Therefore be imitators 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. (
Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder, “How did my father get in there?” I have had people walk up to me and talk to me thinking I am my father. My Dad has been a Gospel singer and songwriter, and they will tell me how much they enjoy my songs. But, I am a preacher and not a singer. The resemblance in our features, however, is undeniable: like father, like son. It should be that if we have had a second birth into God’s family that we should bear His likeness. Paul commands us here to imitate God! How can we do that?
There are attributes of God that are unique to Him, and that I cannot share. He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. That is only true of God, and believers will never attain those, or else we would become God ourselves. There are other attributes, however, such as holiness, righteousness, justice, and veracity that we can share and should strive to attain. While we won’t exhibit them perfectly, we can express them progressively as we seek for them incessantly. The preeminent attribute of God that we can and should seek to imitate is love. God is love, and we are to become like our Heavenly Father. Paul calls us to a walk in love. When you walk you are getting somewhere—and we truly start making progress as God’s people when we are practicing love as a lifestyle.
Like Father, like Son—and so Jesus is the model Child. His love was both vertical and horizontal, as the beams of the cross, where He offered Himself to God and for us. His love was expressed vertically in being lifted up to the Father—the Beloved Son in Whom He was well-pleased. The fragrance of Christ’s love permeated the atmosphere of Heaven and the Father accepted that loving sacrifice. It culminated a life of loving obedience to His Father. But, there was also the horizontal dimension—Christ sacrificed Himself in our place. He loved us and gave Himself for us, so that we can be accepted by a Holy God in Him.
Like Father, like son, similarly means that we are like Jesus and love God with all our being and our neighbor as ourselves. Of all God calls us to be, imitating Him in this is the chief thing. It is the supreme mark of a Christian. May the world know we are Christians by our love!