Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children

by Mike Ratliff

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self- control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:16-23 NASB)

The clarion call of Emergence Christianity, New Calvinism, 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. What is not said by them is that 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.

1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. (Ephesians 5:1-2 NASB)

1 Γίνεσθε οὖν μιμηταὶ τοῦ θεοῦ ὡς τέκνα ἀγαπητὰ 2 καὶ περιπατεῖτε ἐν ἀγάπῃ, καθὼς καὶ ὁ Χριστὸς ἠγάπησεν ἡμᾶς καὶ παρέδωκεν ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν προσφορὰν καὶ θυσίαν τῷ θεῷ εἰς ὀσμὴν εὐωδίας. (Ephesians 5:1-2 NA28)

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.

s14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “ You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16 NASB)

11 But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:11 NASB)

8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things 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 NASB)

13 For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:13 NASB)

28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28-29 NASB)

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 ἀγαπητὰ

Soli Deo Gloria!

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