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.
In Ephesians 5:1, Paul the Apostle told us to imitate God as children. In this next verse, he revealed what we are to imitate in God — His love. God does not just love us, He is love. Love is a part of His character.
When Paul spoke of love in this verse, he was not just speaking of the love we need to have for one another. We should be walking as examples of true believers, not only in His love, but reminding ourselves of the great love God has for us.
We see God’s love for us displayed in the words of Jesus in John 3:16; For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
This sacrificial love God has for you and me is an example to us of a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. In the Old Testament every sacrifice was dead. They would kill the lamb, bleed it, cut it up into little pieces and burn it as a sacrifice to the Lord. The smoke or the aroma would lift into the sky to God, as a sweet-smelling sacrifice. He was pleased.
After the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we no longer offer dead, burnt offerings to the Lord. Christ was the final sacrifice for our sins — the sweetest-smelling sacrifice to the Lord. Now, God only desires our love and obedience.
Don’t throw God a bone of your love unless there’s the meat of obedience on it.