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Ephesians 5:2

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

And walk in love - Let every act of life be dictated by love to God and man.

As Christ - hath loved us - Laying down your lives for your brethren if necessary; counting nothing too difficult to be done in order to promote their eternal salvation.

Hath given himself for us - Christ hath died in our stead, and become thereby a sacrifice for our sins.

An offering - Προσφορα· An oblation, an eucharistic offering; the same as מנחה minchah, Leviticus 2:1, etc., which is explained to be an offering made unto the Lord, of fine flour, with oil and frankincense. It means, any offering by which gratitude was expressed for temporal blessings received from the bounty of God.

A sacrifice - Θυσια· A sin-offering, a victim for sin; the same as זבח zebach, which almost universally means that sacrificial act in which the blood of an animal was poured out as an atonement for sin. These terms may be justly considered as including every kind of sacrifice, offering, and oblation made to God on any account; and both these terms are with propriety used here, because the apostle's design was to represent the sufficiency of the offering made by Christ for the sin of the world. And the passage strongly intimates, that as man is bound to be grateful to God for the good things of this life, so he should testify that gratitude by suitable offerings; but having sinned against God, he has forfeited all earthly blessings as well as those that come from heaven; and that Jesus Christ gave himself ὑπερ ἡμων, in our stead and on our account, as the gratitude-offering, προσφορα, which we owed to our Maker, and, without which a continuance of temporal blessings could not be expected; and also as a sacrifice for sin, θυσια, without which we could never approach God, and without which we must be punished with an everlasting destruction from the presence of God and the glory of his power. Thus we find that even our temporal blessings come from and by Jesus Christ, as well as all our spiritual and eternal mercies.

For a sweet-smelling savor - Εις οσμην ευωδιας· The same as is expressed in Genesis 8:21; Leviticus 1:9; Leviticus 3:16; : ליהוה ניהוח ריח reiach nichoach laihovah, "a sweet savor unto the Lord;" i.e. an offering of his own prescription, and one with which he was well pleased; and by accepting of which he showed that he accepted the person who offered it. The sweet-smelling savor refers to the burnt-offerings, the fumes of which ascended from the fire in the act of burning; and as such odors are grateful to man, God represents himself as pleased with them, when offered by an upright worshipper according to his own appointment.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And walk in love - That is, let your lives be characterized by love; let that be evinced in all your deportment and conversation; see notes on John 13:34.

As Christ also hath loved us - We are to evince the same love for one another which he has done for us. He showed his love by giving himself to die for us, and we should evince similar love to one another; 1 John 3:16.

And hath given himself for us - “As Christ also hath loved us.” We are to evince the same love for one another which he has done for us He showed his love by giving himself to die for us, and we should evince similar love to one another; 1 John 3:16. “And hath given himself for us.” This is evidently added by the apostle to show what he meant by saying that Christ loved us, and what we ought to do to evince our love for each other. The strength of his love was so great that he was willing to give himself up to death on our account; our love for our brethren should be such that we would be willing to do the same thing for them; 1 John 3:16.

An offering - The word used here - προσφορά prosphora- means properly that which is “offered to God” in any way; or whatever it may be. It is, however, in the Scriptures commonly used to denote an offering without blood - a thank-offering - and thus is distinguished from a sacrifice or a bloody oblation. The word occurs only in Acts 21:26; Acts 24:17; Romans 15:16; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 10:5, Hebrews 10:8, Hebrews 10:10, Hebrews 10:14, Hebrews 10:18. It means here that he regarded himself as an offering to God.

And a sacrifice - θυσίαν thusianChrist is here expressly called a “Sacrifice” - the usual word in the Scriptures to denote a proper sacrifice. A sacrifice was an offering made to God by killing an animal and burning it on an altar, designed to make atonement for sin. It always implied the “killing” of the animal as an acknowledgment of the sinner that he deserved to die. It was the giving up of “life,” which was supposed to reside in the “blood” (see the notes on Romans 3:25), and hence it was necessary that “blood” should be shed. Christ was such a sacrifice; and his love was shown in his being willing that his blood should be shed to save people.

For a sweet-smelling savour - see the notes on 2 Corinthians 2:15, where the word “savor” is explained. The meaning here is, that the offering which Christ made of himself to God, was like the grateful and pleasant smell of “incense,” that is, it was acceptable to him. It was an exhibition of benevolence with which he was pleased, and it gave him the opportunity of evincing his own benevolence in the salvation of people. The meaning of this in the connection here is that the offering which Christ made was one of “love.” So, says Paul, do you love one another. Christ sacrificed himself by “love,” and that sacrifice was acceptable to God. So do you show love one to another. Sacrifice everything which opposes it. and it will be acceptable to God. He will approve nil which is designed to promote love, as he approved the sacrifice which was made, under the influence of love, by his Son.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Because God, for Christ's sake, has forgiven you, therefore be ye followers of God, imitators of God. Resemble him especially in his love and pardoning goodness, as becomes those beloved by their heavenly Father. In Christ's sacrifice his love triumphs, and we are to consider it fully.
Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 156

And the same compassion that reached out to rescue Peter is extended to every soul who has fallen under temptation. It is Satan's special device to lead man into sin, and then leave him, helpless and trembling, fearing to seek for pardon. But why should we fear, when God has said, “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me”? Isaiah 27:5. Every provision has been made for our infirmities, every encouragement offered us to come to Christ. COL 156.1

Christ offered up His broken body to purchase back God's heritage, to give man another trial. “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25. By His spotless life, His obedience, His death on the cross of Calvary, Christ interceded for the lost race. And now, not as a mere petitioner does the Captain of our salvation intercede for us, but as a Conqueror claiming His victory. His offering is complete, and as our Intercessor He executes His self-appointed work, holding before God the censer containing His own spotless merits and the prayers, confessions, and thanksgiving of His people. Perfumed with the fragrance of His righteousness, these ascend to God as a sweet savor. The offering is wholly acceptable, and pardon covers all transgression. COL 156.2

Christ has pledged Himself to be our substitute and surety, and He neglects no one. He who could not see human beings exposed to eternal ruin without pouring out His soul unto death in their behalf, will look with pity and compassion upon every soul who realizes that he cannot save himself. COL 157.1

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1077-8

13. See EGW on 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. 6BC 1077.1

15-21 (1 Timothy 1:9, 10; James 1:22-25; see EGW on 2 Corinthians 3:6-9). Not Obedient, but Transgressors, Under Bondage—Paul in his Epistle to Timothy describes the very men who are under the bondage of the law. They are the transgressors of the law. He names them lawless, disobedient, sinners, unholy, profane, murderers, adulterers, liars, and all who depart from sound doctrine. 1 Timothy 1:9, 10. 6BC 1077.2

The law of God is the mirror to show man the defects in his character. But it is not pleasant to those who take pleasure in unrighteousness to see their moral deformity. They do not prize this faithful mirror, because it reveals to them their sins. Therefore, instead of instituting a war against their carnal minds, they war against the true and faithful mirror, given them by Jehovah for the very purpose that they may not be deceived, but that they may have revealed to them the defects in their character. 6BC 1077.3

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 396

Our children stand, as it were, at the parting of the ways. On every hand the world's enticements to self-seeking and self-indulgence call them away from the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord. Whether their lives shall be a blessing or a curse depends upon the choice they make. Overflowing with energy, eager to test their untried capabilities, they must find some outlet for their superabounding life. Active they will be for good or for evil. MH 396.1

God's word does not repress activity, but guides it aright. God does not bid the youth to be less aspiring. The elements of character that make a man truly successful and honored among men—the irrepressible desire for some greater good, the indomitable will, the strenuous application, the untiring perseverance—are not to be discouraged. By the grace of God they are to be directed to the attainment of objects as much higher than mere selfish and worldly interests as the heavens are higher than the earth. MH 396.2

With us as parents and as Christians it rests to give our children right direction. They are to be carefully, wisely, tenderly guided into paths of Christlike ministry. We are under sacred covenant with God to rear our children for His service. To surround them with such influences as shall lead them to choose a life of service, and to give them the training needed, is our first duty. MH 396.3

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 361

Around every family there is a sacred circle that should be kept unbroken. Within this circle no other person has a right to come. Let not the husband or the wife permit another to share the confidences that belong solely to themselves. MH 361.1

Let each give love rather than exact it. Cultivate that which is noblest in yourselves, and be quick to recognize the good qualities in each other. The consciousness of being appreciated is a wonderful stimulus and satisfaction. Sympathy and respect encourage the striving after excellence, and love itself increases as it stimulates to nobler aims. MH 361.2

Neither the husband nor the wife should merge his or her individuality in that of the other. Each has a personal relation to God. Of Him each is to ask, “What is right?” “What is wrong?” “How may I best fulfill life's purpose?” Let the wealth of your affection flow forth to Him who gave His life for you. Make Christ first and last and best in everything. As your love for Him becomes deeper and stronger, your love for each other will be purified and strengthened. MH 361.3

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