The Gospel According to Paul: Follow Me As I Imitate Christ. Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, June 4, 2018
“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God.
For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do. For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret” (Ephesians 5:1–12, NLT).
Explanation of Benefits
Yesterday, we discussed a special benefit of the gospel that had not been revealed in the fulness before the days of the apostles. We are now among those who accept the gospel, which was revealed in a special way never before seen in this world or by the heavenly intelligences. God’s character of love, mercy, and justice is finally being vindicated for the entire universe to see.
Today, we are having a brief look at another unique blessing the gospel brings. A friend of mine once said that to those who are lost, Jesus is their Savior. To those who are saved, Jesus is both Savior and Example. The truth is that nobody who has not yet been reborn through the power of the Holy Spirit can fully follow Jesus’ example of holiness, which is necessary to have eternal life.
The Salt Life
I count it an honor to be among those who are called and chosen to emulate the character of Jesus. Jesus said it this way: “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:13–16, NLT).
Give thanks for the blessing of being called to be children of God and to become ambassadors of His love.
I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, are you?