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Pastor Brant Seacrist

July 8, 2018

"FOLLOWERS OF GOD "

TEXT: EPHESIANS 5: 1-2
READING:  1 CORINTHIANS 13: 1-13

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SUBJ: A look at the divinely determined relationship with God as our mandate and guide as to how we are to relate to others and to consider the sacrifice of Christ as both the obtaining of redemption, but as a pattern to be followed in love.

AIM: That we might never take for granted that which Christ died to obtain for us and in us.

INTR: The Ephesian epistle is eminently practical in that Theology, redemption, and application are so efficaciously presented.
1. I love the approach of Watchman Nee – Sit, Walk, Stand.
2. While we may easily apply this to the parts of Ephesians noting that we are seated in Christ as to redemption, enjoined to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called, and empowered to stand against the forces that bombard to the people of God.
3. We will focus today on one of the characteristics of a worthy walk which is the practiced valuation, divinely determined, to be placed on the objects of our affection.

THESIS: John’s wonder was that we should be called the Sons of God. In knowing God, that wonder must fill our hearts and come to the same expression in us as was found in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I. The manner in which we follow God (v. 1)
1. Most assuredly we are not capable of following God in all His mighty works, nor may we plumb the depths of His infinite wisdom and knowledge (we are totally dependent on Him).
2. What we may do by the provisions given us in mercy and grace is follow the loving mandate given as children:
1) After all, He has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts crying Abba Father.
2) We may respond to the great love wherewith He has loved us – as opposed to the self-love which is characteristic of fallen men.
3) It is to delightfully acknowledge His claims upon us, not only as creator and redeemer, but as His children fully submitted to Him in all our ways.
4) We may sense that these are the expressions of love to us and that we are to be striving to the perfect relationship with Him.
5) We may be exercised in loving obedience in which it is not a matter of what is not allowed but what is not pleasing unto my Dear Father.
3. Consider: 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 2 Corinthians 6:17-18.
4. We bow to Him as our Father and realize that He is totally committed to the total and complete provision for His children and the sacrifice was great.

II. The manner is which we walk (v. 2)
1. A most difficult concept among men is that Christ alone is acceptable with God and that the perfections found in Him must be found in all who come unto God.
1) We quickly recognize the impossibility of this with us and
2) That we must have the righteousness of Christ in order to be accepted with God and
3) That is a work of sovereign mercy and grace.
2. We are thus constrained to look to not only the redeeming work of Christ in repentance and faith, we must look to the example of Christ in practice – the thrust of Paul’s direction here.
3. Certainly, the first love of Christ was directed to the Father and that love constrained Him to seek the Father’s will in every way and His obedience took Him to the cross for His people!
4. His love of the Father was so perfect that His love for His own matched that of the Father who gave them to Him.
5. It is His expression of love to the Father and to us that dictates to us the manner of our love to Him and to others:
1) Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. John 13:1.
2) The further example: A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John 13:34. We must ever consider the implications here.
3) And especially consider: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13.
6. These precepts are not only revelations of truth concerning the love of Christ – they are the examples for us to follow and His sacrifice for us – a love that does not sacrifice is some lesser form of love and falls short of that for which Christ died to create in us.
7. Such is a “sweetsmellng savor” to God.
1) Consider the reaction of God to sacrifice and especially sacrificial love and
2) 14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. 15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 2 Corinthians 2:14-15
3) Is such detected in us?