The Worthy Walk: Follow God

I. Our lifestyle should “mimic” God’s nature Ephesians 5:1-2).

A. We are to follow (Gk: mimetes) God as (like) dear children.

1. There are several sources by which to “see” God’s nature.

a. Followers of Paul (1 Corinthians 4:16; 11:1).
b. Followers of godly leaders (1 Thessalonians 1:6)
c. Followers of faithful and patient saints (Hebrews 6:12).
d. Followers of “that which is good” (1 Peter 3:13).

2. There is only one source for the power to “follow” God.

a. We are given “authority” to become “the sons of God” (John 1:12)
b. We are a “new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
c. We are given the “divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4)
d. We are indwelled by One who is greater (1 John 4:4)

B. We are to walk in love as (just as; according to) Christ did.

1. There are several characteristics to which we should aspire.

a. Christ loved us – we are to love one another (John 13:34).
b. Christ gave himself for us – we are to be willing to lay down our lives for the brethren (1 John 3:16).
c. Christ was an offering and sacrifice for us – we are to present our bodies as a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1).
d. Christ was a “sweet smelling fragrance” to God – we are to project the “savor of his knowledge” (2 Corinthians 2:14-16).

2. There is the overall nature of love that should drive our walk.

a. Love is from God; we love because He loved (1 John 4:7).
b. Love fulfills the Law; love seeks the good of others (Romans 13:10)
c. Love, God’s love, is perfected in us (1 John 4:12).
d. Love is the “bond” of perfection (Colossians 3:14)

II. Our lifestyle must not retain habits of ungodly behavior (Ephesians 5:3-7).

A. Characteristics of ungodly people

1. Unsaved (Ephesians 2)

a. Children of disobedience
b. Fulfilling fleshly desire
c. Children of wrath
d. Without Christ
e. Aliens
f. Strangers
g. No hope
h. Without God
i. Far off

2. Old Man (Ephesians 4)

a. Vanity of mind
b. Understanding darkened
c. Alienated from God’s life
d. Ignorant
e. Blinded
f. Past Feeling
g. Lascivious
h. Uncleanness
i. Corrupt with deceitful lusts

3. Disobedience (Ephesians 5)

a. Fornication
b. Uncleanness
c. Covetous
d. Filthiness
e. Foolish talk
f. Jesting
g. Whoremonger
h. Works of darkness
i. Fools
j. Unwise

B. We must not let ourselves be deceived (Ephesians 5:6)

1. Deception comes primarily from “vain words.”

a. Just like Eve was deceived (1 Timothy 2:14; 2 Corinthians 11:3).
b. Just like philosophy of the world (Colossians 2:8; 2 Peter 3:17)

2. Deception produces disobedience.

a. The basic term is applied to the unsaved (Ephesians 2:2; Colossians 3:6)
b. The disobedient fall because of unbelief (Hebrews 4:6, 11).

3. Deception brings the wrath of God.

a. God’s wrath is focused on unbelief (John 3:36)
b. God’s wrath is executed on those who hold their truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18).

C. We must not participate with those who deceive (Ephesians 5:7).

1. How can we participate with those who are not likeminded (1 Corinthians 10:21; 2 Corinthians 6:14).

2. How can those who have participated with the Holy Spirit rebel and be restored (Hebrews 6:4-6)

III. Our lifestyle must display “light” (Ephesians 5:8-10).

A. There are three important principles in this section.

1. God’s children ARE light (Ephesians 5:8).

2. Light “makes manifest” (Ephesians 5:13)

3. Christ is the source of light (Ephesians 5:14)

B. There are responsibilities as “children of light.”

1. We are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14)

2. We are to “shine” so that the world “sees” the Heavenly Father (Matthew 5:16).

3. We are to put on the “armor of light” (Romans 13:12).

4. We are to exhibit the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23).

a. Summarized as “goodness, righteousness and truth”
b. Expanded as love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:

5. We are to prove what is acceptable to the Lord (Romans 12:2)

a. Things that are “excellent” (Philippians 1:10).
b. “Testing” everything; hold to good things (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
c. “Try” the spirits (1 John 4:1)

IV. Our lifestyle must “reprove” the unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11-16)

A. There is to be no fellowship with the works of darkness (5:11-12)

1. Such works are “unfruitful”

a. Care of this world (Matthew 13:22; Mark 4:19)
b. Maintaining good works is crucial (Titus 3:5).

2. Such works are to be “reproved.”

a. The Holy Spirit is commissioned to “reprove” sin (John 16:8).
b. The Scriptures are our tool to “reprove” (2 Timothy 4:2).
c. The model is the Lord Jesus himself (Revelation 3:19).

3. Such works are a “shame” even to speak about.

a. These “dark works” should “embarrass” us (1 Corinthians 5:1, 10)
b. These works will be revealed and judged by God (Ecclesiastes 12:14 and Luke 12:2)

B. There is “light” that brings “reproof” and “exposure” (5:13-14)

1. Those that love truth, love the light (John 3:21)

2. Those that come to the light, are not embarrassed at Christ’s coming (1 John 2:28)

3. Those that love evil, run from the light (John 3:19-20).

C. There is the expectation that we “wake up” and “arise” to righteousness.

1. There are two specific guidelines to follow.

a. Walk circumspectly (perfectly, precisely) – 5:15
1) Not without wisdom (1 Corinthians 3:19)
2) Use “sophisticated” understanding (James 3:3)
b. Redeem the time (opportunity) – 5:16
1) With opportunity, do good to all (Galatians 6:9-10)
2) Walk wisely, redeeming the time (Colossians 4:6)

2. There are two specific conditions to avoid.

a. Do not be unwise (void of understanding) – 5:17
1) Know the will of the Lord (1 Peter 2:15)
2) Seek his will – and you will know it (John 7:17)
b. Do not be drunk with wine – 5:18
1) That behavior leads to excesses (riot, unruly)
2) That Greek term equals “not” whole, healthy - saved

D. There is the important expectation to be “filled with the Spirit” (5:18)

1. NOTE: There is a good bit of controversy about this term. It is, obviously, contrasted with drunkenness, and the clear overarching message is “control” by the Spirit. In this context, however, the definition of the term is given in the verses that follow the term.

2. Filling results in . . . (5:19)

a. “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs (Colossians 3:16; James 5:13)
b. “Making melody in your heart to the Lord (Romans 15:9 - 1 Corinthians 14:15)

3. Filling results in . . . (5:20)

a. “Giving thanks always for all things (Hebrews 13:15)
b. Unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 4:6)

4. Filling results in . . . (5:21)

a. “Submitting yourselves one to another (1 Corinthians 16:16; Hebrews 13:17)
b. In the fear of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 7:1)

5. Acts 9:31 -- Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.



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