Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 5
In the ancient world, there were few schools. So, whenever possible, children learned from their parents (Proverbs 4:1-4). A father taught his son, and a mother taught her daughter. If either parent were dead, another relative would teach the child. In that way, a child learned to do the same kind of work that the parent did (for example Mark 1:19-20; see also Proverbs 22:6).
Of course a child could not learn to do complex tasks from the father’s words alone. So, the father told the child to copy his actions carefully. Whatever the father did, his children should do too.
Christians are the children of God (John 1:12-13). So Christians must learn to behave as God does (Matthew 5:43-48). For example, God is kind to everyone, whether they are good or not (Matthew 5:45). So, Christians must be kind even to their enemies (Romans 12:14-21). God never does anything that is wrong or evil. So, Christians must learn only to do what is good and right (Matthew 5:48). As God acts in love (John 3:16), so Christians must also act in love (1 Corinthians chapter 13).
Of course there are many ways in which Christians will never be like God (Revelation 22:1-5). He will always be our king and master; even as his sons and daughters, we will always serve him. However, God has helped us to see something of his perfect character, so that we can learn to behave like him. In our own lives, God allows us to show people the love and kindness that comes from God himself. When we do that, we truly behave as the children of God.
Next part: Show love, even as Christ did (Ephesians 5:2)
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© 2019, Keith Simons.