Summary of Imitate God
Brent’s starts by praying. After the prayer Brent does a little intro to the message series on Ephesians. We are entering chapter five during this message.
Ephesians 4:31-Ephesians 5:2
Paul, the writer of Ephesians, outlines all the negative things that can fill our lives.
Brent focuses on the concept of bitterness. It is easy to see bitterness in others but it is difficult to spot it in our own lives because it feels right. Brent presents a bitterness test:
When a person who you know has something bad happen to him or her, if you celebrate this, then you most likely have bitterness towards that person.
Brawling, slander, and malice
Paul then covers other concepts that are descriptions of a life with attribute that aren’t God-centred. Paul says we must get rid of all these types of behaviours. Brent continues to give examples of how these behaviours can destroy our happiness and interactions with our friends and family. We hold on to these behaviours because we enjoy these behaviours.
Behaviours that are sins
In a crazy twist, this negativity can bring us pleasure. These behaviours are sins. Paul writes that we must get rid of these sins and the command is to the person who holds onto these sins. No one else can rid you from these behaviours. It is up to you! And the great news, the Holy Spirit will help us rid ourselves of these behaviours.
The opposite – being an imitator of God
Paul then switches and focuses on what our lives could look like if we become imitators of God.
There is often a gap between when we realize we need to ask for forgiveness and the action of asking for forgiveness. Sometimes our pride gets in the way.
What stops you from asking forgiveness?
Do you feel weak? The truth is that it takes a strong person to ask for forgiveness.
What stops you from giving forgiveness?
Do you feel powerful by withholding it? The true power is in extending grace.
Being an imitator of God
Unlike God, our identity is often wrapped up with others. God doesn’t build his identity in someone or something else. If we wrap our identity in God we will never be disappointed. Others will hurt us and then our identity will be hurt. With God we will never be hurt and our identity will never be shaken.
Brent asks the audience, “are you a pretender or imitator?” Some people only “play church.” We need to actually imitate God. We must stop pretending to follow God. We must reject legalism. We must reject religiousness and accept God and give your whole life over to God. We must want a transformed life.
- We must know God
- We must find our identity in God
- We must commit to a life of love (Jesus lost his life because of how he lived his life)
- We must live a life of freedom and grace.
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.