This week in our sermon and in the daily devotionals we will be working our way through a short but deep passage. Message 8 in our series Be Imitators of God is taken from Ephesians 5:15-17. There we read:
See then that you walk circumspectly, 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.
The message is titled Walk in Wisdom and will be available for listening or downloading later today. As I stated this is a short passage to preach from but it is rich and deep when it comes to studying all that is involved in these few verses. Here is the outline from which I will preach. I truly hope we can cover all of this in one message!
Walk in Wisdom - Ephesians 5:15-17
1. Walk Circumspectly (vs. 15)
To walk circumspectly is to walk with “great care, accuracy, and precision.” We are to be sure that we do not “step out of ranks” (1 Thess. 5:14 “unruly”) and that we avoid distraction. Rightly dividing ( accurately interpreting) the Word of God keeps us on track (2 Tim. 2:15; 3:16-17).
2. Walk not as Fools, but Wise (vs. 15)
Who is a “fool” and what does he do? See Psalms 14:1; Rom 1:21,22; Prov 1:7, 22; 14:9; 1 Cor. 2:14; Gal 3:1-3 (not obeying the Word). The “wise” have a proper perspective. They have a right view of God (Psalm 111:10) and a right view of themselves (Psalm 8:4).
3. Walk Redeeming the Time (vs. 16)
To redeem the time means to “make the most of our time”, to “buy up” and use our time wisely. The word time here refers to the “time of our life, or lifetime.” We have no guarantee of tomorrow, so we are to make the most of today!
a. The time of our life (our lifetime) is a fixed, appointed time from start to finish! (Hebrews 9:27; Ps. 39:4-5; Ps. 139:16)
b. It can be shortened, but the Bible only has one instance of it being lengthened! (Ps. 89:38-45; 102:23-24; 2 Kings 20:11)
c. Our lives are full of opportunities for service and obedience to God. (Gal. 6:10; John 9:4)
d. Our lives will be over before know it – it exists as a vapor of breath on a cold day, here one minute and gone the next. (Ps. 89:47; James 4:14)
e. Our days are in His hands. (Ps. 21:4; James 4:15)
f. We have no guarantee of tomorrow. (James 4:14; Matt. 6:34)
g. We must “buy up” every moment we have an offer it to God in His service. (Eph. 5:16; Rom 12:1)
4. Walk not as the Unwise (vs. 16)
a. Corrupt yourself with sin and perversion (Deut. 32:5-6)
b. Store up iniquity and sin (Hosea 13:12-13)
c. Despise godly instruction (Prov 1:7)
d. Be proud, thinking yourself self-sufficient (Prov 11:2)
e. Despise your neighbor instead of loving him (Prov 11:12)
f. Scoff at God and His Word (Prov 14:6)
g. Think God is wrong (Prov 21:30)
h. Fail to discipline or be disciplined (Prov 29:15)
i. Be wise in the ways of the world (1 Cor. 1:20)
j. Be wise in the power of your own flesh (2 Cor 1:12)
k. Seek Wisdom from anyone but God (James 1:5)
5. Walk Understanding the Will of the Lord (vs. 17)
a. It is God’s will for His elect to be saved – 1 Timothy 2:3-4; Romans 8:28-30
b. It is God’s will for His elect to be Spirit filled – Eph. 5:18; 1 Thess. 5:19; Gal. 5:16; Eph. 4:30
c. It is God’s will for His elect to be sanctified – 1 Thess. 4:3; Romans 8:29-30
d. It is God’s will for His elect to be submissive – 1 Peter 2:13-15
e. It is God’s will for His elect to suffer! - 1 Peter 2:20
f. It is God’s will for His elect to be thankful – 1 Thess. 5:18; Eph. 5:4