06 May As Christ…So You – Words of Grace Blog – May 6, 2022
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1
In these simple words, the Apostle Paul gives us a command to obey and a pattern to follow as disciples of Jesus Christ.
The command to obey is the more obvious of the two. Walking in love is the way we obey Christ. The pattern can be stated this way, “As Christ…so you.”
Paul said, “walk in love, as Christ loved us…” Do you see the pattern? As Christ has acted toward us, so we act toward others. The way we treat each other flows from how we are treated by Christ. This pattern is seen in many other commands in the Bible, including to forgive, to serve, and to comfort one another. As Christ has loved, forgiven, served, and comforted us, so we do toward others.
Notice which comes first. Christ’s grace is first given to us, and we receive it by faith. It is grace received that is then given. We are not given laws regarding how to treat each other that we carry out by willpower or as a form of works righteousness. We are transformed by grace that produces in us the qualities of Christ by the power of the Spirit. We give to others what Christ’s grace is working in us.
This pattern for discipleship, what I am calling, “As Christ… so you,” will be the preaching theme at Grace for four weeks in May and June. These sermons will be preached by elders and pastors at Grace. I will take a preaching break during these weeks and then resume the series in the Gospel of John on June 15. Let’s pray together for God’s word to shape our lives and our congregation this summer at Grace.
I will preach one more sermon this week from John 12 before we start the new series. Pray for me this weekend as I prepare. I look forward to seeing you Sunday.