Eph 5:1-2 “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”
There is a reason we are to be followers of God. The word “therefore” signifies “accordingly” or as the result of some previous knowledge or event. If we look back at the last verse of chapter four in Ephesians, we find the instruction that results in us being followers of God: “even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” We are caused to be (see Strong’s for the word “be”) followers of God because God has forgiven us for Christ’s sake.
We did not just decide to be followers of God; we are caused to be followers of God. This rendering does not mean that we are mindless robots. However, it does signify that without the work of God’s forgiveness first occurring in our hearts, we would not seek to imitate (see Strong’s definition of followers) Him. There are basically two reasons for imitation; we either do so to make a mockery or because we love and trust the one we are following.
We are caused to be followers of God as dear children. Our imitation of our Heavenly Father is the result of our understanding of our position with Him. For Christ’s sake, we are beloved (dear) of God. He has made us His peculiar (special) treasure (Exo 19:5). As such, we live and follow (walk) God with a deep love (affection or benevolence; specifically [plural] a love feast). We have a feast of love with God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, and each other!
This love feast is made possible because this is the way that our Lord and Savior loves us. This love is extraordinary and of great delight; it is boundless and without fail. Following God as the beloved products of His grace and mercy is a feast of great fellowship with Him and His children. This is the ultimate giving. Out of this love, Christ has given Himself an offering and sacrifice to the Father. He did this for us because He holds for us a love feast!
Jesus offered and sacrificed Himself to God for us. After we have been made alive in Christ, we may accept or reject His teaching and His example. However, we can never reject Him because He did not offer Himself to us; He offered Himself to God. Even in the Old Testament sacrifices, these were never offered to the people; they were offered to God for the people.
Only God can accept or reject an offering or sacrifice. We are assured here that God accepted the offering and sacrifice of Jesus because it had a “sweetsmelling savour” to Him. The sacrifice of the Son was a pleasant fragrance to the Father; it smelled like love and perfect obedience! It was the odor of complete redemption and deliverance from condemnation for His children. This was something that was carried out between the Father and His only begotten Son for us. Our thoughts on the matter were not solicited or desired.
May we indeed live our lives in imitation of Him who has called us to be holy (Lev 11:45, 1Pe 1:16), made us accepted (Eph 1:6), and loved us with an everlasting love (Jer 31:3) as it is pleasing to God (Pas 115:3)!