I. "BE YE FOLLOWERS OF GOD AS DEAR CHILDREN."
A. In the previous verse we were exhorted to be kind one to another tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ sake has forgiven us.
1. This exhortation to be followers (mimesis)of God is directly related to the previous exhortation to forgive one another even as God for Christ sake forgave us, as is noted by the therefore.
2. God has set the example for forgiveness.
3. For holiness, Lev. 11:25
, "Be ye holy for I am holy."
4. In love. Matt. 5:43
"Ye have heard that it has been said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemies, but I say unto you, Love your enemies, do good to those that hate you, pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you, so shall you be the children of your Father which is in heaven."
5. In perfectness. Matt. 5:48
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect."
6. In mercy. Luke 6:36
"Be merciful as your Father is also merciful."
7. Your Father wants you to be conformed into His image.
8. You object, "But that is impossible, I am too human."
a. "But as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God, to as many as believed upon His name."
b. That power is through the Holy Spirit. "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit saith the Lord." But you shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses unto Me."
B. As a parent it makes you feel good when someone says of your beautiful daughter, "I knew without being told that she was your daughter, she looks like you." God desires that people know that we are His children, not by our looks but by our actions.
II. "WALK IN LOVE, AS CHRIST HAS ALSO LOVED US."
A. In chapters 1-3 Paul has told us what we are as the result of God's grace toward us, and of the power to be what we are supposed be that has been made available to us.
B. Beginning with chapter 4 he begins to tell us how we are to now walk in accordance to what we are.
1. Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you were called. You have been called the sons of God, now walk worthy of that calling.
2. We are not to walk as the world walks.
3. The remainder of chapter 4 is taken up with the things we are to do, and not do as a child of God.
C. As he begins chapter 5 he is carrying on the same theme of chapter 4 as he tells us to walk in love, as Christ has also loved us.
1. Christ manifested His love for us through the greatest self-sacrifice, as He laid down His life for us.
a. "Greater love has no man than this, that a man will lay down his life for his friend."
b. His love for you was self-sacrificing and giving.
2. Paul tells us that He gave Himself as a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
III. THINGS THAT ARE NOT MANIFESTING LOVE.
A. The top of the list is fornication. (Sex outside of marriage.)
1. Fornication is not an act of love. It is an act of lust, it is insensitive and self-gratifying.
a. You are insensitive to the feelings of guilt that will be imposed upon the other person. You are forcing your will and desires on them.
b. You are thinking mainly of the momentary pleasure the act will bring to you.
c. How mistaken the world and Hollywood are on this issue.
B. All uncleanness. (akatharsia) We are familiar with the word catharsis, put the negative prefix a before it and you have the word akatharsia which is an uncleanness morally or physically.
C. Or covetousness. The strong desire for something that belongs to someone else.
D. These things are all of them signs of a lack of true love of the agape sort.
E. These things have no place among those who are saints. These things should not even be mentioned or talked about by the believers.
IV. PAUL EXPANDS THE LIST.
A. Neither filthiness. Shamefulness or obscene.
B. Nor foolish talking.
C. Jesting. That is in an evil sense.
D. In thinking about walking in love, we should not speak of someone in a shameful or obscene way. We should not talk foolishly about them, and we should speak of them in a jesting way suggesting evil.
E. Our speech should be that of giving thanks to God for all of His love and benefits of that love for us.
V. THOSE WHO WE KNOW WILL NOT HAVE ANY INHERITANCE IN THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST AND OF GOD.
A. Whoremongers (pornos) one who sells, their body for the gratification of others.
B. Unclean person, filthy, lewd.
C. Covetous man, who is an idolater.
VI. THESE ARE THE VERY THINGS THAT BROUGHT THE WRATH OF GOD ON THE PEOPLE IN THE DAYS OF NOAH, AND WILL BRING THE GREAT TRIBULATION UPON THE EARTH.
A. Don't let anybody deceive you with vain words.
B. Paul wrote to the Phillipians, "Be not deceived, God is not mocked, whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."