THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date - 4-13-03

LESSON TITLE: PAUL'S LETTER TO THE EPHESIANS: "CHAPTER 5: WALKING IN THE THINGS OF GOD WITH UNDERSTANDING"

WELCOME

Thank you for joining us this morning, let me welcome you to the program. The Living Word is a work of our Lord, dedicated to doing God's Will in His Way! As always, it will be our privilege today to sing songs of praise and to study from His Word. In these acts of worship, may we all be encouraged, but ultimately may we each praise God according to the sacrifices to offer toward His Throne. It will also be our honor this morning to speak with God through prayer. Will you bow with me as we talk to our creator?

(PRAYER)

Our first song this morning is a beautiful old hymn which was written by one of our own in this area. Many of you remember brother Ray Hendrix and how that he was a very capable song leader in years past. In fact, brother Hendrix was one of the main ones responsible for the starting of this television program back in April of 1970. So, today we want to sing this song that he wrote which reminds us of the greatest man who ever lived, Jesus Christ. Won't you join in with the brethren at this time as we sing together, "Savior from Old Galilee!"

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

Wow, the Internet is an unbelievable tool in our day and time. Practically every day, I receive really good stories and illustrations that help me to be a better person. A few weeks ago I received a really neat article which reminded me of how great my God is, the one we all serve. One excerpt from this email went like this:

When I fall, He lifts me up! When I fail, He forgives me! When I am weak, He is strong! When I am lost, He is the way! When I am afraid, He is my courage! When I stumble, He steadies me! When I am hurt, He heals me! When I am broken, He mends me! When I am blind, He leads me! When I am hungry, He feeds me! When I face trials, He is with me! When I face persecution, He shields me! When I face problems, He comforts me! When I face loss, He provides for me! And when I face death, He carries me Home!

What a beautiful and wondrous statement this is about our all encompassing God, who provides our every need and relieves our every care. I think we often forget just what type of God we serve and all that He truly does for us. Another statement in the same article said this about our God, "He is everything for everybody, everywhere, every time, and in every way - He is God, He is faithful, I am His and He is mine!" Praise be to God for these precious promises and truths which we all must believe in. In fact, think how much easier life can be if we but put our trust and faith in a God like this. As the encouraging old song said, "without Him I am nothing." But remember what the Apostle Paul said, "with Him, I am and can do everything". Get back to serving this almighty God today, or if you are not presently doing His Will - Start serving Him today, according to what He commands. As we have seen together, it is worth the effort, it is worth the price.

It is great to have brother Jerry Sullins, with us this morning as our guest speaker. Many of you know that brother Jerry is my father and has now moved to Missouri to direct the new preachers training school here in Springfield. The name of the new school is the Bible Institute of Missouri. If any of you have an interest in more information concerning the school, whether it be to attend as a student or to get involved in another was as a fellow Christian, I hope you will contact me or my father very soon. We would love to tell you more about this great work being done to the glory of our Lord.

As far as our study of the day, we will again be considering "Paul's Letter To The Ephesians." Our specific lesson of the morning will cover, "Chapter 5: Walking In the Things Of God With Understanding." So please stay with us and after our next song we will be led in this important study of the morning. Now let's again join in song together. The name of this hymn, "A Wonderful Savior."

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

Speaker: Jerry Sullins

Good morning everyone. It's so good to have you in our audience this morning and we pray that this program of "The Living Word" will prove to be a blessing for you.

We're going to be taking many of our comments this morning from the book of Ephesians chapter 5 which is a series in this lesson on the book of Ephesians that has been going on for several weeks.

Let me ask you a question: What is life's greatest lesson? And where can the answer to that question be found? As we look around the world today, even in our own homes, unfortunately in this great city of Springfield and the surrounding areas, we see a lot of people who are very unhappy. We see unhappy homes. We see people who are really not getting very much joy out of life even out of the profession that they may be doing to make their living. Many people are having great difficulty living the Christian life. And unless we learn the answer to this question that I just proposed to you, unhappiness will continue to be a great part of all of our lives. Let me suggest to you this morning that the title of our lesson which is "Walking in the Things of God With Understanding" is really the answer to the question: What is life's greatest lesson?

Now how do we learn what this is? Let's turn together to Ephesians chapter 5. In the very first verse of that chapter it gives us a great insight into what life's greatest lesson is. It says, "And the apostle Paul here speaking to the Christians who are in Ephesus, 'Therefore be imitators of God, dear children.'" The King James version of the Bible says, "Be ye followers of God as dear children." Well certainly we must imitate or follow our God. And when we really get to thinking about it, the way that life can really be a blessing to us is when we do that for we see all of those who are living outside of Jesus Christ and outside of a good relationship with God. They may seem to be happy, but there are many troubling things that mar their life's happiness. So as we look in the pages of God's Word today especially here in Ephesians chapter 5, I believe that we'll find maybe some truths that will assist us in this life in being happy.

First of all as is suggested in verse 2, "the way we imitate God is by walking 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." So here a portion of the answer is found. We must as people walk in the love of God for "God is love," as John said. And certainly we must imitate that love if we're going to experience any happiness in this life.

Well, what destroys that ability to walk in the love of God? Well the apostle Paul mentions certain of those things beginning in verse 3 where he says, "But all fornication and all uncleanness..." which by the way includes homosexuality, "...or covetousness let it not even be named among you as is fitting for saints. Neither filthiness..." That means filthy speaking and living a filthy life. "...nor foolish talking..." Sometimes our joking gets to be that. "...nor coarse jesting..." Jesting is saying something with the intent of hurting someone. "That is coarse jesting which is not fitting but rather giving of thanks." So Paul indicates here that we ought to use our mouths for things that are godly things, not that are ungodly things.

Then he goes on to say in verse 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." So we see here that one who is walking in love cannot be involving himself or herself in these things of the world.

Paul said basically the same thing in Galatians chapter 5, verses 19 and 20 where he said, "Now the works of the flesh are manifest which are these, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, ludeness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissentions, heresies, envies, murders, drunkenness, revelries and the like of the which I tell you beforehand just as I have also told you in time past that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."

Now my friends, if you really think of it in this way as the apostle Paul is presenting, how can anyone who is involving himself or herself in any of these sinful activities experience real joy in life? Oh well some people will say, "Well sin is fun." Yes it does please the desires of the flesh. It sometimes pleases the desires of the eyes and it gives us a certain feeling of pride of life and there is joy to our physical bodies. But the joy does not come to the spirit which is supposed to be in us. That is that spirit of God.

In fact, Paul went on to say in verse 6 of this same chapter, Ephesians chapter 5, "Let no one deceive you with empty words for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, do not be partakers with them." The wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Now who are the sons of disobedience? Those who commit these acts that are spoken of here in verses 3 through 5.

So walking in love and for one to walk in love, he or she cannot do those things that are mentioned here and still experience a love relationship with the Father in heaven. Walking in love indicates that one is walking in the light. For it says and goes on in verse 8, "For you were once darkness." One who is in darkness is one who is committing the sins that were aforementioned. "For you were once darkness but now you are light in the Lord, walk as children of light. For the fruit of the spirit is in all goodness, righteousness and truth." The fruit of the spirit. So if we're going to experience happiness in life, if we're going to experience joy in life, then we must follow after the goodness, the righteousness, and the truth of God and that is found in demonstrating the fruits of the spirit in our lives.

Again I want to call your attention back to Galatians chapter 5 where it says in verse 22, "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such there is no law and those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with it's passions and desires. If we live in the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit.

Now you notice closely what Paul says in verse 24 there of Galatians chapter 5. "Those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh and it's passions and desires." It is those passions and desires of the flesh that destroy our happiness and the fulfillment of them. Now basically as we see and as Paul is pointing out in these few verses that it is impossible for us to experience real happiness in our homes. It is impossible for us to experience real enjoyment in our lives. It is impossible for us to experience a real fulfillment in our professions or our jobs if we do not have the spirit of God in our lives. Because all of these other things, these sins of the flesh, these things that are mentioned here in Ephesians chapter 5 and also in Galatians chapter 5 are the things that really destroy us in our ability to have happiness in this life.

Well how do we gain this happiness? I mean how do we know whether or not we can truly be happy or not? Well I believe Paul also gives an answer here in Ephesians chapter 5 where he says in verse 15, "See then that you walk circumspectly (that means carefully) not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is." As he went on to say later on in the verse after this, "Be filled with the spirit." He went on to say in verse 19, "Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs making melody in your heart unto the Lord." Verse 20, "Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." And in verse 21, "Submitting to one another in the fear of God." There are so many eternal truths that are found in these verses that it is impossible for us to get to all of the meanings in this short period of time that we have together. But someone with a simple understanding of the text itself can go to these verses and find out how they can be pleasing to God and how they can walk in wisdom. There can be no wisdom unless someone understands the truth.

It was Jesus who said in John 8:32, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." You shall know what? You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. So my friends, what must we do to understand what the will of God is for our lives? We must study His Word. Study it with all diligence and within it we will find the answer to life's greatest lesson and that is that we walk in the things of God.

Now closing out our comments this morning, we want to look at the final verses of Ephesians chapter 5. That's verses 22 through 33. I must summarize what is said here. This love that we need to have in our lives involves submission to Christ. Paul here uses a great allegory of a husband and his relationship to his wife. First of all, he mentions in verses 22 through 24 that "a wife must submit herself to her husband as unto the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the church and He is the savior, the body." And then it says, "Therefore just as the church is subject to Christ so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." Then he goes on to mention that in order for us to have complete submission to Christ, it's like a husband loving his wife. "A husband must love his wife even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her..." which is found in verse 25, "that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of the water by the Word 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."

So submission to the Lord Jesus Christ is of the utmost importance if we're going to properly involve ourselves in serving Him, and if we're going to experience the real purpose of life.

So what is life's greatest lesson? It is simply walking in the things of God with understanding, understanding what the Will of the Lord is, trying to keep ourselves from falling into those things of this world, the things of the flesh that will lead us away from God, but rather giving ourselves to the importance of adding to our Christianity, those things of the spirit as love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, and all of those things that are based upon the goodness and the righteousness and the truth of God. So my friends, this morning, may God bless you and may God bless us as we strive to put into our lives the spirit of God.

(SONG # 3 - "Give Me The Bible!")

CLOSING COMMENTS

Thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in giving this time to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God!

Do you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:

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May we all learn to walk more in the things of God, not according to our own ideas or understanding, but according to the way which God commands.

(Program closing)