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EPHESIANS - Chapter 5 - Verse 1


Ephesians Chapter 5

This chapter is a continuation of the practical exhortations commenced in chapter 4. It comprises the following points, or subjects:—

1. The exhortation to be followers of God, and to walk in love, Eph 5:1,2.

2. The duty of avoiding the impure practices of the surrounding heathen, and of wholly breaking off from the vices in which even they themselves had indulged, before their conversion to Christianity, Eph 5:3-17.

3. The apostle cautions them particularly against the use of wine, and the revelry which attends its use; and exhorts them rather to engage in the exercises to which the Holy Spirit would prompt them, and to the services of praise and thanksgiving, Eph 5:15-20.

4. He exhorts them to mutual subjection; and particularly enjoins on wives the duty of being subject to their husbands, Eph 5:21-24.

5. The chapter closes with a statement of the duty of husbands to love their wives, illustrated by that which Christ showed for the church, Eph 5:25-33.

Verse 1. Be ye therefore followers of God. Gr., "Be imitators— mimhtai—of God." The idea is not that they were to be the friends of God, or numbered among his followers, but that they were to imitate him in the particular thing under consideration. The word "therefore"—oun—connects this with the previous chapter, where he had been exhorting them to kindness, and to a spirit of forgiveness, and he here entreats them to imitate God, who was always kind and ready to forgive. Comp. Mt 5:44-47. As he forgives us, (Eph 4:32) we should be ready to forgive others; as he has borne with our faults, we should bear with theirs; as he is ever ready to hear our cry when we ask for mercy, we should be ready to hear others when they desire to be forgiven; and as he is never weary with doing us good, we should never be weary in benefiting them.

As dear children. The meaning is, "as those children which are beloved follow the example of a father, so we, who are beloved of God, should follow his example." What a simple rule this is! And how much contention and strife would be avoided if it were followed! If every Christian who is angry, unforgiving, and unkind, would just ask himself the question, "How does God treat me?" it would save all the trouble and heart-burning which ever exists in the church.

{*} "followers" "imitators"

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