Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. – Ephesians 5:1
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! “¹ Ponder this beloved child, and savor it. Let it be a balm to your weary soul and a sturdy rock beneath your feeble knees. The Lord of all creation-who works all things according to the counsel of His will, who needs nothing from human hands and gives all life and breath and all things-loved you. He called you from the muck and mire in which you dwelled and set you on hallowed ground. He clothed you with His own righteousness and bestowed upon you the titles of an heir, son, daughter, beloved. It confounds the mind, even as the soul simultaneously soars in gratitude and prostrates itself at the feet of our Lord. We are unworthy of such honor and affection from One who is thrice holy. Recall from whence you were called: the muck and mire of sin in which you dwelled. The filth you reveled in. Consider yourself as you flouted the law of the Holy One. You were mindless of the fact that just as He ignited the flame of life flickering within you, He could snuff it out in an instant. Yet still, His heart was set on you as His beloved child. He pursued you. In every crack, crevice, alley, and den in which you skulked, He saw you and loved you.
Then the day dawned, and the light shone for the first time where there had been only darkness. Eyes blinded by sin were opened, and you saw your own wretchedness and nakedness before those all-seeing, and all-knowing eyes. Where to hide now? How to escape from the misery and wretchedness within? “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” ² But can it truly be? “Whoever comes to Me I will never cast out.”³ But could He mean you, with all you’ve done and all you’ve been? “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”⁴ But there is neither soundness nor goodness in you. Surely there can be no hope for you! “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” ⁵
Beloved child, do you see yourself? Marvel at so great and tender a love, and so gracious and glorious a pardon bestowed upon you. Sinner, do you see yourself? Heed the summons while it is still today! For there is no other name given among men by which we must be saved but Christ, and Christ alone! Look to Him! Call upon Him! Believe in Him! His Word is true: to whoever receives Him and believes in His name, He gives the right to become a child of God.⁶
Beloved child, how ought you to conduct yourself in light of the great privilege that is yours? Look again at the command given to us through the apostle Paul: “Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children.” But how can a poor and feeble creature mirror the great and glorious God? By walking in the light, as He is in the light.⁷ By walking in love, just as Christ also loved us and gave Himself for us.⁸
“God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.”⁹ He is the Father of lights. There is no taint or shadow in His purity, righteousness, and holiness. He is always and altogether all that is good, right, and best. He is holy, set apart, and transcendent in His perfection. Nonetheless, the command comes to you and me to “be holy for He is holy”. Beloved child, you have been called out of the kingdom of darkness. Wallow no longer in that of which you are now ashamed. “The end of those things is death.”¹⁰ You are no longer sin’s slave. Live in the freedom won for you by Christ as a slave of God and of righteousness, the fruit of which is sanctification and its end: eternal life.¹¹
“God is love.” ¹² How did He show you His love for you? While you were yet a sinner, Christ died for you. While you were hardened, heedless, and helpless, Christ loved you and gave Himself for you. Just as He has loved you, so you are to love others. How can this be? The human heart is often overrun with Selfish weeds: Self-Glory, Self-Love, Self-Focus, and Self-Satisfaction. From whence shall the choice fruit of sacrificial love come? From the Lord Himself. “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” ¹³ It is the Spirit of Christ in you that bears the fruit of His love in and through you as you abide in Him.¹⁴ But what does it mean “to abide in Him”? It is to have His words abide in us and richly dwell in us. It is to obey His words. To abide in our Lord is to treasure Him, to love His Word, and to heed it. As we abide in Him and His love, we are to love others, as He commands us and enables us.
Beloved child, you have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer you who lives but Christ who lives in you. The life which you now live in the flesh, live by faith (depending, relying on, and trusting) in the Son of God who loved you and gave Himself for you.¹⁵ For you!
Therefore, beloved children, be imitators of God.
¹ 1 John 3:1
² Matthew 11:28
³ John 6:37
⁴ Luke 5:32
⁵ Luke 19:10
⁶ John 1:12
⁷ 1 John 1:7
⁸ Ephesians 5:2
⁹ 1 John 1:5
¹⁰ Romans 6:21
¹¹ Romans 6:22
¹² 1 John 4:8
¹³ John 15:5
¹⁴ Galatians 5:22
¹⁵ Galatians 2:20
A member of Reconciliation Baptist Church