Ephesians 5. Verses 1 and 2 of this chapter starts with the word, "therefore," and reminds us that to properly understand these verses we must consider the verses we have just read in Ephesians 4.
1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And
walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an
offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
Ephesians 5:1-2, NKJV
Reading these verses from Ephesians 5 is certainly a reminder that the chapter divisions were not part of the original versions of the books found in the Bible. Ephesians 5:1-2 starts with the word, "therefore," and reminds us that to properly understand these verses we must consider the verses we have just read in Ephesians 4.
You will remember that Paul ended the 4th chapter of Ephesians with a list of sins we should try to avoid. These verses from chapter 5, then, are a conclusion or summary of the end of chapter 4. Avoiding the sins which so easily tempt and sway us, Paul is calling us to be imitators of God. How do we do that?
We are to walk in love, as Christ also has loved us. How much did Christ love us? Christ loved us so much that He died for us, not just to save our life here on earth but to give us eternal life in heaven with Him.
How did God view the sacrifice Christ made for us? To God, Christ's death produced a sweet-smelling aroma. Christ is known in the book of Revelation as the lamb that was slain.
Now it is obvious from these verses that we are not like God. We were created in His image, it is true, but we are creatures of sin. To do what Paul asks is not natural for us. However, though it is not natural, it is possible--not for us, but it is possible through the power of Christ.
One cannot read these verses without thinking of Christ our Shepherd. John 10 presents Christ to us as the Good Shepherd. I have written a series of devotions from the Gospel of John on this website. You might want to take some time and look at the devotions from John 10. What an amazing Savior--oh how He loves His children.
In John 10, Jesus said,
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
John 10:14-15, KJV
We cannot imitate Christ in this way, of course, but it is good for us to consider the great love which Christ has for His people. This love did not stop at Calvary! This very day, the Lord Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of God, the Father, making intercession for us!
We have an advocate with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Understanding our weakness, He constantly upholds us and strengthens us. Through His gift of the Holy Spirit who lives in our hearts, we are truly never alone!
So, by the grace of God, let us go this day and imitate God! Remembering what Christ has done for us, let us spend this day for the praise, honor, and glory of God. When we fail, and we will, let us cry out to Christ to give us the desire and ability to live our lives in a manner which is pleasing to Him, our Good Shepherd.
More devotions from the 5th chapter of Ephesians