February 14, 2018
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
Here, again, is Ephesians 4:22 through 24 – the Scripture on which this series is based:
…put off concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows cor-
rupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your
mind, and…put on the new man which was created according to God, in
righteousness and true holiness.
Let’s go on to Ephesians 5:15 through 17:
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeem-
ing the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be unwise,
but understand what the will of the Lord is.
There is a lot in these three short verses – a lot that too many Christians don’t heed, allowing in their lives (and in the lives of others) what might be considered ‘Little Acceptable Sins’ of not fully obeying Jesus’ directions (which, in their thinking, such disobedience is not of much consequence). However, when one does not heed His leading, it is never a Little Sin!
Ephesians 5:15 – “See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise….”
• Circumspectly – Thayer’s Greek Definitions tells us the word means, “…exactly, accurately, diligently…” following what God leads us to do! There are two mind sets displayed here concerning this directive – approaching this…
✞ …as fools – Psalm 14:1 pulls no punches when it tells us, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ ” This one, called a fool, acts like there is no God, even if he does not give voice to it!
✞ …as wise – Proverbs 9:10 tells us, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” The very last verse of Hosea caps off the main message the prophet is giving to the eighth-century kingdom of Judah. That message: “God abhors the sins of His people; judgment is certain; but God’s loyal love stands firm.” (Introduction to the book of Hosea in The New Open Bible). Here is Hosea 14:9:
Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him
know them. For the ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in
them, but transgressors stumble in them.
• This truth does not change! When Paul writes centuries later – “…walk not as fools but as wise…,” he is thinking of these Old Testament definitions of the fool and the wise one. Christian, be wise! And let your life reflect wisdom, not foolishness!
Ephesians 5:16 – “…redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Strong’s Greek Dictionary says redeeming means, “…to buy up, that is, ransom; figuratively to rescue from loss (improve opportunity)….” God’s Word to the Nations translates it, “Make the most of your opportunities….” Why? Because the days are evil! And, according to II Timothy 3:1 and 13: “…in the last days perilous times will come…[and] will grow worse and worse….” Time is short! And many people still need to be introduced to, and trained up in, the Truth of Jesus Christ the Lord! (See John 14:6).
Ephesians 5:17– “Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
• “Therefore….” I have been taught in seminary that whenever I see therefore, I should always ask, “What is that therefore there for? ” That therefore is there for a very good reason! Go back to the Scripture that is the basis of this series, Ephesians 4:22 through 24: “…put off the…corrupt…old man…and put on the…righteous…new man….” And our lives must reflect that ongoing work! “ Therefore…”
• “…do not be unwise….” Remember Proverbs 9:10 above:
✞ “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom….” Old Testament fear is often used the same way as faith is used in the New Testament. So, it can be said, faith in the Lord is the beginning of wisdom! (See John 1:1; 5:39; John 14:16; Colossians 2:9). Why? Because the Holy Spirit, who resides in us when we accept Jesus as our Savior (see I Corinthians 6:19), makes the wisdom of God available to us! (See Psalm 119:98; I Timothy 3:15).
✞ “…and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” How do we get the knowledge of the Holy One and so get understanding? By His Word! (See Psalm 119:99, 104).
• “…but understand what the will of the Lord is.” God has revealed His will through Scripture! (See John 6:29; 40). If you want to know the mind of God (see Philippians 2:5), read, study, and even memorize the Bible!
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of God’s Word in the believer’s life! And we shall see in the next blog just how vital it is.