"Walking It Out" - Ephesians 5
July 1, 2019

C. R. Oliver


July 1, 2019

"Walking it Out" - Ephesians 5

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     Chapter Five enters through a "Therefore" gate, thus basing everything taught up to that point as reference toward enabling understanding of what is about to be introduced. What is introduced is so powerful that nowhere else in the New Testament do we find such a mandate.

Ephesians 5:1: Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children. NKJV

When Jesus said, "He did only what He saw His father do," He set the stage for us to do the same. In order to "Be" imitators of God as "Dear Children," there must "be" a transformation from "being worldly" to "being like God!"

Since our Father is love, the requisite for believers is to be characterized as "love-beings." "Dear Children" describes our interaction with the Father and our siblings in an atmosphere of love and acceptance. It is the kind of love that carried Jesus to the cross. It is the kind of love that deigns to see the lost in their condition and the captured saint in the throws of degradation. It cannot bear to remain silent in a world of error and deception. Its heart is broken when others are in suffering and pain. It visits prisons and homeless and orphans and bedridden and offers help and mercy and love. It searches for the one lost sheep, while watching out for the devourer of the flock. It is not content to remain a spectator as satan seeks to kill, steal and destroy. Such love cries out to the disaster - bound that the road is out, the bridge is gone or there lies some other impediment ahead. To walk in love, as the earthly expression of the heavenly Father, is the ultimate goal of the living Lord. Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice on the altar of heaven; therefore, we must become living sacrifices on that altar while on the earth.

Paul's love for the Ephesians was so great, he began to enumerate the sins which would mar the lives of his precious brethren. He could not remain silent and watch the devastation he knew these actions deployed.


As a matter of fact, Paul laid out three "walk" scenarios based on God - imitation. The believer is to WALK in Love, WALK in Light and WALK in Wisdom.

Ephesians 5:2:
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. NKJV

This passage is loaded with meaning, for Jesus offered both the "non-blood" sacrifices, found in the Temple, as well as the final "Blood" sacrifice of the cross. He laid His all on the altar and so must the saint! This, of course, entails some life sacrifices in order to be pure and without blemish.

Walking in love is a big order. It means not feigning love, but genuinely "being Love" -- like God.

This goes beyond the I Corinthians 13 mandate; this is a state of being thoroughly saturated in the substance of love.

Like a cascading waterfall, Paul seems to leave the heights of the love walk to examine the walk antithetical to it. He blatantly addressed those worldly sins which characterized the unbeliever, and he contrasted them with the love-walk. Like some death dealing hematoma that must be dealt with, he cuts to the irritant location and draws out the dead blood of sin in order to rescue the body from death. Paul named the sin and called for repentance by doing so.

Jesus did likewise when he optimized the commandment, "Thou shalt not commit adultery."

Matthew 5:27:
"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."


Jesus paved the way for Paul and James to reference His boldness in showing the deeper commitments of the commandments.

Mark 10:18-22:
Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not bear false witness,' 'Do not defraud,' 'Honor your father and your mother.'"

20 And he answered and said to Him, "Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth."

21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me."

22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Notice the Love-Walk in Jesus' answer.

Paul is in good company with his emphasis on the excesses of immorality. He addresses addiction. The word used in this passage is greed (covetousness), but in truth, it is addictive behavior. Any compulsive-obsessive behavior falls into this category, and there are plenty of cases out there. Whatever variety one wishes to observe - May be found in the local church (workaholics, bulimics, anorexics, constant complainers, perfectionists and all addictive behaviors [ie: gaming, alcohol, drugs, porn, criminality]).

Ephesians 5:3-7:
3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them. NKJV

I do think the TLB offers further light on this passage:

Ephesians 5:5-9:
5 You can be sure of this: The Kingdom of Christ and of God will never belong to anyone who is impure or greedy, for a greedy person is really an idol worshiper -- he loves and worships the good things of this life more than God. 6 Don't be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the terrible wrath of God is upon all those who do them. 7 Don't even associate with such people. 8 For though once your heart was full of darkness, now it is full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it! 9 Because of this light within you, you should do only what is good and right and true.

Verse 5 focuses on three separate categories of sin, so, when one adds the ingredients of greed and insatiable desire for these things, a terrible condition emerges.

Fornication or illegal sexual intercourse (sometimes referring to sex before marriage) is the first to be named. When greed is applied to it, it yields an addictive behavior of "never enough." The Roman world hardly paid attention to such activity (the Temple prostitutes and open promiscuity abounded). Pardon me, but it also resides in most churches today.

Filthiness (Shamefulness) jesting about the sins of another or off-color humor falls into this category. Filthy living is more than speech, it is a permeated condition of the soul.

Covetousness (greed) those who put sensual pleasures and temporal concerns in the forefront rather than the things of God, so they become idolaters.

The believer is not to associate with those who do these things. In the previous chapter, there was the topic on "associative judgment," which meant those who continue association with them, face judgment with them.

Paul knew that some of his beloved were once guilty of living in these circumstances, but now these works of darkness were not to be named among them. (What of the modern church? Who will stand in the pulpit and speak powerfully about these matters? Who will cry out, "this road leads to destruction?" Who will intercede for those captured in these nets? Love will!)

The "sons of disobedience" are inculcated with darkness. They are "permeated with the realm of evil." Darkness surrounds them, and their works produce only darkness through their hands. The Bible says, "the plowing of the wicked is sin."

However, the believer must "be" light - a transformation had to occur!


Ephesians 5:8-14:
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:
"Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light."

O' Church, can you see the love Paul had in his pleading for these loved ones? It takes genuine compassion to labor in these matters. His use of "light" versus "darkness" has always been a universal dichotomy in both literature and life. His imperatives in these six verses are not optional; they are mandatory. He continued in the "children" mantra as he added Light to Love.

Here, the fruit of the Spirit is shown to be active in love and in light. Goodness, righteousness and truth are not components of darkness. The duty of the God-child is to discover what pleases their father and to see what displeases him, as well. The children of the Light must walk in the light as He is in the light. They must seek His approval in all things and walk in the Light of His presence.

Believers must not fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness - they must expose them. Jesus has said that those whose deeds are evil do not come to the light - so, the Light must come to them and reprove them and show their evil deed to them. (Wow! Talk about invading the citadels of hell! Their gates will not prevail against the light.)

The exercise of goodness, righteousness and truth in today's world will shine like a light in this present darkness. The world must see the difference Christ makes. The world must have a standard raised against its activities. Light must shine in the political arena. Light must shine in the religious community! Light must shine in the social venues of daily living.

This is a mandate, a command, a duty, which must be a part of what it means to be Christian. We are not to fellowship with darkness. This means some friendships must cease, some activities must stop, some religious ties must be broken, some conversations must be trashed and some jobs must be sacrificed. This is serious business, given the condition of the world around us. Multitudes are lost and captured in darkness, and the light will show a way of escape and hope for the future.

Ephesian Christians had been asleep, now they must awaken! (Twenty-first Century Christians have been lulled to sleep and what is needed is not a revival, but an awakening! It is time to heed verse fourteen, "Arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.")

Christ-given light is bride-light. Christ-given light is the light of those who, at His coming, have their lamps glowing. This is the "Light of the World" light. This is Moses-light on the mountain. This is the "flame-within" Light, that shows out and refuses to go out.


Ephesians 5:15-21:
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

Wisdom is not just information; it is knowing how to best apply the information at hand. Just as Paul does not enumerate the secret doings of the darkness, he also does not elaborate what it means to walk circumspectly. However, since the deeds of darkness are on display all around, all knew them---so with walking circumspectly. Paul's light and his pattern of life was example enough, so much so, he could say, "imitate me." (Can YOU say that?)

"Redeeming the time (buying up the season)" is a pregnant thought, for the believer is to seize every opportunity to reveal and display, "Christ in me, the hope of glory." Difficult circumstances are to become venues of blessing.

"Understanding what is the will of God" is fruit coming from one's relationship with Him. As wise children, we know through revelation what to do and how to do the things of the Lord.

"Dissipation" is also an interesting word. The NKJV uses it in verse 18. "And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit…" Many things accompany the dulled senses of the winebibber (loosed morals, dulled brain function, lack of restraint, etc).
Dissipation: definition:
The characteristic of an abandoned man, denoting a dissolute life, profligacy (Eph 5:18; Titus 1:6; 1 Peter 4:4; the KJV frequently renders "riot"). A similar definition of the word is given in the parable of the prodigal: "He squandered his estate with loose living" (Luke 15:13; "riotous," KJV; "wild," NIV). Carousing.

On the day of Pentecost, the outside world thought those pouring out of the upper room had been drinking too much wine. These early Christians were displaying what it was to be drunk in the Spirit. They were filled to the brim with the Holy Ghost and fire. Their behavior was erratic, spontaneous and vociferous. Paul takes this exuberance and crowns it with a series of activities which characterized the "on fire" body of believers. Spurgeon called it "zeal:"

If you would see souls converted, if you would hear the cry that "the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord"; if you would place crowns upon the head of the Saviour, and His throne lifted high, then be filled with zeal. For, under God, the way of the world's conversion must be by the zeal of the church. Every grace shall do exploits, but this shall be first; prudence, knowledge, patience, and courage will follow in their places, but zeal must lead the van. It is not the extent of your knowledge, though that is useful; it is not the extent of your talent, though that is not to be despised; it is your zeal that shall do great exploits. This zeal is the fruit of the Holy Spirit: it draws its vital force from the continued operations of the Holy Ghost in the soul. If our inner life dwindles, if our heart beats slowly before God, we shall not know zeal; but if all be strong and vigorous within, then we cannot but feel a loving anxiety to see the kingdom of Christ come, and His will done on earth, even as it is in heaven. A deep sense of gratitude will nourish Christian zeal. Looking to the hole of the pit whence we were digged, we find abundant reason why we should spend and be spent for God. And zeal is also stimulated by the thought of the eternal future. It looks with tearful eyes down to the flames of hell, and it cannot slumber: it looks up with anxious gaze to the glories of heaven, and it cannot but bestir itself. It feels that time is short compared with the work to be done, and therefore it devotes all that it has to the cause of its Lord. And it is ever strengthened by the remembrance of Christ's example. He was clothed with zeal as with a cloak. How swift the chariot-wheels of duty went with Him! He knew no loitering by the way. Let us prove that we are His disciples by manifesting the same spirit of zeal.

Paul returned to his dear children with a spiritual formula that needs expression today more than ever. To relate to our brothers and sisters in the manner of his description would be heaven on earth. There would be no dissention, no profligacy, no dull interaction. Look at the interaction he advocates:

Ephesians 5:19-21:
…speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

I have often said if these elements flourished in our churches on the Lord's Day the response would mimic David's, "I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord." David's vigorous dance and wild assertive behavior would be common place.

Imagine testimony based on Psalm 91 or 103. Hymns (celebration music) and spiritual (supernatural) songs would fill the air with harmonious singing. Spiritual songs may well inculcate singing in tongues. Imagine! Thanksgiving pouring out of grateful hearts with smiling acknowledgement of all who were gathered would be an uplift of joy. "Submission to one another in reverence of God" is a dynamic foreign to modern churchdom. In such order would come prophetic words, joy-filled testimonies, glorious outburst of praise and thanksgiving. Here a song, there a psalm, over there a testimony, out there a musical instrument yielded to the Spirit. (When was the last time you can remember being in such a service? Well, that's too long!)


It would seem these last verses would have been better fitted with the subject matter of Chapter Six, rather than at the end of Chapter Five. It would have then been joined to the teaching about children,

However, it easily follows the admonitions regarding submission to one another-so, its place opens a venue for the most essential harmony among saints--family interaction.

Ephesians 5:22-33:
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Walking in love, light and wisdom are ingredients to be found at home first. Although the ancient societies were different than today's, the rule of these elements among families is still much needed.

Presently, the parallels between Christ and the church and husbands and their wives is enormous. No one need fear submitting to Christ, for He willing sacrificed himself for His church (the bride). Such sacrifice must be the attitude at home as well. Being subject to such a wonderful provider is not odious. Christ the provider, the healer, the head is the perfect model for husbands and homes.

  • Husbands follow the example of Jesus and apply the "water of the Word" in all things.
  • Husbands assist your wife in holiness and sanctification.
  • Husbands care for your wife as much as you care (love) your own body (Nourish and Cherish).
  • Husbands meld into oneness with your wife and become spiritually inseparable.
  • Husbands love your wife as your own self.

(Wives will not find it difficult to submit and respect and love the above described man.)

Talk about marriage counseling---whoa!

Different societies define husbands and wives in myriads of ways, but Christian love-based marriage in this passage is undefeatable. They two become one flesh and spiritually one entity, because now they can set ten thousand to flight.

Until Next month,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.


From Pastor Samuel Karunanithi and Anusuya; International Missionaries:

Our vision is to reach the nations, feed the poor, build churches, train and support native missionaries, and distribute the Bible in different languages. In 1982, we founded Living Word International Outreach Inc. and Living Word Church. We have two orphanages in India and support sixty-four native missionaries in India and France.

Contact Information:

What a Blessing it is to see God's promise of the following verse fulfilled.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Though I have been going to Israel since 1980, last May it was to minister in Jerusalem in an Ethiopian church, then in the cities of Shafaram, Haifa and Ramla, we ministered to a few Arab Churches. Many people were touched by the power of God, so much so, they want to know when I can come back.

Then we went to France and ministered to hundreds people in Paris and Vichy where God touched many people. Many were saved, healed and delivered from demonic oppression.

All glory to God.

The Great Commission Church - with Marwan Beem and Samuel Karunanithi.

Thankful for Pentecost. Thank you heavenly Father for sending the Holy Spirit. This is the Upper room where the 120 were filled with the Holy Spirit. We were there in May.

Ministering in Jerusalem, Haifa, Shefaram, and Ramla.

Ministering in France.

Jesus said Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all nations, heal the sick.

From Ghiorghi Cazacu of Gospel Ministries International; Romania:
Changing Lives,
Restoring Families and
Transforming Nations by
Making Disciples of
Our Lord Jesus Christ

Contact Information:

     Gospel Ministries International, Inc.
     P. O. Box 661
     Belleville, IL 62222
     (618) 239-0215
     Email: gmiius@sbcglobal.net

We are so very thankful to all of the outpouring of love, prayers and support from around the world.

After visiting the doctor today (June 20th) we received the assessment that it would be 45 more days before I am able to walk on the left leg depending on how the physical therapy goes. Physical therapy began last Monday and will continue 3 -5 days per weeks. There is much pain, but I am thankful that we are moving forward each day. The knee is gaining more stability, but it will be another 20 - 30 days before I can start to put a little pressure on the leg. They will not know if the knee will need surgery, if at all, until they see how it goes with therapy. The foot is still very swollen and painful and it is not known why, at this time.

I will go back in another 30 days for reassessment. Please continue to pray as I learn to walk again.

The Lord Jesus Christ has given us the grace to overcome all these obstacles. Scripture that I have read before and easily quoted to others who are going through obstacles has become a reality and so very precious. Still, projects are ongoing with the national missionaries, pastors and Cristina taking my place. They are astounded how much driving I had been doing prior to the accident and are realizing the scope of the ministry.

We are so very thankful to all who are helping and continue to help and praise God for the network of dedicated servants of the Lord. Thank you so much for your heart for the lost in Eastern Europe.

May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you abundantly in Him.

From Missionary Portia Sharp of Sharp Ministries, Kenya, Africa:

     Portia Sharp
     Sharp Ministries Intl
     P. O. Box 130851
     The Woodlands, Tx. 77393
     Email: portiasharp@hotmail.com
     Telephone: (832) 326-3474
     Twitter: @portiasharpministry
     Web: https://www.sharpministries.com/
     Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/portiasharpministry/

Psalms 126:3 proclaims, "The LORD has done great things for us, and we are overjoyed."

I just returned from 12 weeks in Kenya. This time was marked by the wonderful and marvelous works that our Lord did in the lives of the people. I spoke in a missionary conference, ladies' conferences, church services and group gatherings.

So many were touched and transformed. The depressed and rejected received answers to their problems and freedoms in their souls. Others came to know Jesus as their personal Savior. Still others received healings in their bodies.

It is always such a joy and privilege to share the life-changing, joy-filling Word of God and see the difference it makes. John 1:12 says, "to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name."

Doors of opportunity continue to open for me to minister throughout the country of Kenya. As the Lord provides, I will go for three months and return home for three months to rest and refresh.

I will be leaving again the first week of August. There are several meetings already scheduled:

  • God of All Grace Annual Conference, August 11-18
  • Malava Annual Ladies Conference, August 21-25
  • South Kenya/Tanzania, August 30-Sept 10, I'll join with Grace Global Outreach (my home church team) to minister in churches recently built in those areas
  • Other meetings in September and October are still being planned
We experience the presence of the Lord at Christian Outreach Ministries Nakuru Pipeline with Pastors Ibrahim and Margaret along with their ministry team and congregation. I shared how important it is to know and continue in the inspired word of God which is able to make us wise unto salvation.

What a fun day. I shared in the first session of the women's conference. Then I went for the wedding celebration of Lillian and Edward. Although I've been invited to several African weddings this is the first one I've been here to attend. It's always a joyful day celebrating together. It also was my privilege to congratulate the newly weds and congregation before the end of the wedding service. There was great food and music as the wedding party went for pictures.

It was a great day in the house of the Lord as I shared the Word of God and prayed for the people. We serve an Awesome Almighty God who loves and cares for His children.

From Russell Stendal:

Venezuela has quickly processed visas for Albert & Russell after Christian leaders met with them upon Albert's last ministry at the Colombian/Venezuelan border only last month.


  1. Albert is meeting Russell in Houston this morning to leave for Bogota.
  2. Thursday - Together they will begin having nationally televised meetings within Venezuela in a stadium facility that accommodates 10,000.
    This has been set up by the Venezuelan Christian leaders with the full approval of the Venezuelan government.
  3. Private meetings have been arranged with very influential individuals who are in a position to affect the future of Venezuela.
  4. 10,000 of the rugged, large-print, study bibles now being couriered will also be attempted to be taken into Venezuela to have on hand for these meetings and necessary follow up.
  5. Albert has no return ticket to the US at this point. He will be staying on in Latin America until this stage of the mission Islas been completed.

Many believe that this is the beginning of God's appointed time for the devastated nation of Venezuela - please consider seriously praying for all aspects of this ministry outreach and all that will follow! Also, please feel free to share this reques with other truly interested prayer warriors.

On behalf of Russell Stendal & Albert Luepnitz - thank you,


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