…As Christ Loved the Church

As we move into a new sermon series on the Christian family at Parkwood, we begin with the Christian man as a husband.  Husbands are given a strong model for how we are to love our wives in Ephesians 5:25. That is that we are to love them “just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

You may notice that this specific duty given to husbands flows from the more general duty of all believers to be imitators of Jesus.  I thought it might be helpful to take a moment and see what the Bible has to say about the subject of imitating Jesus before we men specifically apply Ephesians 5 in our homes.

1. The promise of seeing Jesus motivates us to imitate Jesus

  • 1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.  And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

2. There is no greater source of joy than that found in faithful, obedient conformity to Christ.

  • John 15:9-11 “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.  “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.  “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

3. Imitating Jesus means that we must die to sin and live for God just as he did.

  • Romans 6:10-14 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.  Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,  and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.  For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

4. Imitating Christ causes us to be an example to other believers.

  • 1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
  • 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7 You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,  so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.

5. Imitating Jesus causes us to be a blessing to other people.

  • Romans 15:1-3 Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves.  Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification.  For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED YOU FELL ON ME.”
  • Ephesians 5:1-2 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;  and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

6. Every believer is predestined to Christlikeness.

  • Romans 8:29-30 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

7. Part of what it means to be a “new creation” is that we imitate Jesus.

  • 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
  • Ephesians 4:22-24 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,  and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,  and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
  • Colossians 3:9-10 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,  and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him–

8. Finally, imitating Jesus is one of the infallible evidences of true salvation.

  • 1 John 2:6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
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