Be Imitators of God

by Mike Ratliff

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:16-23 ESV)

The clarion call of Emergence Christianity, New Calvinism, the Acts 29 Network, Missional/Dominionism, Seeker Sensitivity, et al is for people to come be part of their group or push and be “transformed.” It is as if the “transforming” is done via their ministry. They have the secret. They have the formula. They have the anointing by God and via their “group salvation” people are also “transformed” as a group. Into what? That is not said. As we saw a few weeks ago, the key process used here is Diaprax which is the Hegelian Dialectic put into motion to create change for the sake of change. It is based on the concept that truth is never found in the thesis nor the antithesis, but the synthesis of the two through many cycles of the Diaprax process. This new synthesis is the “truth” they are looking for. They combine unbelievers and believers together and force synthesis. This is the transformation they are talking about. This is also called compromise in the Word of God and those who proclaim to be Christians who buy into it are also called hypocrites and apostates. This is not the transformation that Christians are called to in God’s Word nor is it the end of what we will look like if we obey God’s command to be imitators of Him.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. (Ephesians 5:1 ESV)

Γίνεσθε οὖν μιμηταὶ τοῦ Θεοῦ ὡς τέκνα ἀγαπητά (Ephesians 5:1 GNT)

The key word in this verse is “imitators,” which is the Greek word μιμηταὶ or mimitai. The lexical form of this word is μιμητής or mimētēs from which we get our English word mimic. No matter how hard we attempt to “mimic” God, the ability to do what is commanded here takes a miracle. It is not talent or persistance or character or a human designed process that will enable us to do it. No, it is the miracle of the Holy Spirit as He produces the fruit of the Spirit in us (Galatians 5:22-23), which is contained in the passage I placed at the top of this post. Never forget my brethren, we do not produce these things, but God does as marks or brands these things upon those who truly belong to Him.

So, what is our part? Our part is to manifest God’s moral attributes through the fruit of the Spirit He produces in us. The only way we can mimic or imitate God is by possessing and pursuing His “character attributes” as listed in the passages below.

since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16 ESV)

But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:11 ESV)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9 ESV)

For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:13 ESV)

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28-29 ESV)

Instead of going after the mystical nonsense of the Emergents and the Diaprax apostasy of the Leadership Network in all of its nuances, the real, biblical solution is very basic. We are called to do these things as God works in and through us performing the miracle of transforming us through the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2). This has nothing to do with what these people are talking about. No, we are to be imitators of God by humbly submitting ourselves as His bondservants or slaves in all parts of our lives. We are to turn from evil and obey Him in all we think and do and that includes following these false so-called Christian leaders who are leading so many astray into apostasy.

Γίνεσθε οὖν μιμηταὶ τοῦ Θεοῦ ὡς τέκνα ἀγαπητά

Soli Deo Gloria!

11 thoughts on “Be Imitators of God

  1. Good Post, Mike!
    It certainly is evil to mislead people into following a false idea, or a human being, instead of The Christ.
    The Bible speaks against those who mislead others, or lay traps and snares.
    They do the work of their father, the devil.

  2. I love how New Testament is so supernatural in regards to sanctification. One of the most imporant passages to is this:

    Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
    2Co 3:17-18

    So the Holy Spirit will transform us into the image of God when we behold His glory. What is His glory? Well Christ is (Hebr. 1:3)! So reading and studying the attributes of God and Christ with prayerful heart is big key in santification because you will behold the Lord through His word.

  3. Pingback: We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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