Read Ephesians 5:1-7
Last week we talked about how Christians should live in light of their faith in Christ. In today's reading, Paul continues to instill in the Ephesian Gentiles the importance of how they behaved in regards to their new found faith.
Again, the Ephesian believers Paul was talking to were coming out of idol worship and paganism that employed some of the most lewd and detestable acts you could ever imagine. It was, therefore, imperative that Paul drove home the fact that their previous behaviour of "devotion" (lewd acts, drinking blood, debauchery, orgies, etc.) towards their former gods, was not acceptable to the one true God. He continues on from Ephesians chapter four with more advice for them on how they were to behave and begins with an appropriate admonishment - 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.
The significance of this verse was not lost on the Ephesians. They knew what Paul was referring to, for they often burned incense and gave offerings to their former gods that were sweet-smelling. Paul is impressing upon them this one true fact - Christ was now the sacrifice and final offering. A truly sweet-smelling aroma before the one true God. Jesus' gift of his life to save them from their sinful lifestyles was not lost on the Ephesians. Let it never be lost to us!
While the examples Paul sets forth in Ephesians 5 are geared toward the pagan attitudes and beliefs of the new converts, it is clear they are excellent examples for this generation as well. To the young person reading this, pay attention to how you behave with your friends. Remember, you are emulating Christ to them. As Paul says, we are to "imitate" God (Jesus). So pay attention to this list of behaviours you must put aside as you grow in the Lord.
Six Behaviours to Do Away With