May 5, 2002

                                Ephesians 5:1-20


v. 1 - “be ye therefore followers/imitators of God” especially in

            reference to ch. 4:32


We ought to forgive because we have been forgiven.


“If ye do no forgive neither will your Father in Heaven forgive

  your trespasses” - Mark 11:25


Imitate the Father in His forgiveness and loving Spirit!


Forgiving love is one of the great glories of our Father; it has

been made especially attractive in our eyes, because it has

been exercised towards us, we ought to show the same spirit.


v. 2 - “walk in love” - ordinary life be spent in atmosphere of

            love - “even as Christ also loved us and gave Himself

            for us” - a complete self-surrender, a whole burnt



Love is the motive power to all right relations with fellow

man.  If not love, then the wrath of God should be a motivator.


Moralities have tried to work themselves out without divine

aid, historically, and modernly, for instance, the phantom idea

of separation of church and state.  They are powerless and the

independent moralities have as yet rendered no appreciable

service to the world.


“an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor”



Not just an offering merely, but also the spirit in which it was

offered - “obedient unto death” - Phil. 2:8 - presented unto

God to satisfy His justice, fulfill His demands of His Law,

and glorify His holy & righteous government.


God had pleasure in the death of His Son - Isaiah 53:10-11


Now, if God regarded with infinite delight the sacrifice of His

Only Son,  for the sake of His brethren, is there any way in

which we can please the Father, other than following the

footsteps of our Elder Brother, when we sacrifice ourselves

out of love for the brethren?


v. 3 - The fumes of lust are doubly odious in contact with

            the sweet savour of Christ’s offering!


Fornication, uncleanness, covetousness - let them not be

named in a Christian. 


When these sensual appetites get the upper hand, they

lead to terrible excess and  bringing disease on both

body and mind and avenge the sin to which they have been



First, they tempt men to sin, and then as if in cruel

mockery, they scourge them for having sinned.


Rom. 1:27       Al Capone, worms eating his brain,

former state health worker from college days, Christian

County’s has high STD rate - down to 12 yr. olds, small

College in one of the Dakotas this week - contact tracing.


These are sins against ourselves - Wasting our life

or body as well as dishonoring it - Prov. 5:11


These sins darken the judgment - Hosea 4:11 - this

explains pop culture in America and its resistance

to Judeao-Christian teaching led by representatives,

senators, a former president or sitting Supreme Ct.

justices or those of a few yrs. ago.


The corruption that is in the world through lust

is inconsistent with the Divine nature - I Peter 1:4


It thwarts the design of the Gospel which is to purify

a  people unto Himself - Titus 2:14


It provokes God’s anger - here and Psalm 7:11

“…and God is angry with the wicked every day”

The combination of covetousness with the sins of the flesh -

covetousness means the desire of having more, greedy,

insatiable - see Ezek. 16:28


“let it not be named” - not even in conversation.

This bears on a Christian’s social relations.


“They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with

  the affections and lusts”


Hard to do, it can be done - “Christ was in all points

tempted as we are yet without sin.


I Cor. 10:13    Job 31:1,4       Prov. 2:10,16-19


v. 4 - filthiness, foolish talking or jesting - unbecoming

speech -things with double meanings - it is proof of the

corrupt heart for “out of the abundance of the heart the

mouth speaketh” - modern sit-coms seem to be nothing

but this, I never watch any of them but I hear them on

advertisements with raunchy  clips - This influences

American behavior – remember when not so much as the

word “damn” in the early days was allowed – this also

was an influence on America. – Jer. 2:2-3


“Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith

the Lord;  I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth,

the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me

in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.  Israel

was holiness unto the Lord, and the firstfruits of His

increase:  all that devour him shall offend; evil shall

come upon them saith the Lord”


But not so know with militant Islam sneaking around

and desiring our demise.




I feel about sit-coms a lot like I do towards the world in the

church, both situations are cover-ups - lack of intelligence

and vocabulary in the one, lack of true spiritual substance in

the other.


v. 5 - “For this ye know” - know well -  I don’t know about

            today, with the 3rd generation of untaught & uncultured

            in the kingdom of God.


Covetousness, the twin brother sin of uncleanness, is denounced

as idolatry.  It is the worshipping of the creature more than the

Creator, depending on earthly substance in the place of favor

and blessing of God.  Covetousness must receive the doom of

the idolater, instead of inheriting the kingdom, it must die the

death.  The doom is not only future, but also the present.


The lust of greed overreaches itself; it loses all that is worth

having - it may have lands, houses and goods but not one

scrap in the kingdom of Christ & God !


Covetousness is often a sin of respectability but here it is

linked with sins of gross immorality.  It is a solemn thought

the commonest of all sins is the most serious in His sight.


Those eager to attain wealth without respect to God’s glory

or their own spiritual good.


The covetous man transfers to riches, the love, desire, joy,

trust and labor which God demands for Himself.


The sin is all the greater since he knows that his god of

mammon is  no god.


v. 6 - “Let no man deceive you with vain or empty words”


Like the young must have an outlet for their warm feelings,

that men in business must put all their soul in it, and that

life must be brightened with a little mirth and jollity.


“for because of these things come the wrath of God upon

the children of disobedience.”


Future punishment, natural punishment, deadly diseases,

disappointment, remorse, desolation of soul, like that

which fell on Sodom & Gomorrah, like the sword which

never departed from the house of David.


The Ephesians were addicted to crimes of uncleanness

and covetousness, the city filled with those of impure

imaginations, a set of men and women, who for the most

part fit for penitentiaries and state prisons.  Morality

received no backing from mythology or the state, who

amorally, were morally neutral. 


The wrath of God is calculated to wean men from such

sins of impurity and covetousness!


Science can never bring it about to where one can sin

with impunity, neither can psychology or philosophy!


Thus without a moral consensus, democracy cannot

exist and this is why America is in such decline.


Sooner or later, a man who commits himself to darkness

finds he has made a serious mistake.


v. 7 - “Be ye not therefore partakers with them”


Separate from the evil - Jesus Himself was “separate

from sinners” but was always in society that He might

win sinners to God.  John 17:11-15, 20-21


Our walk is to be separate and circumspect, that we

may stand apart from the plagues that will descend

upon a doomed world.  See Eph. 5:15


A pure life will convict, it did Cain, all we have to

do and all that Abel did was carry the light – See

I John 3:12


vs. 8-9  A hard heart is always linked with a

            blinded understanding - they two act &

            react upon one another, alternately cause &

            effect.  Men do not care to retain the knowledge

            of God in their thoughts and God, in judgment,

            gives them over to a reprobate mind.


Today, like the most enlightened of the ancient world,

are thus in “darkness”.


v. 10 - “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord”


By testing and experimenting - “Taste & see that the

Lord is good” - “Prove me now if I will not open the

windows of Heaven and pour you out a blessing, that

there shall not be room enough to receive it”


v. 11 - Not even a passive attitude towards them, but

            be aggressive and expose their wickedness.


All the while “speaking the truth in love”  - Eph. 4:15


This is to be done with the view of producing a consciousness

of guilt and evil.  Now it is the opposite with the world

influencing the church?


A testimony has to be lifted up against ways that are so

shameful that will bring down the wrath of God!


Like when a kid, the magnifying glass could be held before

the sun to concentrate light to burn a rope, so light

concentrated from heaven upon the conscience of the

sinner will consume those things which bind him.


No fellowship with darkness, the friendship with the world

can only be purchased at the cost of the Father’s friendship.


“Friendship with the world is enmity against God” - James 4:4


v.12 - A shame to speak of what they do in secret.


See Ezekiel 8:9-18


Too much pains cannot be taken by parents, school

administration & teachers, to foster the delicacy

among the young - to exclude from conversation

the faintest touch of what is unbecoming.


So much for the work of two hundred years in

America - we are reaping the effects of taking a liberal,

Hedonistic and destructive approach to the living of life.


For comparison - cartoon - The case against Dr. Spock.

A caricature of Bill Clinton.



Yet these situations are not beyond remedy or cure - “He

is able to save to the uttermost that come unto God by HIM!

Heb. 7:25


v. 13 - The influence of light - we are to be the salt of the



v. 14 - Perhaps we are asleep - then WAKE UP!

Pop culture dreams of peace & safety, may be even walking

in their sleep, but they need to be roused.  If he knew

of his danger, he would not be asleep.



He needs to be roused but in ignorance does not want




“The night is far spent, the day is at hand:  let us

therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us

put on the armor of light” - Rom. 13:12


We are not to spiritually “sleep in” but to be active, to

make use of the light for the illumination of the world.


It will work - “My word shall not return unto me void,

it shall accomplish that which I please, it shall prosper

in the thing whereunto I sent it”




v. 15 - “See then that ye walk circumspectly - strictly”


In a day when men had a handle on the word of the Lord

and a bridle on their impulses – The Incontinent of II Tim. 3



“not as unwise but as wise” - Last week’s notes on



Nothing is of more value than fixed principles, yea,

absolutes, for guiding our life.



It has been remarked that the Puritan age was an age of

convictions, the conviction that the only true and safe way

is to follow the will of God, for them it was work, morality,

education, all to glorify God.


v. 16 - “Redeeming (buying) the time because the days

            are evil” -


Matt. 24:12                Matt. 13:45-46


v. 17 - My prayer - to know the will of God and do it!


v. 18 - Drunkenness is a work of darkness, a foe of

            vigilance and earnestness.


v. 19 - Songs in service and life


v. 20 - Thanksgiving - an excellent way to keep the heart

            in tone and in spiritual shape.


Don’t do this occasionally but always!


“unto God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus



To Him who has brought in the economy of grace, in which

we get blessing in the place of wrath, for suffering we get

a reward, for misery we get glory, where our trials and

sorrows are turned into joy and real blessing!