Hope this finds you well and abundantly blessed. I don’t know if this answers your question but I will give it a shot. Because the context of Ephesian’s 3rd segment is unity, when you come to 5:1 where it says be followers of God, you may “read into the text”(not may as in you have permission, because you never really have permission to read into the text) that God is triune, three in one – unity personified. Then in the second verse of chapter five, where we read of the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf, one may read into it that, because of the context of unity and personal sacrifice, that Paul is giving us the example of God who is perfect unity who in the second person of the trinity ‘gave himself as a sweet smelling offering and sacrifice to God,’ so that we might be unified in a relationship, whom we are to follow by sacrificing in order to maintain unity.
The next paragraph that begins in verse three talks about the fact that we are not even to joke about the things that are sending people to hell – perhaps implying that we are not to compromise even a little bit… Now this is in the area of unity in the body of Christ therefore one might conclude that Unity in the body of Christ only comes through personal sacrifice and absolutely never from biblical compromise.
That is one of the ideas out there floating around. I think it is pretty sound, I dont know what you think. You can understand where the idea comes from that the context dictates the meaning. So if the context is ‘Unity in the body of Christ coming through a willingness to sacrifice personal desires and comforts, it would make sense that someone says, “God is triune, and so when Paul says follow God, he is using a term(terms, by definition, are defined by their context) to emphasize his point. That is the answer.
It makes sense, and it is pretty well put together. I dont know if I buy it, but that’s not your question, nor is it important.