Seth, one of the kids from the SRkids program, enters the stage and does a great and cute impersonation of Brent. Brent then enters the stage and continues the message.
Ephesians 5:1-7 – imitators of God
If we are to be imitators of God we will have to act differently than we naturally want to act. This is living a life of love. This is a higher standard. But not only that, this will make God’s people stand out within the community. And yet the truth is that we don’t naturally want to live as imitators of God. It is hard work!
Being reminded of our past is good
Brent points out that those of us that consider ourselves long-time Christians, we can develop good habits and great “safeguards” to keep us on “the right track” but the problem is we forget where we came from. We also forget why we even set those safeguards up in the first place. We also stop assessing our relationship with God. We can become dull regarding our relationship with God.
Reminder one: no sexual immorality
Paul does remind us to exclude all sources of impurity not just sexual immorality. Paul explains that impure impulses can’t consume our actions and thoughts.
Reminder two: no hint of greed
Our culture tells us that we can’t be driven by status, possession, and awesome experiences. If we want to brag about something, we’re heading down the road of greed.
Reminder three: we must control our words
Paul explains that our speech represents our heart’s true nature: destructive words come from a foolish heart. (“The talk of a fool”). We must avoid gossip and coarse joking (sexual innuendo jokes). Brent reminds us that God isn’t opposed to humour, but he is opposed to humour that rips people down and are hurtful.
People acting like people
We must not be shocked when those who do not know Jesus act as if they do not know Jesus. We must not judge people for not knowing God. We must not act superior. Paul is telling us to live a life of love and compassion.
When we sin it affects us and others
Here’s the truth, but when we sin it looks poorly on God. Our sins also affects those around us. Sin can destroy families. It can wreck friendships.
Two lies we are tempted to believe
- Lie one – God does not care how we live. We rationalize our own decisions when we go against God. But God does care how you live. Brent uses a story to illustrate how God cares about how we live. The story is about a young woman who is moving in with her boyfriend.
- Lie two – God will not judge you. Our culture pushes this as truth. But Paul explains that when we stop living to the higher standard to which we are called, God does judge our decisions.
Paul explained to the Roman church that when we want to turn away from God, his wrath takes the form of “allowance.” He lets us chase our our desires. God’s wrath is: he lets us follow our our desires.
We are called to be imitators of God
We are called to be thankful. This is a form of worship: being thankful to God. It keeps our eyes on God. It reminds us about his love.
About this Message Series
This is a message in a series called Ephesians. The goal of this series is to discuss the topics and themes that arise from the New Testament book Ephesians. The book of Ephesians is a letter that Paul wrote while in prison. Sometimes it is called a Prison Epistle. It was written to encourage believers. He was encouraging other faithful followers of Jesus to serve in unity and love in the midst of persecution. This series was started in January 2016.