Sermon for February 14, 2021

A Walk through Ephesus

Imitation Love

Ephesians 5:1-2; 8-10;19-21

We must imitate God?  Isn’t this odd?  But when you break it down, isn’t this what we are to do?  Think of it this way instead.  Check out the latest fad of “imitation” foods.

  • Almond Milk
  • Soy Milk
  • Coconut Milk
  • Oat Milk
  • Artificial Creamer
  • Cool Whip

All these things imitate the products and even the appearance of dairy milk from a cow.  How do you milk an almond, or a soybean, or oats?  We want milk that looks, acts, and tastes like milk, but it isn’t milk.  They are of a different substance than milk, but they function like milk!

In the same way, since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, we decided we wanted to be our own god and we imitate behaviors that the Bible calls sinful or fallen.  Understanding this, Paul tells Ephesus to stop imitating the fallen world and imitate the Love of God!  This is the only way the world will see God.  The Love of God is contrary to the way love is celebrated in a fallen world.

Apparently, the Greek world needed this constant reminder of what love is…

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 New Revised Standard Version

4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (bold is mine)

Biblical resentfulness: λογίζομαι οὐ κακός (1 Corinthians 13:5b directly from the Greek Septuagint…means “does not keep an inventory of past wrongs”.

Isn’t this the love of God in action?  If God can forgive our “inventory of past wrongs”, shouldn’t that love be evident in the way we love as followers of Jesus?

Psalm 103:1-12

1Let all that I am praise the LORD;

with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.

2Let all that I am praise the LORD;

may I never forget the good things he does for me.

3He forgives all my sins

and heals all my diseases.

4He redeems me from death

and crowns me with love and tender mercies.

5He fills my life with good things.

My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

6The LORD gives righteousness

and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

7He revealed his character to Moses

and his deeds to the people of Israel.

8The LORD is compassionate and merciful,

slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.

9He will not constantly accuse us,

nor remain angry forever.

10He does not punish us for all our sins;

he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.

11For his unfailing love toward those who fear him

is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.

12He has removed our sins as far from us

as the east is from the west.

Let’s imitate God!

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