The phrase "walk in love" expresses our entire relationship
with God and mankind (Matt. 22:37-40).
Paul says: "Therefore be followers 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"
Those who love God are followers (imitators) of God as His dear
(beloved, dearly loved) children. The phrase as beloved children
denotes that we are following God because of His love for us. And
because God loved us, we love Him (1 Jn. 4:19). Therefore we imitate
Him as dear children.
Now take a moment and think about God. Think about His goodness
and mercy toward mankind. Think about His kindness, love, and grace.
Think about His love to give Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins.
And think about Jesus' love for us to die on the cross. To imitate
God is to be like God thus to love (Matt. 5:43f) - God is love (1
Jn. 4:16). Jesus left an example for us (1 Pet. 2:2) and Paul commands
us to imitate him as he imitates Christ (1 Cor. 11:1) whereby we
And note that we are to love as children. Think about the trusting
love a young child has for his parents. John says that we are either
children of God or children of the devil (1 Jn. 3:10). Those who
are children of the devil are children of wrath (Eph. 2:3) but the
children of God are children of light (Eph. 5:8) being the ones
saved by grace through faith and created in Christ (Eph. 2:8-10).
Jesus is our example of walking in love. He emptied Himself to
come to earth in the form of a servant and in the likeness of man
was obedient even to the point of death on the cross (Phil. 2:5f).
Love is giving one's self as a servant in obedience to God which
is an offering and sacrifice to Him. We must be a living sacrifice
to God (Rom. 12:1) as we serve Him by faith (Heb. 11:4) in offering
the sacrifice of praise to Him, giving thanks to His name, and sharing
(Heb. 13:15-16). Therefore the church offers up spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus (1 Pet. 2:5).
The result of a sacrificial walk in love is a sweet-smelling aroma
to God. But note that what is sweet-smelling to God is not necessarily
sweet-smelling to the world. As burning flesh of Old Testament sacrifices
were horrible-smelling to men it was sweet-smelling to God when
performed by faith. Therefore, we cannot rely on the judgements
of men as to what is sweet-smelling and thus pleasing to God. We
cannot allow ourselves to be deceived by those teaching human doctrines
(Eph. 5:6-7; Col. 2) nor may we be partakers with them in evil deeds.
We have a grave responsibility to walk in love. A walk in love
is not dictated by the doctrines and emotions of men but by God
thus imitating Him.
Are you walking in love as a beloved child of God? If not, whose
child are you?