And so imitate God [your heavenly Father] as His dear children. And walk [firmly] in love as also Christ has [walked firmly and] loved you and on our behalf has given Himself over as an offering and sacrifice, a sweet smelling sacrifice to God.
     As is appropriate to the manner of life of the consecrated, you should be living in such a way that sexual deviance, degrading conduct or even covetousness never need be identified [or talked about] in your company.
     Neither should there be obscenity, foolishness in conversation, superficial crudity but rather [an ethos of] thanksgiving. - Ephesians 5:1-4/transliteration by Bruce C Wearne

Walking along a beach

Paul instructs us to imitate God and walk in live as Christ has. PICTURE: Brian Mann/Unsplash

Paul has just enjoined his readers to forgive those who have sinned against them, and to do so out of God’s forgiveness to them in Christ. This is the way of going on to live out the prayer Jesus taught His imitators, His disciples, His followers.

In this walk, we take up, once again, God’s creational plan for us. We have an actual historical, flesh-and-blood precedent, setting us on our way, in that the Messiah willingly gave Himself to be, before God, that offering and sacrifice of self-denial which alone could make us right with God. That resurrected image-bearer of the Lord, God’s one and only Son, is He from whom a new humanity will be formed by the Spirit of the Lord.

We could not do it. Our lives are now simply to be lived as so much “sweet odour” of that once-for-all act. And so, what appears as a strict rule firmly applies – the former life, and the ubiquitous evidence of that which can still be found in evidence all around, has no place at all in our life from here on – it should not even have to be discussed, identified and examined.

This is simply the corollary of those made holy, it is the conversation of the saints filled with thankfulness.