Followers of God

Ephesians 5:1-4 Be you therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also had loved us, and had given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as become saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 

‘Followers’ [Greek: mimetes] imitators; mimic the gait, speech, accent, and manner of life of another. In 1Corinthians 4:16, Paul advises the Christians to follow or imitate him as he imitated Christ (1Cor. 11:1; 1Thess. 1:6; 2:14; Heb. 6:12; 1Pet. 3:13). Here, it means to imitate God as children do their parents; imitate His acts, words, nature, ways, graces, and Spirit.

‘Given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God.’ The twofold sacrifice of Christ: As an offering; the same as in Leviticus 2:1 to show gratitude for temporal blessings received. As a sacrifice for sin (Matt. 26:28; 1Pet. 2:24); the same as in Leviticus 1:9; 3:16.

‘Sweetsmelling savour’ – An aroma of a sweet smell to God. That is, God was well pleased with the offering and sacrifice of Christ because it made possible the redemption of His fallen creation (Rom. 8:18-24).

‘But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as become saints.’ Six forbidden things to saints (5:5-6): [1] Fornication (Matt. 5:32; 19:9; 1Cor. 7:2; 10:8; 1Thess. 4:3; Rev. 9:21); [2] Uncleanness (Rom. 1:21-32; 6:19; 2Cor. 12:21; Gal. 5:19); [3] Covetousness (Matt. 6:19-21; Luke 12:15; Rom. 13:9; Heb. 13:5; 1Jn. 2:15-17); [4] Filthiness [Greek: aischrotes] meaning ugliness, baseness, vileness, shame, infamy; [5] Foolish talking [Greek: morologia] speaking foolishly; idle, stupid talk; [6] Jesting [Greek: eutrapelia] ribaldry; indecency sugar-coated-in mirth to make it more corrupting; coarse jesting; obscene and offensive conversation.

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