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Ephesians 5:1

ESV Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.
NIV Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children
NASB Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
CSB Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children,
NLT Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.
KJV Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children:
NKJV Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.

What does Ephesians 5:1 mean?

Chapter 5 covers two important themes: obedience to God in our lives, and the proper relationship between husbands and wives. This first section discusses how believers are to be imitators of God, with a particular focus on the love of Christ (Ephesians 5:1–21). Our practical goals are summed up with the word "imitators." Paul uses a commanding tone here: the phrase "be imitators" is an imperative. Paul commands those who follow God to imitate Him. This means striving to do as He would do.

Paul also explains the mindset which ought to motivate Christians towards obedience. Believers in Christ enjoy a Father–child relationship with God. A child naturally seeks to copy what he or she sees in a loving father. Believers in Jesus are to likewise copy what they learn about God. Paul frequently mentions children in this letter (Ephesians 2:3; 4:14; 5:8). Though most of these mentions are simply illustrations, this may suggest that the Ephesian church had an abundance of young people and parents, an area Paul addresses in Ephesians 6:1.
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