GOD’S LOVE A PERFECT MODEL FOR OUR LOVE

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   SERMON PRESENTATION AT CHARLES FRAME CHAPEL JETS ON 11 TH   NOVEMBER 2014 BY FWANGMUN OSCAR DANLADI TEXT: EPH 5:1-2 TOPIC: GOD’S LOVE A PERFECT MODEL FOR OUR LOVE “ Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 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 5:1-2 NIV) OUTLINE Introduction I.   Imitating God v.1 a.   A loving Father  b.   as beloved Children II.   Imitating Christ the demonstration of God‟s love v. 2b a.   Because he loved us  b.   Because he gave himself -   As fragrant offering -   As fragrant sacrifice III.   Walking in God‟s love v. 2  Conclusion/Application  1 INTRODUCTION: The world has set before us so many models, both good and bad models; in different facets of life that we may choose to model our lives after. When I was growing, I always wanted to behave like my father. I wanted to be like him in almost everything. Everyone in one way or the other has desired to be like someone. Is anything wrong with wanting to be like someone? Definitely no! But the question is who are we striving to be like? Why do you want to be like that person? What areas of the person‟s are we imit ating? In the passage before us, Paul reminds us of the fact that God should be our perfect model, and our lives should be modeled after God. Base on my studies, I will discuss this subject under three concerns: -   Imitating God v.1 -   Imitating Christ the dem onstration of God‟s love v. 2b -   Walking in God‟s love v. 2a   I.   IMITATING GOD (5:1) The word translated imitator or follower is the Greek word mimetes ( mimhth/$   ) ‘  an imitator‟, KJV translates it as, "follower," best captured as „a mimic‟, it is a word used in the  performance arena. It captures the idea of someone who tries to act a particular role outlined in a script. The individual acts out the script without allowing his own personality to affect the way he expresses the character. The word is accompanied by the verb  gínesthe  ( Gi/nesqe  ) „be‟ or „Be   ye‟ or  ginomai , "to be". It is in the imperative mood, suggesting a strong command „ to cause something into action’   and in the continuous tense, also suggesting a constant habit or practice that is perfected with time. Imitation comes with a lot of demand on the person who  2 wishes to imitate. It is a deliberate act and a conscious one for that matter. The imitator initiates the action and thus plays a vital role in becoming like the person he is mimicking. Mimicking can be in the both the positive and the negative sense. Positive: Young pastors want to be like the elderly ones that are godly, but they are not ready to count the cost. Negative: Today we are also faced with the challenge of a lot of young people wanting to be like Holly and  Nolly Wood celebrities. But Paul admonishes you and I to model our lives after God:   -   We are to continuously strife to learn from God and set God as our model   -   It is a continuous thing, we are not to stop mimicking God, and we work hard towards it. -    No one has seen God, but we have godly men amidst us that we can mimic and learn godly character from them. -   Can you boldly tell someone, imitate me? This days we only have Christians that would say „do as say, don‟t do as do‟.   -   You never can arrive at a point that you are perfect, so you cannot neglect the everyday spiritual disciplines such: Quite time, memorizing of scripture, Bible reading, prayers e.t.c. The day you begin to feel you don‟t need them, at that moment you need t o do a quick check of who you are imitating. Why should we imitate God? Paul moves ahead to remind his audience of the fact that God is a loving father and he loves them so dearly, therefore they should imitate God. a.   As a loving Father When Paul speaks about love, in most cases, his starting point is the love of God (Rom 5:8) which he has shown in Christ Jesus. When we take a close look at Pauline letters, we see Paul admonishing believers in several instances in Scripture to be imitators or to imitate (1 Cor. 4:16, 11:1, Eph. 5:1, 1 Thess. 2:14, Phil. 3:17), but out of these instances only once he points  3 them to God directly, which is seen in the passage we are considering today Eph. 5:1. Why is that so? Probably, is because it deals with the subject of God‟s love. Paul will say “ let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law” (Rom 13:8). It is only in the strength of God that we can love others. When we have not experienced God‟s love, then it will never be possible for us to genuinely love others. Some people love because of something they will get, while others love  because of something good the other person has done. But we are called to love because we have a father who loves us so much. God‟s love for us is not connected to anything that we have done or we will do, neither is our adoption as his children based on the fact that we merit it, but it is  because of his unconditional and unfailing love. No wonder Paul moves on to say Imitate God as  beloved children, which is the next point.   b.   As beloved children Paul draws the attention of his audience to the fact that „having been born again through faith in Christ, they are loved children; and since „God is love‟ it is logical that God's children will love. Several words could be translated beloved, dearly, dear e.t.c. words like timios (  ti/mio$  )   meaning , „honor, price,  accounted as of great price, precious, costly,‟ as in 1 Cor 3:12;  polutimoteros , translated, „much more precious , held in honor, esteemed, very dear‟, entimos (  e&ntimo$    )    meaning „held in honor,  precious, dear, more honorable‟ is found in Luke 7:2, of the centurion's servant; 14:8, but Paul used the word agapetos’ (  a)gaphto/$  ), from agape , „love,‟ signifies „  beloved ‟; it is rendered „ dearly ‟  (KJV, „ dear  ‟), „  beloved. ‟ God‟s children are not just highly honor but they are highly and dearly loved.  4 As a child imitates his parents, so ought a believer to imitate God. Those that have children will testify to the fact that their children are constantly looking up to them, and always wanting to behave like them. In most cases you can tell the type of family a child comes from by the way he/she behaves. When a Child is shy and afraid, it is possible that he comes from a family that love is not experienced, but when a child is confident and relates well with others, it is possible that he is from a family that genuine love is foundational to the family. Are you part of the family of God? Then show it by loving to others. -   We can show love to one another in the way we relate with each other in our various hostels, and always remembering that we children of one big family of Christ. II.   IMITATING CHRIST THE DEMONSTRATION OF GOD’S LOVE (5:2B) How do we explain what Christ has done for us? The death of Christ on the cross is the demonstration of perfect love, and the measure of that love cannot be quantified. We are therefore admonished to imitate this great love. a.   Because he loved us The supreme example of love is Christ's love for His own - His love for us is seen graphically in Him sacrificing His life on behalf of those who would believe. The word translated „loved‟ is the Greek verb   eegápeesen  ( h)ga/phsen  ) in the active aorist tense: signifying a past action not caused by any action of the object, but is still in effect in the present. The love of Christ is not based on anything good that we have done or that we will do, but his love is unconditional. b.   Because he gave himself -   As an offering
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