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Home » Daily Readings, New Testament Writers

Be Imitators of God

Submitted by on Monday, 27 October 2008No Comment
  • Reading I: Ephesians 4:32-5:8
  • Resp. Psalm: Psalm 1:1-2,6
  • Gospel Reading:  Luke 13:10-17


Click on the image above to see a larger image of the text of Ephesians 4:32-5-9.  There are three sections in the selection with the two outermost ones relevant to the Christian life in a positive way.  The middle section is negative in that it states what a Christian should not be.

In the first section (Ephesians 4:32,5:1-2), Paul exhorts the Ephesians to be God-like in the way they are kind to one another — compassionate and forgiving.  Here, the name of God, "Merciful and Compassionate" as revealed to Moses is put before the Ephesians as something to imitate.  This part of the exhortation reminds one of Luke’s "Be merciful as your Father is merciful".  The Ephesians are also admonished to be loving just as Christ is loving in a way that is self-sacrificing and self-giving.  Christian love has a "sacrificial" character and is quite consistent with the new life of the baptized who have died in Christ.

The third section (Ephesians 5:7b-9) recalls the candle lighting ceremony of baptism and should be read in connection with Ephesians 5:10-14.  It should also be compared with passages where Paul associates the Christians to light and daylight (e.g. Romans 13:13-14).  The association of Christians with light echoes passages like "You are the light of the world." (See Light)

The second section (Ephesians 5:3-7a) is particular since it is one of the few instances where Paul uses the phrase "Kingdom of God".  Here, the kingdom is also called "of Christ."  The section identifies those who have no inheritance in the kingdom with those who are "disobedient."  This adjective refers to those who do not have the "obedience of faith" which the Ephesians already demonstrate in response to the gospel.  The wrath of God — the opening topic in the Letter to the Romans — is the inheritance of those who have incurred the guilt of the first Adam, a guilt that cries out for death.  Christians have been saved from it, having been "transferred" to Christ by baptism.  The Ephesians therefore have been separated from the "children of wrath" and have become children of God.  For this reason, Paul tells them:  "Be not associated with them."

Psalm 1:1-2,6
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the chair of pestilence.
2But his will is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he shall meditate day and night.
6For the Lord knoweth the way of the just: and the way of the wicked shall perish.
Luke 13:10-17
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
10And he was teaching in their synagogue on their sabbath.
11And behold there was a woman, who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years: and she was bowed together, neither could she look upwards at all.
12Whom when Jesus saw, he called her unto him, and said to her: Woman, thou art delivered from thy infirmity.
13And he laid his hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
14And the ruler of the synagogue (being angry that Jesus had healed on the sabbath) answering, said to the multitude: Six days there are wherein you ought to work. In them therefore come, and be healed; and not on the sabbath day.
15And the Lord answering him, said: Ye hypocrites, doth not every one of you, on the sabbath day, loose his ox or his ass from the manger, and lead them to water?
16And ought not this daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?
17And when he said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the things that were gloriously done by him.
Ephesians 4:32,5
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5One Lord, one faith, one baptism.
32And be ye kind one to another; merciful, forgiving one another, even as God hath forgiven you in Christ.
Ephesians 5:7
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7Be ye not therefore partakers with them.
Ephesians 5:10-14
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10Proving what is well pleasing to God:
11And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
12For the things that are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of.
13But all things that are reproved, are made manifest by the light; for all that is made manifest is light.
14Wherefore he saith: Rise thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead: and Christ shall enlighten thee.
Romans 13:13-14
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13Let us walk honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy:
14But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh in its concupiscences.
Ephesians 5:3-7
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3But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints:
4Or obscenity, or foolish talking, or scurrility, which is to no purpose; but rather giving of thanks.
5For know you this and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person (which is a serving of idols), hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6Let no man deceive you with vain words. For because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief.
7Be ye not therefore partakers with them.

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