Imitating the Father
If we are to search out the depths and riches of the meaning of God’s love, we can approach our quest in two ways. We can work from the top down or from the bottom up. By working from the top down, we can focus on everything the Bible says about the character of God’s love, seeing the full expression of the declaration that “God is love,” and then seeing how that dimension of God’s character is to be reflected by His image-bearers.
Or we can proceed from the bottom up, reflecting on God’s commandments to us regarding love, and discern from this light of His law something of His own character that stands behind His law and out of which His perfect law proceeds.
The apostle Paul calls us to imitate God, which is carried out by walking in love (Eph. 5:1–2). Next, this imitation is viewed as an imitation of Christ—in that Christ, as the new Adam, perfectly demonstrates the character of the Father’s love. He is the Beloved of the Father. He is the supreme lover of God and lover of our souls as well. He shows love both in its vertical and horizontal relationships.
Coram Deo: Meditate today on God’s love and the supreme example of love, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:1–2 (NASB): “Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children. And walk in love, just as Christ also has loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
Ephesians 5:8–11: “Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), proving what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.”