12 March • Third Sunday in Lent
1. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.
11. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
As a child imitates his father, we too must imitate our Heavenly Father. To imitate God is to walk in His ways. The apostle Paul speaks about “walk” (occurs seven times in Ephesians) as a way of life. How then should we live our lives? Our Christian theology must be reflected in the head (orthodoxy)—what we believe in (principles); the heart (orthokardia)—what we value (perspectives); and the hands (orthopraxy)—how we live (practice).
We imitate God in two ways:
A. Walk in Love (Eph 5:1-2)
Our manner of life must be characterised by the love that Christ has given us. He gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Jesus’ love is sacrificial! This is the kind of love that is well-pleasing to the Father.
B. Walk in Light (Eph 5:3-14)
Before the gospel came to Ephesus, the Ephesian believers were in darkness (v.8). When the gospel came to their hearts, they were not only saved from eternal damnation, but became "light in the Lord" (v.8). As children of light, we are to walk in the light. We are not to take part in the work of darkness such as immorality, fornication, uncleanness, covetousness and greed. People will see the emptiness of the unbeliever's life as they see God’s children walking in the light.
Rise and Shine
The Apostle Paul quotes verse 14 from Isaiah 60:1 to awaken the unbelievers who are sound asleep, and the believers who are slumbering. Rise and shine by walking in love and walking in light as God’s children!
Eternal God, help me imitate You as my Heavenly Father. May I walk in love as Christ loved me and gave Himself for me. Help me walk as a child of light so that others can see You, the True Light. In Jesus’ name, amen.
How can I imitate God in my life, family, work and ministry?
Rev Tony Yeo
Chairman, Evangelical Free Church of Singapore
Senior Pastor, Covenant Evangelical Free Church