Vol. 16 No. 3 – January 15, 2017
Galatians 5:1-2, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Chapter 5, Christ’s example of Love for the believer to emulate is described with words reminiscent of OT sacrifice, Ex 29:18; Lev 2:2; cf. Phil 4:18.
Here we see that our “riches in Christ” are based on Jesus’ giving of Himself as part of His priestly service, as His work on the Cross was, “an offering and a sacrifice,” PROSHORA KAI THUSIA, “to God,” the Dative of Direction HO THEOS. “Offering and sacrifice” is a double Accusative construction that makes the first word the object and the second the complement. In other words, Jesus was the offering. His offering was a sacrifice to and for God.
This shows us that as members of the Royal Priesthood of God, 1 Peter 2:9, when we operate in AGAPE love, our Divine Good Production becomes an offering and sacrifice to and for God that is pleasing to Him.
With Jesus as our example / prototype, this also tells us that our priestly function is to; 1) help the sinner to overcome their sins, 2) not hold the sins of others as a barrier between you and them, thereby freeing yourself to help and serve them.
This offering and sacrifice is complemented by two more nouns in the phrase, “for the purpose of a fragrant aroma,” EIS OSME EUODIA. Cf. Gen 8:21; Ex 29:18, 25, 41; 2 Cor 2:14; Phil 4:18; and is seen many times in the books of Leviticus and Numbers.
In the OT, offerings that were a “soothing or fragrant aroma” to God were the burnt offerings. They were the burnt offerings that were voluntary acts of worship signifying the worshiper’s total dedication to God with the intent of pleasing Him.
OSME means, “A smell, odor, scent, or fragrance.” It is in the Accusative case for the description of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It is an “aroma,” that is further defined in the next word in the Genitive case. It is used in John 12:3; 2 Cor 2:14, 16; Eph 5:2; Phil 4:18.
It comes from the Verb OZO that means, “to smell, give off odor.” It signified a pleasing odor in the LXX in connection with sacrifices acceptable to God for the Hebrew word REACH that means an odor or scent, Gen 8:21; Lev 1:9, 13, 17; 2:12; Num 28:2.
The offerings that used REACH included burnt offerings, Lev 1:9, grain offerings, 2:2, peace offerings, 3:5. In addition, in Num 15:7 it was used for the drink or libation offerings that accompanied the burnt and grain offerings when they entered the Land of Canaan, which too were burnt.
Interestingly, “soothing aroma” is used in the OT related to burnt offerings that represent judgment.
In the NT, it is first used in John 12:3 regarding the anointing of Jesus’s feet by Mary.
John 12:3, “Mary therefore took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”
Mary did this in anticipation of His burial. Anointing was a custom commonly observed in connection with preparations for burial.
The type of perfume or ointment she used was called “Nard” or “spikenard;” NARDOS in the Greek. It was a much-valued perfume, Song 1:12; Song 4:13-14. It was “very precious”, i.e., very costly, Mark 14:3; John 12:3, 5. It was an aromatic oil extracted from the root of an East Indian plant, Nardostachys jatamansi, growing on the Himalaya mountains. Interestingly, it is distinguished by its having many hairy spikes shooting out from one root. It is called by the Arabs Sunbul Hindi, “the Indian spike.” So we see an analogy of Christ crucified with spikes driven through His hands and feet and the crown of thrones driven through His head, all of which were a sweet smelling aroma to God the Father, i.e., pleasing to Him.
Then we have EUODIA that means, “aroma, fragrance, or sweet smelling.” It is in the Attributive Genitive, which acts like an adjective though it is more emphatic to express the quality of Christ’s sacrifice with sharpness and distinction. This is the word for “fragrant.”
It is used in the LXX for the Hebrew Noun NICHOACH, נִיחֹחַ that means, “pleasure or soothing.” NICHOACH refers to sacrifices which were received as “soothing odors” to the Lord, as seen in Ex 29:18; Lev 1:9, 2:2 and many other passages. The first occurrence is in Gen 8:21, when the Lord smells the “soothing odor” of Noah’s sacrifices. “Because the verb NÛACH means “to rest,” “to have rest,” “to be quiet” (for example, God rested after the six days of creation [Exo. 20:11]), NÎCHŌACH likely refers to the soothing nature of the odor of the sacrifice in that it brings rest and quiet.” (Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary.) We could also say “peace.”
NICHOACH is used for fragrant incense that was burned in the sanctuary and the various offerings that were burned in belief that their aroma would be pleasing to the Lord, i.e., He would be satisfied with the sacrifice.
In the NT EUODIA is used in 2 Cor 2:15; Eph 5:2; Phil 4:18. It is made up of EU, “well, good,” and OZO, “to smell, to give off an aroma.” Combined it means, “savor, fragrance, or aroma.” In antiquity the odor of something was regarded as indicative of its character. Thus the odor/aroma carried the essence and quality of its originator.
OSME EUODIA forms the background for the three texts in which Paul used these terms.
- First and foremost, the fragrant offering of Christ has been made to God through the Cross. Furthermore, in reference to the Godward effects of the offering and sacrifice of Christ, which no doubt includes both His life and His death on the Cross, He has been offered on our behalf, and God has accepted it, Eph 5:2.
- Moreover, the apostle considered the heralds of the gospel as the fragrance of the gospel, of Christ to God, 2 Cor 2:15, read vs. 14-17.
1.) To some it is an aroma of death to death, (i.e., judgment).
2.) To others it is of life to life, (i.e., salvation).
- Just as the self-sacrifice of Christ for others was a savory offering to God, the gift which the congregation in Philippi had collected for Paul was a “sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God,” Phil 4:18.
Phil 4:18, “But I have received everything in full, and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.”
This tells us that when we become imitators of God, our priestly service and sacrifice will be 1) accepted by God, and 2) pleasing to Him, Col 1:10; Heb 11:6; 13:16. Just as Christ’s offering of Himself was a fragrance pleasing and thus acceptable to God, cf. Lev 1:17; 3:16; Isa 53:10.
So we see the three aspects of propitiation in the believer:
The Fragrant Offering: Col 1:10, “So that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Cf. 1 Thes 2:4.
The Herald received: Heb 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
The Gift: Heb 13:16, “And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
Christ is our example for pleasing God, Rom 15:3, “For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED YOU FELL UPON ME”.” (Psa 69:9).
Therefore, we are to do as Rom 15:2, states, “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to his edification.”
“Fragrant aroma” speaks of the propitiatory nature of Jesus’ sacrifice, in that God the Father accepted His sacrifice for our sins, and was pleased with it because it satisfied His holiness, righteousness, and justice. In Christ we see the three aspects of propitiation:
The Fragrant Offering: 1 John 2:2, “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.” Cf. Rom 3:25; Heb 2:17; 1 John 4:10.
The Herald: Rom 3:25, “Whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed.”
The Gift: 1 John 4:10, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Propitiation is one of several doctrines regarding “The Finished Work of Jesus Christ,” along with the doctrines of Redemption, Reconciliation, Justifi-cation, and Sanctification.
In fact, Redemption is Christ’s completed work directed toward Sin. Reconciliation is Christ’s completed work directed toward Man. And Propitiation is Christ’s completed work directed toward God. So propitiation is the Godward side of Christ’s completed work upon the Cross.
- “Propitiation” is the verb HILASKOMAI, ἱλάσκομαι used in Luke 18:13, (merciful) and Heb 2:17 that means, “propitiate, conciliate, be propitiated, or expiate.” This represents the Fragrant Offering.
In the ancient world, because of the deep-seeded knowledge that man is a sinner, the people would try to please their god(s) so that they could enter into relationship with them. This was Satan’s false religions of all the ancient pagan gods and goddess. Yet in the Bible, we see that God took all the initiative to mend the broken relationship with man due to sin in the world and in man. This was first evident in the sacrifices God commanded of His people and in the Levitical offerings. They all pointed to what Christ would one day perform on the Cross.
- The Noun for “propitiation” is used in 1 John 2:2; 4:10, and is the Greek word HILASMOS, ἱλασμός that means, “expiation, propitiation, or sin offering.” Expiation also means, “to make amends or reparation for or atone,” and propitiation means, “to conciliate or appease.” This represents the Herald.
In the ancient world “an expiation or a propitiation,” the HILASMOS, was regarded as nullifying the action which caused the rift between the deity and the individual. In its two usages in the NT, 1 John 2:2; 4:10, we see that Jesus Christ is THE “Propitiation,” for all of mankind, who has nullified the wrath of God the Father towards the sinner, especially those who believe.
- The Adjective HILASTERION, ἱλαστήριον is used in Rom 3:25; Heb 9:5, for “propitiation” that means, “the means of expiation, or place of propitiation.” In classical Greek it refers to a gift to the gods which procures atonement. This represents the Gift.
Interestingly, in the Septuagint it is translated twenty-two times for the Hebrew word KAPPORETH that means, “The mercy seat”; i.e., the golden lid of the Ark of the Covenant, Ezek 43:14, 17, 20. It is also used that way in Heb 9:5, where it is actually translated “Mercy Seat.” The Ark of the Covenant with its Mercy Seat was the shadow propitiation of the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle and sprinkle the sacrificial blood all over the Mercy Seat. Only on the Day of Atonement was the high priest permitted to enter the Holy of holies, and then only with the blood of the animal sacrifice, Lev 16:13‑16. If he did not have the blood, it represented human works which are rejected by God, as noted in the parable of propitiation, Luke 18:9-14. The sprinkling of animal blood represented the spiritual death of Christ bearing our sins and the acceptance by the integrity of God of His work.
The contents of the Ark, (the urn of manna, Aarons rod that budded, and the tablets of the Law), also represented Jesus Christ bearing our sins on the Cross, 1 Peter 2:24; 2 Cor 5:21.
On top of the ark was the solid gold mercy seat, Ex 25:17‑22. The two cherubs of gold represent the righteousness and justice of the integrity of God. Ex 25:22 says, “There I will meet with you.” This shows us that the integrity of God is the point of reference, the place of contact between God and man. This picture was also seen in the empty tomb of our Lord, John 20:12.
The other place in the NT where the term occurs is Rom 3:25, and it could be literally translated, “which (with reference to Christ, vs. 24), God presented, a ‘mercy seat’ through faith in His blood.” The implication is that Christ is the site, (or seat), at which atonement takes place through faith. Thus He is the propitiation of our sins. The NT declares that God demonstrates His atonement openly, in the sight of all, for the entire universe to see and believe upon.
Therefore, as demonstrated by these passages and many more, in propitiation the justice of God judged our sins in the Person of Jesus Christ and the integrity of God is satisfied with that judgment. Propitiation then frees the justice of God to immediately give anyone who believes in Christ salvation and Divine integrity; the righteousness of God. Salvation adjustment to the justice of God by faith in Christ frees Divine justice to provide blessings for the believer at salvation; both our logistical grace blessings and escrow blessings for time and eternity.
So we see that propitiation is related to various aspects of God’s character.
- The mechanics of propitiation is related to the justice of God. Justice is satisfied, as illustrated in the burnt offering of Lev 1. The Fragrant Offering.
- Righteousness is satisfied, as illustrated in the grain offering of Lev 2. The Herald.
- Propitiation is related to the love of God, 1 John 4:10, “By this love exists: not because we have loved God, but because He has loved us and sent His Son a propitiation for our sins.” The love of God is motivation for propitiation. The Gift.
The resultant principle is that at the moment of salvation, the justice of the Father is satisfied, freeing the love of God to motivate the justice of God to bless the believer.
And finally, propitiation is related to unlimited atonement, 1 John 2:2, “And He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.” Therefore, propitiation is the turning away of the wrath of God by the offering of Jesus Christ on the Cross for our sins, 1 John 4:10.
Next in vs. 3-5, we have several prohibitions against overt and verbal sins, using sexual immorality as the object lesson, with the back drop of the right man – right woman relationship that is Jesus Christ and His Church, Eph 5:23-32.
Eph 5:3, “But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints.
Continuing the “Pattern for Our Walk, (Walking in Love as God’s Dear Child,” Eph 5:1-7), in vs. 3-4 we are told what not to do so that we are imitators of God and continue to walk in Love as beloved children of God where our lives are an offering and sacrifice to God that He is pleased with.
As we saw three aspects of “a fragrant aroma,” (Propitiation), in vs. 2: The Herald, 2 Cor 2:15; The Fragrant Offering, Eph 5:2; and The Gift, Phil 4:18. Now in vs.3, we are told of three things we are not to do, “as is proper among saints,” (Immorality, Impurity, and Greed), which are complete opposites of the three aspects of the fragrant aroma.
This verse begins with the Contrasting Conjunction DE, for “but,” that tells us what not to do. It is a strong contrast between the fragrant aroma of Jesus Christ and the stench of the old sin nature and the believer’s negative volition. It gives us a strong contrast between the impeccable life of Jesus Christ and the carnal and reversionistic failure of believers with a sin nature. We go from the perfection of Christ and what He has done, to the failure of the Royal Family and the various ways we have failed.
Here we have a list of three sinful attributes in this passage, plus three in vs.4, for a total of six sinful attributes of the reversionistic believer, which we will note further below. And by the way, six is the number of man! As three is the number of Divine perfection that we saw in vs. 2 above in the Herald, Offering, and Gift of the fragrant aroma that was Jesus Christ that we are to emulate.
With the contrasting Conjunction we have two other phrases to tell us that we should not be entering into the things listed here.
First we have, “Not be named among you,” which in the Greek is the negative disjunctive Particle MEDE, “not even,” with the Verb ONOMAZO, ὀνομάζω that means “name, entitle, call, or mention,” in the Present, Middle Imperative for a prohibition here, and with EN HUMEIS, “among you,” it is referring to the believers. The whole point is, do not even in your soul tempt yourself with these types of things.
The second phrase is at the end of the this passage, “as is proper among the saints,” which begins with the Conjunction KATHOS used to contrast the behavior of the New Man in Christ with that of the sinner. Then we have the Present, Active, Indicative of the verb PREPO that means, “to be fitting, becoming, or suitable.” With these we have the Dative Plural Noun HAGIOS that means, “holy, consecrated, perfect, pure, upright, worthy of God, or saint.” It is used here for the believer who is a New Man who has been set apart by God and made holy and righteous, Eph 4:24. The principle is: You have been made holy; therefore, operate in holiness in contrast to these things.
As we have seen previously, given the status the New Man has been created in, he should not go back to the old ways of doing things and live in sin, under the Old Man. That sinful lifestyle is noted in the three terms in this passage, Immorality, Impurity, and Greed. In addition, because of the illicit sexual nature of the ancient pagan religions, it was imperative that believers avoid any hint of pagan religious association. So this first list of three includes overt sins of the body that stem from having mental attitude sins from a corrupt heart or mentality of the soul.
- Immorality, is the Noun PORNEIA, πορνεία that means, “Unchaste, prostitution, fornication, or immorality.” We noted this word back in Gal 5:19. It means normal illicit sex, sex between a man and a woman in contrast to perverted illicit sex of bestiality, lesbianism, homosexuality, pedophilia, etc. This is the anti-Herald.
In ancient Greek this word was rarely used, but when it was, it stood first for prostitution, then later “unchasted behavior, or illicit sexual relations” of any kind. “Fornication” is a somewhat archaic but common translation. In addition, metaphorically, especially in Biblical writings, it can mean idolatry in association with the phallic cult of ancient pagan religions, cf. Acts 15:20, 29; Rev 2:21; 14:8. It represents a “cheating” on God by getting into bed with the world, i.e., Satan’s cosmic system, both religious and economic, Rev 9:21; 14:8; 17:2, 4; 18:3; 19:2.
In regard to sexual immorality, and closely related to adultery, this was the only legitimate reason for divorce, cf. Mat 19:9; 5:32; 15;19; Mark 7:21.
Sexual immorality was a problem in the Church at Corinth, 1 Cor 7:2; cf. 5:1; 6:13, 18, and something God warned all the churches against, Eph 5:2; Col 3:5; 1 Thes 4:3.
- All Impurity is PAS AKATHARSIA, ἀκαθαρσία the Noun that means, “all uncleanness, ritual impurity, or immorality.” The noun also connotes the cultic impurities of the Old Testament Mosaic law. It is used in Mat 23:27; Rom 1:24; 6:19; 2 Cor 12:21; Gal 5:19; Eph 4:19; 5:3; Col 3:5; 1 Thes 2:3; 4:17. We noted this in Eph 4:19 for the word “impurity.” There, like here, it is linked with our next word, “greed or greediness.” With PAS, “for all or every,” it denotes the various kinds of uncleanness: physical, cultic, ethical, and moral. All four are in view in our passage of prohibition, and being tied with PORNEIA, the unethical and immoral aspects of sexual immorality are emphasized. We could say then this is abnormal fornication, such as homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, incest, bestiality, etc. This is the anti-Offering.
So far we have “But fornication, (normal illicit sex) and all (uncleanness) abnormal illicit sex.”
- Or Greed, is E, ἤ the Conjunction of separation in the sense of complement. It is linked here with the Noun PLEONEXIA, πλεονεξία that means, “greediness, avarice, or covetousness.” In other word, “greediness” is its own sin, (the excess lust to accumulate possessions or wealth), but it is also linked with sexual immorality that speaks to both sex for money, i.e., prostitution, and the insatiable appetite of sexual impurity as a lust pattern of the Old Sin Nature. This is the anti-Gift.
In Eph 4:19 this was also linked to “sensuality,” which in the Greek is ASELGEIA, ἀσέλγεια that means, “licentiousness, excess wantonness, or lasciviousness.” It means excess devotion to sensual pleasures to gratify physical appetites, especially sexual appetites,” and refers to that which leads to all types of sin, (impurity or uncleanness), that goes deeper and deeper into sinful behavior because it never satisfies. Therefore, they have prostituted themselves for Satan’s cosmic system,” or “they have sold out to the world,” which also is an indication of the intensification of the Frantic Search for Happiness in reversionism. It is striving for either materialistic things or striving for the object of one’s sexual lust. It is the evil impulse leading to an evil deed, or a strong lust leading to the attempt to gratify this lust and calling it happiness.
As we noted in Chapter 4, this is part of the “Black out of the Soul,” MATIAOTES, and “Scar Tissue of the Soul” that leads to, “vanity of vanities, all is vanity,” Eccl 1:2, 12:8. See also the ensuing Doctrine of “Sensuality” – Sexual Immorality there.
Finally, the man ruled by PLEONEXIA considers his fellow man / women to exist solely for his own profit and pleasure. The heart that is PLEONEXIA lives for the present moment. Yet the Christian, in contrast, lives for the future and the glorification of God, not himself.
So Paul warns believers in vs. 3-7, to sever themselves completely from their former way of life. He lists only a few representative sins of people who were not walking in the sphere of the love of God. Any kind of sin is inconsistent with a life of love. God’s love does not motivate us to sin!
Eph 5:4, “And there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.”
Here Paul lists three more sins, filthiness, silly talk, and coarse jesting that are three verbal sins that also stem from having mental attitude sins from a corrupt heart or the mentality of the soul. We noted several of these words and covered all three in Eph 4:29, where the New Man is commanded to replace “corrupt talk” with edifying talk. That same theme is seen in in the words, “but rather giving of thanks,” as we will note below.
It begins with the correlating Conjunction KAI, for “and.” As such, the translators of the NASB added “there must be no,” to make is clear that the command of prohibition from vs. 3, continues here.
Paul warns against various sins of the tongue, in three aspects of verbal sin, including:
- Filthiness, is the Noun AISCHROTES, αἰσχρότης that mans, “baseness, (poor or offensive terms), filthiness, indecency, wickedness,” or sometimes “dishonor.” It is only used here in Scripture. This is a rare term with various meanings such as, “filthiness, ugliness, baseness, indecency, wickedness.” From its root it also implies “shame, embarrassment, or disgrace,” due to shameful behavior. Here it implies speech that is repulsive, filthy, or obscene, we could say, “shameful talk.” It covers the gamut from swearing, to dirty words, to promiscuous sexual language, or words intended to arouse sexually. This too is an anti-Herald. It is in sharp contrast to godliness or purity of speech.
BDAG notes it means, “Behavior that flouts social and moral standards, shamefulness, obscenity,” (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament).
“Impropriety, a summarizing improper conduct whether in action or word or even thought and intent; indecorum of any kind; conduct which when exposed by the light makes the person ashamed of himself; ugly, shameful conduct of any kind; conduct which is contrary to a person who follows after God (only in Eph. 5:4). Attachment and conformity to God requires a conduct of which God is not ashamed and which could not bring shame to the person when it is brought to light.” (Complete Word Study Dictionary).
- Silly Talk, is the Noun MOROLOGIA, μωρολογία that means, “Foolish talk, silly talk.” It is from MOROS, where we get our word “moron” from that means, “foolish,” and LEGO that means, “to speak.” literally it could be “empty heads.” It is that type of speech which betrays a person as foolish. It is empty or vain conversation which does not contribute to the spiritual maturity of individuals. This is the anti-Offering.
It is also only used here in Scripture. Nonbiblical writers used “silly talk” in general, such as might come from the mouth of one who is of weak intellect, or even intoxicated. So it is the “talk of fools” which is foolishness and sin together.
In addition, it often implied a willful blindness to the truth of God, cf. Psa 94:8; Mat 23:17, 19. This is also seen in our passage in the context of vs. 6, “deceptive empty words.” This is the point in 2 Tim 2:23; Titus 3:9, where the teaching of Jesus contrasts sharply with stupid controversies, i.e., speculations and subtle questions that do not relate to the truths of salvation. Therefore, false teaching is in view, but with its nature rather than its content as the main point of contention.
- Coarse Jesting, also includes E, ἤ the Conjunction of separation in the sense of complement. Therefore, this too is a separate sin but adds to filthy and foolish speech. “Coarse jesting” is one word in the Greek, the Noun EUTRAPELIA, εὐτραπελία that means, “Indecent or vulgar jesting, improper jokes,” that too is only used here in Scripture. It is from EU, “good”, and TREPHO, “turning,” where this term means, “quick-witted, mentally sharp, or witty.” Literally, it is the turning of one’s speech for the purpose of exciting mirth or laughter. Paul used it in a negative way, referring to indecent or off-color humor. With the continued context of vs. 3, it can also include tricky, dishonest, and flattering speech used to seduce someone; a “teaser” as they say. This is the anti-Gift.
Good, clean jokes certainly have their place, even among God’s people. But there is a difference between a joke that merely helps to lighten the atmosphere with good laughter and one that borders on that which is coarse or base.
Therefore, these are all types of verbal sins, (and overt sins, as noted in vs. 3), “which are not fitting,” HOS in the plural, OUK, “not,” ANEKO in the Imperfect, Active, Indicative that means, “which are not fitting or proper.” Used here with the Greek negative OUK, this is something bad. Without the negative it is something good, as in Col 3:18; Philemon 1:8. So this is inappropriate or improper behavior for the New Man in Christ. It stands in apposition to PREPO HAGIOS, “proper among the saints,” in vs. 3.
Therefore, the New Man is to throw off all of these overt and verbal sins, and instead operate in the New Man with “edifying speech,” as in Eph 4:29, and as here, “but rather giving of thanks,” ALLA MALLON EUCHARISTIA.
EUCHARISTIA, εὐχαριστία means, “thankfulness, gratitude, thanksgiving, etc.” It also refers to the Common Table, cf. 1 Cor 11:24. It means thankfulness toward the Lord or occupation with the person of Christ. Thankfulness toward the Lord for whatever He gives you, occupation with the person of Christ for whatever He has provided. The context here is in regards to being imitators of God. This means that our “giving of thanks” should be to God, in all of our actions and words as a Herald, Fragrant Offering, and Gift for all that He has given and done for us, especially for our right man or right woman, Eph 5:23-33. In addition, we should use our words to build up others spiritually, especially our right man or right woman, as well as in praise and glorification of God.