Now we are applying all we have learned in the first three chapters.
And chapter 4 is such a powerful instruction about the things we are to do and must not do when it comes to living the life of a Christian, (as born-again believers in Christ.)
When we come to chapter 5 we find our role model in all we are to be and all we are to do in Jesus Christ.
The summation of all Paul has said so far is to be Christ-like. And we know this because Paul informs us our role model IS Christ.
The only way we can do what we have been encouraged to do and not to do what we have been exhorted not to do is to be imitators of Christ Himself and no man.
Our standard is the perfection of Christ.
Now, certainly, as long as we are in this body of flesh we will all fall short in this pursuit by some degree. But when you understand your aim is perfection, it only makes sense to seek to follow the pattern of Christ Himself and not even the very best of men – as even the very best of men are flawed by some measure.
While human role models are very important in the life of the Christian, even in those role models we are to see in them that which is in Christ, rather than what may be considered their admirable human traits. Even Paul said, (speaking of himself as a role model,) “Follow me as I follow after Christ.”
The warning to those who fail to take this instruction seriously is tragic. Whenever we speak of eternal damnation we recoil at the thought. Some have even gone so far as to deny the existence of hell in the pursuit of an allowance and even acceptance for grievous sin in their lives. Presently it is the bane of our society and our culture.
But no matter what people may choose to believe about eternity, the Word of God informs us those who practice lifestyles of sin will not be in heaven – and Paul lists them here so there would be no confusion and no mistake.
It is a clear reminder God hates sin, and God takes our sin very seriously. He is not going to excuse our societal and currently-socially-acceptable sin just because we have determined it is modern to practice lifestyles God has called abominations. We must remember why God has labeled them as such: It is because they are sins which lead to death eternally, and begin by producing death in us immediately.
God loves us so much He has done all He can to save us from eternal death, and by giving us a life example to go by in the Person of His only begotten Son – Who is Jesus Christ our Lord.