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1Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

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Eph 5:1-33. Exhortations to Love: And against Carnal Lusts and Communications. Circumspection in Walk: Redeeming the Time: Being Filled with the Spirit: Singing to the Lord with Thankfulness: The Wife's Duty to the Husband Rests on that of the Church to Christ.

1. therefore—seeing that "God in Christ forgave you" (Eph 4:32).

followersGreek, "imitators" of God, in respect to "love" (Eph 5:2): God's essential character (1Jo 4:16).

as dear childrenGreek, "as children beloved"; to which Eph 5:2 refers, "As Christ also loved us" (1Jo 4:19). "We are sons of men, when we do ill; sons of God, when we do well" [Augustine, on Psalm 52]; (compare Mt 5:44, 45, 48). Sonship infers an absolute necessity of imitation, it being vain to assume the title of son without any similitude of the Father [Pearson].

2. And—in proof that you are so.

walk in love—resuming Eph 4:1, "walk worthy of the vocation."

as Christ … loved us—From the love of the Father he passes to the love of the Son, in whom God most endearingly manifests His love to us.

given himself for usGreek, "given Himself up (namely, to death, Ga 2:20) for us," that is, in our behalf: not here vicarious substitution, though that is indirectly implied, "in our stead." The offerer, and the offering that He offered, were one and the same (Joh 15:13; Ro 5:8).

offering and a sacrifice—"Offering" expresses generally His presenting Himself to the Father, as the Representative undertaking the cause of the whole of our lost race (Ps 40:6-8), including His life of obedience; though not excluding His offering of His body for us (Heb 10:10). It is usually an unbloody offering, in the more limited sense. "Sacrifice" refers to His death for us exclusively. Christ is here, in reference to Ps 40:6 (quoted again in Heb 10:5), represented as the antitype of all the offerings of the law, whether the unbloody or bloody, eucharistical or propitiatory.

for a sweet-smelling savourGreek, "for an odor of a sweet smell," that is, God is well pleased with the offering on the ground of its sweetness,and so is reconciled to us (Eph 1:6; Mt 3:17; 2Co 5:18, 19; Heb 10:6-17). The ointment compounded of principal spices, poured upon Aaron's head, answers to the variety of the graces by which He was enabled to "offer Himself a sacrifice for a sweet-smelling savor." Another type, or prophecy by figure, was "the sweet savor" ("savor of rest," Margin) which God smelled in Noah's sacrifice (Ge 8:21). Again, as what Christ is, believers also are (1Jo 4:17), and ministers are: Paul says (2Co 2:17) "we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ."