Ephesians 5:1 Amplified says, “Therefore…” What does the therefore go back to? 4:30 said to forgive AS we have been forgiven. The verse goes on to say, “…be imitators of God (copy Him and follow His example), as well-beloved children (imitate their father).” Many years ago we had a family in our church of all girls. Then they had a little boy. We all were amazed when he began to walk. He walked just like his father more so than any other boy I have ever known. Ricky copied his daddy perfectly.
What was Christ’s example? Verse 2 says, “And walk in love, (esteeming and delighting in one another) as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a slain offering and sacrifice to God (for you, so that it became) a sweet fragrance.” Esteeming and unforgiveness are like oil and water. They don’t mix. Is there someone in your life that you cannot speak peaceably to? Are your thoughts towards them marinated in bitterness?
Philippians 2:2 says, “Fulfill my joy by being likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Paul was writing to the church in Philippi, a group of people that he loved and prayed for. Philippians 1:7 he said that he had them in his heart.
In 1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul wrote, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” Is your life an example for others? Do you live in the freedom of forgiveness? 1 John 2:6 says, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” The Lord is our standard in every aspect of our lives.
I love Hebrews 1:3 which says, “Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
‘Express image’ means the exact copy of representation. The Greek word is charakter. What does that look like to you? The Lord uses the trials He allows in our life to develop our character into Christ-likeness. We are to be His representatives. 2 Corinthians 5:18 says that He has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
Verse 20 says, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” Let us embrace our trials that are pressing us and conforming us to His image. As we go through the fiery trials, He is purifying our faith that we might represent Him through our thoughts, purpose, and actions.