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Imitators of God

Updated: May 9, 2023

Ephesians 5:1-16 tells us how we should be imitators of God and not of the immoral worldly people. Here Paul gives a warning to all Christians about how we should not participate by sharing with them or becoming friends with them.

Yes, Scripture tells us to share the Gospel with them. In fact, Scripture commands us to share the Gospel with them. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” Matthew 28:19. Similarly, when Philip heard the Eunuch reading: “So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.” Acts 8:30–31

So, if we are to share the Scriptures with them, why are we given warning in these verses? Good question! I’m glad you asked.

Picture of a Dove - a representation of the Holy Spirit.

We are to share the Gospel, yet we know it is the Holy Spirit’s role to reveal God’s thoughts, teach, and guide believers into all truth. The Holy Spirit also helps Christians in their weakness and intercedes for them. However, this warning goes to those who deny Christ and the Gospel. Once we have done our part and realize that they reject these teachings, we must not partake, take part, or share with those wicked works or even speak about the things being done by them in secret. We are not even to give them a greeting. What? That’ right, not even acknowledge them.

Let’ look at Ephesian 5’s commands (Emphasis added):

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.” Ephesians 5:11–12

The LEB (Lexham English Bible) uses the word participate, which is the original Greek word” συγκοινωνός.” It is used in this verse to mean participate, or take part in, or share, depending on which translation of the Bible you have.

And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather even expose them. For it is shameful even to speak about the things being done by them in secret,” Ephesians 5:11–12 LEB

John has a similar teaching:”

Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” 2 John 9–11

Same root as the above in Ephesians (part).

Ephesians 5:11

Yes, once we give our message as we have to many, we are to leave the rest up to God, the Father, God, the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

As John tells us:

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.” 1 John 2:19

We must give them the WORD as we are commanded to do. However, once they reject the TRUTH and continue in their EVIL ways, we must not associate with them in any way; We must not even greet them.

That being said, we can and should pray for them always!

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Hyperlinks in this document are for use of members on our website.

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