Imitators (Eph. 4:32-52)
Ephesians 4:32-5:2, NIV 2011 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 5:1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
We all want to be like someone else.
Children imitate their parents.
God’s example to us:
Ephesians 2:6-10, NIV 2011 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved,w through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
1 John 4:7-12, NIV 2011 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of Godi and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.o 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
Deuteronomy 7:7-8, NIV 2011 7 The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
John 3:16, NIV 2011 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,y that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Colossians 3:12-14, NIV 2011 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love,z which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Imitating God means that our lives mimic his:
Matthew 5:3-10, Holman Christian Standard Bible 3 “The poor in spirit are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. 4 Those who mourn are blessed, for they will be comforted. 5 The gentle are blessed, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed, for they will be filled. 7 The merciful are blessed, for they will be shown mercy. 8 The pure in heart are blessed, for they will see God. 9 The peacemakers are blessed, for they will be called sons of God. 10 Those who are persecuted for righteousness are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.