Be Imitators of God
1Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2and 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.
1Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2And 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.
With so much input on how Christians are supposed to live their lives, how can they discern which way is correct? In this sermon on Ephesians 5:1–2 titled “Imitators of God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains from Scripture how Christians are supposed to live and why they are to follow these guidelines. Paul says “we are to be imitators of God.” Christianity, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says, is more than just a moral code. Believers are never to obey simply because it is the normal “Christian” thing to do. Rather, they are to obey because they know what God has done for them and why God tells them to avoid certain things. In His graciousness, the Lord did not leave His people without reasons for obedience— instead, He tells often in Scripture the reasons why people are better off obeying His instructions. Just as children are representatives of their families, God’s children act as representatives of Him to the world. People should be able to look at them and see the Father because Christians should strive to become like their heavenly Father in the same way that they often attempt to imitate their earthly parents.
- The sermon text is Ephesians 5:1-2. The first two verses introduce a principle that governs everything - "Be ye therefore imitators of God".
- This is a staggering and astonishing statement. We are called to mimic and imitate God. Is this possible? We must understand God's attributes to answer this.
- God's attributes can be divided into communicable (can be imitated) and incommunicable (cannot be imitated) attributes. We are called to imitate the communicable attributes like holiness, righteousness, justice, goodness, love, mercy, compassion, tenderness, long suffering, loving kindness, faithfulness, forgiveness.
- We are to imitate God because we are God's children ("as dear children") and God's beloved children. As children, we should desire to please our Father and be like Him.
- We are representatives of God's family so we should be careful how we live. There is no greater privilege than being a child of God.
- We are to imitate God by "walking in love" - ordering our whole conduct and behavior in the realm of love. This means doing to others what God has done for us in Christ.
- Matthew 5:43-48 expounds on this - we are to love our enemies, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, pray for those who mistreat us - just as God sends rain on the just and unjust. Our lives are to be extraordinary and special.
- We can imitate God on earth as Christ loved us and gave Himself as an offering and sacrifice to God. As we imitate God, our lives will be a sweet smelling savor to God.
The Book of Ephesians
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.