love

Walking Like We're Blessed  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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Ephesians 4:32–5:2 NASB95
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
GOD the Father is our model
Motives we learn: Disposition, compassion, and graciousness
GOD the Son is our model
Motives we learn: Love and self-surrender
Motive we learn: Pleasing GOD the Father
GOD the Father is our model
Paul gives instruction to imitate or follow God’s model. When Paul says “be”, it is the idea of becoming like GOD, and continuing in that status. More specifically he instructs that believers should imitate GOD like children who are cherished by GOD as their father. This contrasts their former Gentile status, in which they lived in ignorance of GOD. Thus, in order for GOD to be ones model, they must be his child and they must know something about how GOD gives.
Application: This is an important point. Because no one can imitate or follow what they have not seen or observed closely. See just like this mixed Church, we are extremely familiar with pattern which the world does things. In order to counter that pattern of thinking and behavior with respect to giving, we must spend time paying close attention to God’s giving. On the basis of being children of our parents, we became imitators of much of what our parents did. We don’t remember it, but we had to watch and listen to mama and daddy, how they talked, when they talked, etc.
Example: 2-year olds are off the chain. I know many of us have experienced what’s called the “Terrible Two’s”, because wild behavior tends to be at a maximum level. However, if you take a moment and observe deeply what is occurring with 2-year olds, they themselves have become highly observant of what’s going on around them, and it is one of the high points of their learning. Because of that, they just IMITATE EVERYTHING. That imitation tests what boundaries they can and can’t cross!!!
Paul has told us what boundaries we’re to no longer cross. Rather, everything GOD does, imitate!!!
Motives we learn: Disposition, compassion, and graciousness
Well what is it, that you and I as children will observe and learn about GOD, our father, and what should we imitate? Eph 5:1 is an inferential clause, which means it goes back to Eph 4:32 where Paul instructs believers how GOD gave to his children. Where is giving in that verse? He says forgive!!! Not the other common terms for forgive. This one means to give as pardon. We get these terms from Old English and Germanic and Latin origins. Par means completely. Don or Donare means to give as a gift. It was used when a superior would completely give up desire to punish an offender, and give up the ill will against them. Without giving there is no forgiving. Paul says kind and tenderhearted, which means it’s God’s tendency and it came from a deep place in his heart.
Application: When we observe and imitate God’s model, our giving is a complete gift. It comes from a tendency and the gut of our souls!! We watch GOD over and over, and as we imitate him, we say my father is just inclined to give, and every time he gives, he does it from the bottom of his heart, and there is no half-stepping.
GOD the Son is our model for love
But not only is the Father our model, Jesus, the Son too is our model for how we live. Paul’s second instruction is everywhere they go, love should capture their behavior. Who is the model? Just as Christ loved them and gave up himself for them.
Motives we learn: Love and self-surrender
LOVE - Comparative statement: Just as Christ loved you! Love is a strong affection which forfeits ones rights for the benefit of another. It is important then to review how Christ demonstrated love. Remember his command to the 11, to love one another as he has loved them - John 13:34. Well how did he love them?
Service - Peter’s mother-in-law, washed feet, fed them, etc.
Loyalty - stuck with them
Correction - stop arguing about non-essentials
Quality Time - 3 years
Guidance - selflessness, teaching,
Protection - From evil and identifying when satan was present and seeking to devour them, and storms
Patience - Their questions, doubts and disbelief, fears,
Self-surrender/Gave Himself - On the cross. The climax of his love!! Even after his disciples deserted him!!
Application: Love and giving are inseparable. When we follow Christ’s model, it must be driven by love. And in this case, because of love, Jesus gave up himself. In other words he was in constant mode of self-surrender. In order for us to walk in this degree of love, we MUST recognize the benefit of what Christ did. That’s why Paul includes himself. And though society claims love and giving, what distinguishes you and me is we love how we love entirely due to Christ’s love for us and giving himself FOR US!!! And starting place for following Christ’s model is the surrender of self!!!
Motive we learn: Pleasing GOD the Father
Paul furthers the point to remind them that when Christ gave himself for them, it was also to present himself to GOD acceptably.
Application: Pleasing GOD should be the purpose we give ourselves. Our aim should not be wrapped up in impressing others or ourselves. Others might benefit, but there will be times where folks aren’t impressed. Our aim should be does GOD accept me and what I have given up.
Conclusion: If we are going to walk in love, we need the best example! The best example is GOD the Father and Son. Because the Father loved us so much, he gave his only Son. Because Jesus loved us so much, he gave himself!!! The Father gave Son so the Son could give himself. What was the principal driver?? LOVE!!! Whose definition and example are you following?
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