BE IMITATORS OF GOD
An imitator of God is someone who does what God did when He was on the earth. We choose to live a life of love, just as Jesus did when He was among us. When we choose to live for Jesus, we move from the darkness of sin to living in the light.
I. GET RID OF SINFUL BEHAVIOR
> There is behavior that is improper for God’s people (v. 3).
- There must not be even a hint of sexual immorality among believers (v. 3).
- Nor should there be any obscenity, foolish talk, or course joking (v. 4).
- We shouldn’t even listen to it; walk away.
- We make a huge statement to those around us when we do.
- No immoral, impure, or greedy person will have an inheritance in the kingdom of God (v. 5).
- Let no one deceive you; God’s wrath comes to those who are disobedient (v. 6).
> We need to live as children of the light.
- We were once darkness, but now we are in the light.
- Don’t associate with those who want nothing to do with God.
- We do need to witness to unbelievers, but do not be partners with them.
- Wherever we go, people will hate us.
- They will recognize that we have a different spirit.
- They will see the way we treat others and the way we talk is different.
II. LIVING AS GOD’S CHILDREN
> There will be fruit if we are living according to God’s principles.
- Can people see a difference between us and the world?
- If we pick up our cross daily and follow Him, there will be a difference.
- Do we act differently than those who are not Christians?
- The fruit is this: all goodness, righteousness, and truth (v. 9).
- Have nothing to do with the deeds of darkness; expose them (v. 11).
> Find out what pleases the Lord (v. 10).
- We need to start living as in the light (v. 8).
- We need to discern what is of God and what is not.
- We shouldn't believe everything we hear; test it to see if it is true.
- We test and see; we put thought into it.
- Is it acceptable before the Lord?
> Have nothing to do with the deeds of darkness.
- We call sin what it is – sin.
- Just tolerating people and not confronting their sin does not help them.
- When we have a relationship with them, we can confront them with the love of God.
- Sinners sin; they are blinded by darkness.
- It is shameful to talk about what sinners do in the dark (v. 12).
- Don’t even mention what the disobedient do in secret.
- We might think we are getting away with things we do in secret, but God knows.
- We should pray that their blinders be removed.
- They don’t see things with spiritual eyes; they cannot.
- Light reveals and exposes (v. 13).
- When we turn on the light, the darkness leaves.
- Some people have hardened their hearts; people who are asleep (v. 14).
- Hardening of the heart is losing our desire to honor God.
- We choose to indulge in things that are sinful and are not convicted that it is wrong.
- We find that we no longer care.
- The Lord will correct us because He loves us.
III. KNOWING GOD’S WILL
> We have a responsibility to walk according to God’s will for us.
- How do we know God’s will for our lives?
- Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise (v. 15).
- Do not get drunk; instead be filled with the Spirit – the Holy Spirit (v. 18).
- The Holy Spirit will guide us if we listen.
- It takes prayer and reading God’s Word.
- We should leak out God’s Spirit every day, so we need to be refilled every day.
- We spend time together to strengthen one another; we learn from each other.
- Submit to others in Christ; treat others as Christ would treat us (v. 21).
- Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord (v. 19).
- Give thanks to the Father in everything (v. 20).
CONCLUSION: What is the proof of the light in us? We continually discern what is pleasing to God. We then live our lives to please God in all that we do and also to please Him by staying away from behaviors that are sinful. We keep our focus on the light by reading our Bible every day and by spending time in prayer and with fellow believers.