Imitators of God

“So be imitators of God, as beloved children” Ephesians 5:1

The apostle Paul was not intending to say the Christian should imitate God, as we use the word impersonate in contemporary language.

Impersonate 1. To mimic the voice, appearance, and manners of somebody else, especially in order to entertain. 2. To pretend to be somebody else, especially illegally in order to deceive. It is from the early 17th century Latin persona "mask worn by an actor, character."

Instead, the Apostle describes the proper motive for imitating God in the previous verse, “(And) be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ” Eph 4:32. The Christian’s motive in godliness is appreciation for sins forgiven, as he says in the following verse, “and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma” 5:2.

As always, we see in 4:32 our identity is “in Christ” because only there we are forgiven, and loved as dear children. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery; by it, we glorify God!