10/31/10 Occupy Christ!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, November 1, 2010 Under: Sermon

Text: Ephesians 5:1-2 (HCSB)

1) Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. 2) And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.

“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:14 (KJV)

Intro: Occupy Christ. To occupy something you must live in, dwell in or inhabit, reside in. Is that possible, can you live so in tuned with Christ that you dwell in His way? Can anyone really imitate Christ? The bible says in Ephesians chapter five after the therefore to imitate God.

Imitate: mimētēs

Application: The believer is to follow the person of God.

The challenge of this passage is one of the greatest challenges in all the Word of God. Just imagine – the great Pattern for the believer is God Himself. The believer is to follow the Person of God. The believer is to walk through life following God. So with that application how does a believer follow God?

A believer follows God by:

1. By Becoming a Follower: 

1) Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children.

It means to become a follower of God. The idea is that of commitment, attachment, devotion, allegiance, attention. Before a person can be a follower of God, he must commit and attach himself to God. He must surrender and devote his life to God and then begin to follow after God. You must Occupy Christ!

Scripture boldly proclaims that we are to become like God!

- “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48 (HCSB)
- “Speak to the entire Israelite community and tell them: Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.” Leviticus 19:2 (HCSB)
- “So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 (HCSB)
- “But, as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; 16 for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16 (HCSB)

Becoming a follower of Christ means you understand what He has done for you and you receive Him as Lord of your Life and imitate His behavior from than on.

A believer follows God by: 

2. By Loving as Christ Loved:  
2) And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.

We are to love as Christ Loved! Do you really understand the significance of that statement? Can I make some of you mad? I DON’T THINK SO! I don’t think there are many Christians who really understand what it is like to really Occupy Christ to imitate His way in your every step of the way - day in and day out being Christ like.

The phrase "gave Himself for us" is a simple phrase with profound meaning. It does not mean that Christ died only as an example for us, showing us how we should be willing to die for the truth or for some great cause. What it means is that Christ died in our place, in our stead, as our substitute. This meaning is unquestionably clear.

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (KJV)

“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:14 (KJV)

The words "Christ gave Himself...an offering...to God for a sweet-smelling savour [smell]" gives a higher meaning to the death of Christ than just meeting our need. The word "offering" refers to the burnt offering of the Old Testament. The burnt offering was given to God not merely because of sin, but because a person wished to glorify and honor God. A person wished to show his love and adoration to God. This is an aspect of Christ's death that is often overlooked – an aspect that rises far above the mere meeting of our need. In giving Himself as an "offering to God," Christ was looking beyond our need to the majestic responsibility of glorifying God. This means that His first purpose was to glorify God. He was concerned primarily with doing the will of God – with obeying God. God had been terribly dishonored by the first man, Adam, and by all those who followed after him. Jesus Christ wished to honor God by showing that at least one man thought more of God's glory than of anything else. Christ wished to show that God's will meant more than any personal desire or ambition that He might have. The believer is to walk in love, just as Christ has loved us and has given Himself as an offering and a sacrifice to God. The believer is to love so much that he gives himself as an offering and a sacrifice. There is to be no limit to the offerings and sacrifice of our lives to God and to men. Remember: God’s is always an acting love.

Conclusion: “This is My command: love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12 (HCSB)

To occupy Christ you must love one another, it is that simple! A Believer is to follow the person of God, the person of God is Christ, can you Occupy Christ? To Occupy Christ you must follow and love as He Has!

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