Freedom House Church and Healing Centre

When I was much younger, as a family we used to watch comedy shows. My funniest memories of those shows were when the impersonators/imitators did their routines. People like Rich Little, Johnny Carson, Carol Burnett, Steve Martin, Robin Williams and many more made us laugh by mimicking other people. Their ability to imitate and capture the idiosyncrasies of their subjects was incredible. How much time did they have to spend studying the voices, nuances, mannerisms, and behaviors of their originals? Hours of practice were invested to accurately represent the person they wanted to become. Who are we trying to become?

Our passage today describes what we need to do to look more like God, in whose image we are made. Look at these verses:

  • and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness”(Eph. 4:24)
  • “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30)
  • “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you”(Eph. 4:32)
  • “and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God”(Eph. 5:2)
  • Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children (Eph. 5:1)

Here is the interesting thing about being a Christian: the image of God, which we all possess, tarnished by sin, can now be seen in the new creation that we are. The image of God is restored so that we can reflect God, the way we were originally designed to do. This is possible by the cleansing, redeeming work of Christ, and the transforming power and sanctifying work of Holy Spirit in our lives. Is it not a remarkable thing that God can take a wretched sinner destroyed by sin, and through the miracle of regeneration, cause a person to become a new creation, that reflects the image of his/her Creator? ! In other words, as God’s child, we are destined to reflect the image of our Father! And not just our Father, but the whole Godhead! That is what our passage exhorts us to become – Imitators of God! You say, “how is that possible?” Because God the Holy Spirit is inside of us, conforming us to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29; 2Cor. 3:18). As we yield ourselves to the work of God in our lives, we start to imitate our Father, which is what we were destined for (Eph. 1:4-5). As we saw last week, we need to make a conscious choice to put off the old, and put on the new – that means, choose to become like God – imitate Him!

This week’s text is very practical. It tells us exactly what we have to do to imitate God:

  1. First we need to believe that we are “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (vs. 4:24).
  2. Secondly, we need to stop lying and deceiving (vs. 4:25). The NIV says, “put off all falsehood”. It is really interesting in the Greek, because Paul uses the word “pseudo” for “falsehood”. This word has the idea of the negative side of imitation - stop being who you are not, so you can be who you are – stop pretending! The way to become more like Jesus is to be real with who you are – nobody likes a phony or a hypocrite (who wears a mask).
  3. Third, deal with your anger issues so the enemy doesn’t have a foothold in your life (vs. 26-27) – what are the roots of bitterness, or grudges you are hanging on to?
  4. Fourth, be a hard worker so you can share with others – thieves are lazy and focus on themselves, godly people work hard and give to others (vs. 28).
  5. Fifth, watch what comes out of your mouth. Does it build up or tear down? Use your mouth to give thanks to God! (4:29; 5:4)
  6. Sixth, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (vs. 31). Let your whole body, mind, soul and spirit be led by Holy Spirit (vs. 30).
  7. Seventh, be like Jesus by being kind, compassionate and forgiving (vs. 32).
  8. Eighth, receive the truth that you are a child of God and you, by nature, can imitate your Father (vs. 5:1)
  9. Ninth, choose to live a life of love, with Jesus as your model (vs. 5:2)
  10. Tenth, flee all forms of sexual immorality (vs. 5:3). This verse includes not only outward actions, but internal thoughts, desires and all impure lusts. Remember you are saints of God, and citizens of His kingdom! (5:5)

Friends, let me be straight with you. We are not trying to be impersonators like the comics of old. We are learning to live out who we are in Christ. We are new creations, created in Christ Jesus for godly living. We have been declared righteous and holy because of Jesus. We just want to be who we are – no more pretending. Like the impersonators I mentioned above, we want to study the One we want to imitate. That involves reading His word and spending time with Him. The more you know Him, the more you’ll be like Him. Live your life like this: WWJD & WWJS – what would Jesus do & what would Jesus say.

“And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17 - NLT)

Have a great week,

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