August 25, 2009

Our Only Example

Ephesians 5:1-7

Follow God’s example … as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love …
Ephesians 5:1-2


When we read a passage like the one in our Scripture for today, we recognize that God is totally different from us. Christian teachers sometimes talk of God as being “wholly other.” That teaching reflects the words of God himself through Isaiah the prophet:

“To whom will you compare me?

Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One…

“I am the LORD,

and there is no other.” (Isaiah 40:25; 45:18)

Although the Spirit works in us to make us more like Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18), believers do not become divine. We cannot become God, but in God’s strength alone we can become godly. Sadly, in this life we still remain sinful, but through God’s forgiveness and redemption we are reconciled to our Maker.

Except for the example of Jesus, who is divine as well as human, there is no human achievement that provides an adequate example for us. So we must rely on what God himself has done in Christ by his Spirit. He showed us what love is. God the Father has provided for our salvation, and Jesus, the Son of God, has given himself as a sacrifice in our place to be our Savior and Lord. The Holy Spirit helps us to receive and live out that love. So all three persons of the Trinity work together for our salvation and for our good.

Dear Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, thank you for loving us and showing us your grace. May your example inform and inspire us to walk in the way of love. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Peter Borgdorff

Dr. Peter Borgdorff has been a pastor and administrator in the Christian Reformed Church for 40 years, most recently serving as executive director till his retirement in 2006. He and his wife, Janet, have five children and 14 grandchildren.

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