Commentary on Ephesians, 5:1,2


Ephesians 5:1,2

“1 Therefore become imitators of God, as beloved children.”  LEB

This is a continuation from chapter 4. Here Paul exhorts us to be imitators of God. Thus when we live out he character qualities that Paul has been discussing, we are being like God. Have you ever really stopped to think of what that means? WE ARE TO BE LIKE GOD! Wow. God is perfect in holy character. He’s perfect in righteousness and truth. He’s perfect in love and kindness and compassion and mercy and grace. He’s perfect in humility. God is completely without sin.

Yet, Paul is instructing us to BE LIKE GOD! Which does make sense, considering that we are “children of God.” Like begets like, so if we are true children of God, then that implies that we have been given a new nature, a nature in the likeness of God’s own nature, and that is what the new-birth is (John 1:12,13; Eph 4:24; Ro 8:29; 2 Cor 3:18; 2 Cor 5:17; Col 3:10; 2 Pet 1:4).

We cannot be infinite in His power, or infinite in His intelligence, or infinite in His wisdom, knowledge or understanding, nor can we be everywhere present. That’s not what Paul is referring to. It’s the holy character of God that he’s referring to, and that’s where the focus of our life should be. Our whole mission in life, our whole reason for living, is to serve God in His likeness.

That is our calling in Christ. We have no other reason for living. To give so much attention to the things of this world is completely out of character. We’re only passing through on way to the Eternal Kingdom. This world serves only to prepare us for that time and place. Therefore, let us view this world and this life through the eyes of God. We only have one opportunity to make our lives count for Christ, let’s make the most of it.

“2 and live in love, just as also Christ loved us, and gave himself for us an offering and sacrifice to God for a fragrant smell.”  LEB

As those who are to be imitators of God, we are to walk in love. Let us love God with all of our heart. Let us love others as God loves others. We are to imitate the love of Christ, who proved His love by dying on the cross for our sins. What He went through on our behalf is truly beyond what we are able to relate to. What Jesus experienced on the cross as Almighty God, we will never be able to comprehend. Yet, He did it for you and me. It was for the love of mankind that He went through all that He did. May that same love characterize our own life.

“a fragrant smell.”

Is literally a scent of a sweet smell. That which is pleasant to the soul. Think of all the pleasant scents you’ve experienced in your life, and how they made you feel. The sacrifice Christ made on our behalf was as a pleasant scent to the Father. In the same way that Jesus offered and sacrificed Himself to God, we are to do likewise….and it will be as a pleasant scent to the Father. An imitation of Christ.