“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 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)
There are signs, and evidence, that Jesus Christ is living in a person! They are not glowing in the dark or walking around wearing white robes … and they are not walking around in public places chanting some phrase to get the attention of others.
There is a fragrance of grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness that permeates the air around us as we strive to live a godly and Christ-like life here on earth.
There is no room for arrogance, self-righteousness, or even condescension. Rather, it is a living testimony to attest that he or she has become “a new creature” in Christ!
The apostle Paul paints an inspired picture for us of our “Heavenly Father” and His “only begotten Son” in a most beautiful and most unforgettable pose.
They being motivated by the greatest of motives … love in its highest meaning … reached down from Heaven with grace and provided a way … the only way … that our problem with sin could be remedied! (John 3:16; Romans 5:8)
The apostle tells us that we are in turn to be “imitators of God” and “walk in love as Christ also has loved us” … and the imagery is to be imprinted not only in our hearts but in our lives daily!
Imitation in life … whether it is the little boy trying to walk his daddy’s oversized shoes … or the little girl trying to put on some makeup to look like her mother … it does not come easy and not without deliberate effort!
So how does this happen in a person’s life … your life and mine? How do we become “imitators of God?”
- It comes from the study of God’s Book (Psalm 119:104).
- It comes from having the desire to be saved from my sins (Romans 3:23; 6:23)
- It comes from intentionally “hungering and thirsting after righteousness” (Matthew 5:6).
- And it comes from a heart that wants to be right with God … to do as He has instructed … to obey His will! (Hebrews 5:8,9)
And we do all of these things so that we will find ourselves “walking in love” walking in the steps of the Savior!
Our love for Him is our response to His love for each of us!
The entirety of Jesus Christ’s life including His death on the Cross is defined as the ultimate act of giving … on God’s part … and on the part of His Son!
He surrendered Himself to rescue us from sin’s penalty … that of eternal destruction residing in the place that has been reserved for the devil and his angels … Hell! (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10)
What Jesus did in becoming … “an offering and a sacrifice” to God is … He paid the price for our sins … cleansed us from our sins … and restored our relationship with God!
In this, we see that the willingness of Jesus Christ to lay down His own life to save us … pleased the Father like a “sweet-smelling aroma.”
All that He did pleased and glorified His heavenly Father! Can the same be said about your life or mine? I have plenty of room for improvement … do you?
It is this same disposition of heart, soul, and mind … to be self-sacrificing, and self-giving … that we are to be walking in and living out every day!
What a privilege and an honor to give off a sweet savor to God and the world as Christ lives in us, through us, and for us.
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.” (2 Corinthians 2:14)
Bill Fairchild, Jr
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