Ephesians 5:1

Sunday, 27 May 2018

-The title I chose for today’s teaching is “The Source of Love.” -While the Apostle Paul continues his exhortation in chapter five, he will sort of set the stage for what’s in the rest of the epistle. -Namely, that of the paramount importance of love without which, we as God’s people will have no hope of living a godly life.

-In order for us to better understand what Paul is saying here, we need to bring Ephesians 4:32 into the discussion for context. -This because, we’re provided with the “how” of the Spirit of God, in order to empower us to do the “what” of the Word of God. -More specifically as it relates to how God enables us to forgive others, vis-à-vis the forgiveness that God has first given to us.

Ephesians 4:32 -Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

-Enter our text today, where the Apostle Paul connects the dots between both forgiving one another and loving one another. -Just as we are able to forgive each other because God forgave us, so too will we be able to love each other as God loves us. -In other words, the source of forgiveness and love for each other comes by way of God’s forgiveness and love for each of us.

-Notice Paul in verse one says, “Follow God’s example,” or as the NKJV renders it “be imitators of God as dearly loved children.” -I point this out because children will naturally imitate their parents and so too will we supernaturally imitate our heavenly Father. -However, doing so presupposes that we will spend time with, and be close to God in order that we might end up imitating Him.

Acts 4:13 -When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

Charles Spurgeon -“What are we sent into the world for? Is it not that we may keep men in mind of God, whom they are most anxious to forget? If we are imitators of God, as dear children, they will be compelled to recollect that there is a God, for they will see his character reflected in ours. I have heard of an atheist who said he could get over every argument except the example of his godly mother: he could never answer that.”

-I would suggest that the litmus test is love.  It’s the test by which we will be known as believers in and followers of Jesus Christ.

John 13:34–35 -34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

1 John 4:7–10 -7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 4:19–21 -19 We love Him because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

-One of the things that the Lord has ministered to me over the years is that the more I’ve been forgiven of the more I’ll then love. -As such the more I walk in love the more I walk in obedience because of love, which results in being a good witness for Christ. -You’ll forgive me for putting this into a formula of sorts, but forgiven of much equals loves much, which totals obeying much.

John 14:23 -Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

Luke 7:36–50 (NIV) — 36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” 40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. 41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. 44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” 48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”