Faith & Insight: Imitators of God


Ephesians 5:1-2
Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
This passage is almost offensive and unattainable as we read it – imitators of God. Jesus gave himself for us, so walk in the same love (John 15).
Be an offering and a sacrifice (Romans 12). We read it and ask, “God, why are you asking me to do what you did?” The answer is in the text. We are his dear children. When we are dear children, we imitate those who we look up to; as a child, this is whom we spend all of our time with, mom and dad. We see how they act, what they do preparing for work, and how they handle themselves throughout the day.
It is a natural occurrence to hear stories of children imitating their parents. But again, this is because they spend all their time watching and doing alongside their parents. I am reminded of Christ in Luke 2:49 when he was lost as he responded to his earthly parents, “Why did you seek me? Did you not know that I must be about my father’s business?” or in John 5:19, “Then Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, the son can do nothing to himself, but what he sees the father do; for whatever he does, the son also does in like manner.’” Christ spent much time with the father imitating him well into his adult life on earth.
Whom are we imitating? An even better pondering of a question, what am I doing with all my time? The Holy Spirit lives inside me post my belief, confession, and repentance. This Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus as the father declared in a magnificent moment of trinitarian power, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”
A pleased father declares the love for a son, and he spent much time with his father in heaven. Imitate God. Christ was the prime example and asks me to follow him, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15). Imitate God. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12).
As I walk supernaturally and spend my life in relation to the father, I begin to imitate him. I begin to see his heart. I start to see from a biblical world view. I begin to see transformation in my life. I begin to see a love for my local church in which God has planted me. I start to see that it is no longer my will but the “good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” We begin to live the Galatians 2:20 Christianity, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Imitate God.
Brady Roser is associate pastor at The Bridge Church in Carson City.

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