Words of Faith 3-23-2021
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2021
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 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.
The fourth chapter of Ephesians was about the Body of Christ and the fellowship of the church. The fifth chapter is about family life. No chapter in the Bible gives a clearer description of the mystery of marriage and the treasure of family.
Paul began this amazing chapter with this charge from the Holy Spirit-- 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. The Greek word chosen by the Holy Spirit here was mimetes from which we get the words mimic or mime. There are many ways in which we cannot imitate God. We cannot imitate his omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence. We are not to become gods and rule on other planets, some religions suggest. We do not command the affairs of life. But we can imitate the character of God.
This is the foundation for family life. We are to imitate God. God is the ultimate father and perfect spouse. He is the ideal brother and servant son. He gives us everything we are to imitate. But what does that look like? Paul spelled it out. We are to live a life of love, live a life of purity, live the life of an heir, and live a life of obedience.
First and foremost, family is based upon loving as Christ loved us. We are to imitate the love of God. We are to offer ourselves as a fragrant offering and sacrifice God. We are to exhibit the character qualities of God. But these are not qualities we muster up on our own. They are the Fruit of the Spirit in us as listed in Galatians 5:22-23—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This is the personality of the Holy Spirit alive in us.
This love must be sincere. Paul wrote to the believers at Rome-- Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.  Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.  On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:9-21).
Love is a fruit of the Spirit in us, but it also is not optional. 1 John 4:7-8 declares—Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
So how is your imitation of God? How is the love of God being manifested through you to your family?
Father God, I want Your character and the qualities of Your personality to be evident in me. Come into me, Holy Spirit and make Yourself known in and through me. Manifest Your relational qualities in me that I may be an imitator of You. In Jesus' Name.