Ephesians 5:1 (Amplified):
THEREFORE BE imitators of God [copy
Him and follow His example], as
well-beloved children imitate their father.
Ephesians 5:1,2 (The Message Bible):
Watch what God does, and then you do it,
like children who learn proper behavior
from their parents.
Mostly what God does is love you. Keep
company with Him and learn a life of love.
Observe how Christ loved us. His love was
not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love
in order to get something from us but to give
everything of himself to us. Love like that.
Copy God, then, as his beloved children, and
lead lives of love, just as Christ loved you
and gave himself up for you…
The Greek word for “imitators” is mimetes, which means to “mimic, copy, imitate, and to follow as an example.” We get our English words “mimic and mime” from this Greek word. It is in the present imperative, which means that it is a command that God wants us to habitually follow as a way of life. The present imperative calls for a long term commitment and a constant and continual way of life. To imitate, copy, and mimic God as Christians is not a suggestion, but a command to make this lifestyle our habit of life. We are exhorted to constantly imitate the heart of God. This is who you always wanted to be like. This is who you were meant to be like. God originally created us in His image, and He has always desired children in whom He can reproduce His heart, His love, His goodness, and His qualities.
E.W. Kenyon, in God Reproducing Himself in Us, states:
Every real father desires to reproduce himself
in his son (or daughter). The Father’s dream is
to reproduce himself in us…The very genus of
Christianity is the ability of God to build himself
into us through the Word, so that in our daily
walk we live like the Master.
How wonderful it is to live like the Master as God builds Himself in us more and more each day! What an awesome way of life-to copy and imitate God in all of our words, actions, thinking, and motives. We continually mimic God’s goodness in everything we do. Our lives should shine forth as a living copy of all the characteristics of the goodness of God.
The word “children” in the Greek means: true offspring or genuine children by birth, and posterity. The word “beloved” in the Greek is from the word agape, which we have previously studied, which emphasizes the preciousness of the object loved. It is to love with wonder and admiration, prizing the worth of the person loved. It means to cherish with reverence and to have an internal feeling of satisfaction, kindness, and regard for the beloved person of His affection. God cherishes you; God prizes you; God values you; God admires you; God treasures you; God counts you worthy to be called His son or daughter. We are God’s beloved, esteemed, unique, dear, favorite, true and genuine offspring and birthed children in Christ.
Now because of this special love relationship as father and children, we imitate and copy the qualities and characteristics of our Heavenly Father, and follow the love example of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our model of conduct to be imitated. We should follow in the footsteps of our Lord and endeavor to be like him in all aspects of our personal life. Jesus Christ exemplified every single quality of God’s goodness and illustrated the perfect blend of characteristics that God always intended a person to be. He perfectly represented the heart of his Father and manifested the character of God by the way he lived.
By the grace of God, we received a new divine nature of Christ within us when we were born again that is now a part of who we are and what we can become. We can make a deliberate decision to manifest the character of Christ one work, one thought, and one word at a time. However, this is not a solo task, but we have the help of our Heavenly Father every step of the way. God is working mightily within us to fashion us in the image of Christ as we live, move, and breathe in His presence resting upon the foundation of His Word.