Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 5
The proper standard for a Christian’s behaviour is the love that Christ himself showed.
If Christ had cared about his own interests, he would never have left heaven to be born into this world. If he was thinking about his own benefit, he would never have accepted pain, punishment and death for our evil deeds (Philippians 2:4-8). He did all of this because of his great love for people. He accepted our punishment so that God can forgive us (Isaiah 53:3-6).
So of course the people who have benefited from Christ’s great love should be kind to other people (see Matthew 18:22-35). Of course they must not selfishly act for their own benefit. Instead, they too should show love, and not care only about themselves (Mark 12:31). Luke 10:29-37 and 1 Corinthians chapter 13 describe the kind of love that they should show. That love is a genuine desire to help other people, whenever God provides the opportunity to do that.
When we have that kind of attitude, it pleases God (Romans 12:1). Paul reminds us in Ephesians 5:2 how greatly Christ’s attitudes pleased God. Paul compares Christ’s death to the sacrifices, the animals that people offered to God at the temple (God’s house in Jerusalem). When the priests burnt those sacrifices, the smoke rose up towards God in heaven. At the same time, the people’s prayers rose to God (Psalm 141:2). So, Leviticus 1:9 says that the smell of the sacrifice pleased God. It means that God was pleased with his people’s prayers.
In the same way, when Christ offered himself by his death, that pleased God. Christ had truly acted in love, and God approved.
Next part: Wrong words and thoughts for Christians (Ephesians 5:3)
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© 2019, Keith Simons.