This morning I was drawn to study Ephesians chapter 5. Join me, in watching how it played out.
As I’m looking at Ephesians 5:1 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children,” I see that word therefore and I think, “Something must come before this,” so I’ve gotta look back at the previous verses ….
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:29-32
Got it. I’m imitating God by being kind and tenderhearted and full of grace, forgiving others as God has forgiven me. Simple enough. (Ha!)
But, don’t miss the other big nugget buried in this 8-word verse – I am imitating God as His child, and not just any child, but His *beloved* child. Wow! This is great already, and I’m only one verse into it.
Now, as I’m moving on to verse 2, “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” I immediately jump on that “walk” word (Greek – peripateo) and mentally think – WOW! I’ve got to study this more — looking at what else we walk IN and what we walk BY. But, anyway, I am reminded that I need “regulate my life, conduct my life, pass my life” in LOVE. Yes, I did look up “love” and this is agape love – both times – I am to walk in agape, as Christ agape-d me.
And more than that, I see that Jesus gave HIMSELF. Gave = paradidomi = to give into the hands (of another); to give over into (one’s) power or use; to deliver to one something to keep, use, take care of, manage; to deliver up one to custody, to be judged, condemned, punished, scourged, tormented, put to death; Jesus did this Himself. He gave HIMSELF up. He became a sacrifice, an offering, Himself – and I know that He sacrificed Himself, not on His own behalf, but on MY behalf. He gave Himself up – for me – this is how He showed His love for me and this is how I am to imitate Him, walking in love, giving myself up for the benefit of others – even others who do not deserve it.
Notes to self:
Imitate God by being tender and kind and forgiving
I am His beloved child
I am WALKING in love
Jesus gave Himself up for me as a living sacrifice to God
Getting good here! I could stop now, really, and have some great things to think about as I go about conducting my life today, but I really wanted to get down to the end of this chapter. For your sake, though, I’ve been long-winded enough for one day! Please stay tuned for tomorrow for the rest of the chapter.
Until then, go walk in love, being imitators of God as His beloved children.