BE IMITATOR OF GOD (Part 1)
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” (Ephesians 5:1-2 NKJV)
Do you believe that there is only one God, the Creator of heaven and earth?
If you do, you are right, and this is very good!
However, it is no big deal believing that there is one God. Why?
Because the demons also believe there is one God and they even shudder!
19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble! (NKJV).
Do you believe, acknowledge, submit or surrender to the Lordship of Christ?
You do well if you do!
However, this also is no big deal. Why?
Because whether you believe it or not, Jesus Christ has preeminence in and over all things (Col. 1:18)!
The Scripture teaches that at the fullness of times God will gather, head or sum up all things in Christ both in heaven and on earth (Eph. 1:10, Phil. 2:10).
Whether willingly or forcefully, now or later, every knee shall bow to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and every mouth shall confess that Jesus Christ is indeed the Lord of all!
The Scripture amply states this truth.
11 For it is written: “As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God. (NKJV).
22 “Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.
23 I have sworn by Myself; The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, And shall not return, That to Me every knee shall bow, Every tongue shall take an oath. (NKJV).
What then is greater than believing in the existence of one God and submitting to His Lordship?
Behaving like God!
God takes delight or pleasure in seeing His children think, speak, act, walk or live like His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who is the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person (Heb. 1:3).
It is God’s ultimate desire for all His children to be fully conformed to the image of His Firstborn, Christ Jesus, in their thoughts, mindsets, conduct or character.
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (NKJV).
Claiming to believe in Christ or to belong to Christ without behaving like Christ is a contradiction in terms. Your claim to be a Christian is not valid if your life or character bears no resemblance to that of Christ.
John writes, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” (1 John 2:6 NKJV).
Christianity is essentially thinking, speaking, walking, living, or acting like Jesus Christ. It is conforming to Christ and His teachings.
It is patterning your life after Christ. It is adopting or living by Christ’s principles, standards and values.
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It is following Christ’s examples in everything (John 13:15, 1 Pet. 2:21).
Imitating God is not optional for those who claim to believe in God or belong to God. It is compulsory, for it is God’s commandment.
If you claim to believe in Christ and belong to Christ but seek not to walk or live like Christ; you are simply a liar, a fake or an impostor.
1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. (NKJV).
48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (NKJV).
36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. (NKJV).
32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. (NKJV).
When God commanded us to walk and live as Christ did while in the world, He is certainly not asking us to attempt an impossible feat.
Everyone who is truly born again has all that it takes to imitate God or walk in the footsteps of Christ.
Peter testifies to this truth.
2 Peter 1:
3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence. (RSV).
Through the New Birth, you have become a partaker of the divine life and nature of God.
Therefore, walking in love, being kind and merciful, blessing those who curse you, doing good to those hate you, praying for those who persecute you, bearing with and forgiving people just as Christ did are not impossible or unattainable for you (2 Pet. 1:4, 1 John 3:9).
As a new creation in Christ, you already have all the divine potentials to imitate God, or to conform to Christ in your mind, will, emotions, and actions within your born-again spirit.
Your born-again or recreated spirit is not a miniature Spirit of Christ; it is a full-grown Spirit of Christ. Your born-again spirit is not inferior to that of Christ; it is the exact Spirit of Christ!
The Scripture amply attests to this truth.
1 John 4
17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. (NKJV).
1 Corinthians 6:
17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. (NKJV).
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. (NKJV).
6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (NKJV).
Unfortunately, many believers today have been erroneously taught that what they received or became at the New Birth is the miniature Spirit of Christ which still has to grow up to become a fully developed Spirit of Christ. This is contrary to what the Scripture teaches!
Beloved, your born-again spirit does not need to grow up or develop any further. It is fully matured or developed at the New Birth.
The spirit in you is a perfect and full-blown Spirit of Christ. Your born-again spirit is presently in the perfect state it will be throughout eternity. It is your soul and body which are still imperfect and therefore need to be changed or transformed.
What the born-again believers are waiting for is not the redemption, transformation or glorification of their recreated spirits, but that of their souls and bodies (1 Pet. 1:1-9).
Understanding this truth is very crucial to your walking and living like Jesus Christ in this world!
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? (NKJV).
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. (NKJV).
If the born-again believers have the same Spirit of Christ in them, why then are many believers today not imitating God?
How do you begin to imitate God?
Find out in the second part of this piece.
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending the Spirit of Your Son, Jesus Christ, into my heart at the New Birth. Help me Lord to live and walk in this world as one who is one Spirit with Christ, in Jesus’ name. Amen.