A Very Fine Whine

Musings of a Conservative Christian Resident Physician.

Redeeming the Time, Because the Days are Evil

I was asked to give a topic this past Sunday evening using this title and text, and here’s the product of my studies.  It was very edifying for me to do the study, and I pray that you may be benefited as well.  God Bless, VH @ AVFW

Redeeming the Time

Eph. 5:1, 2, 8-21

Parallel passage:  Colossians 4: 5-6

First, some brief word studies:

Walk – used many times, in both the physical and spiritual senses.  Evidently used here in the spiritual sense.

Circumspectly – Gr. Akribos, not L. circumspicio, meaning exactly, derived from a word meaning the extreme or uttermost.  As John Wesley says, “Getting to the highest pitch of every point of holiness.”  Also used in Matt. 2:8, Luke 1:3, Acts 18:25, I Thess. 5:2.  A superlative form is used in Acts 26:5.

Redeem – used only 4 times, and as a more general term than other places.  Means to buy up, to ransom, to rescue from loss. (Gal. 3:13, 4:5.)

Time – opportunities, occasions.

Including surrounding verses for a few reasons.

  1. It gives us a context. “A text without the context is just a pretext.”
  2. The verses are largely explained, with examples given.
    1. Example 1: v 2.  “walk in love.”
    2. vv 3-7. The lifestyle to avoid.
    3. Example 2: vv 8-10.  “walk as children of light.”
    4. Example 3: vv 11-12. “have no fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness, reprove them.   Albert Barnes says, “Is there not emphasis here in the words, “even to SPEAK  of those things?” If the apostle would not allow them to name those things, or to speak of them, is it wise or safe for Christians now to be familiar with the accounts of those practices of pollution.”
    5. Example 4: v. 13.  Darkness cannot rebuff light when light is present. Darkness must flee!
    6. v. 14. Likely taken from Isaiah 60:1-2.
    7. Example 5: v. 17.  Seek God’s will for your life; know it; do it.
    8. Example 6: vv 18-20.  Be filled with the Spirit.  Fill your heart with praise to the Lord!  What is on the inside will come out; in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, singing, outward thankfulness, and submission to each other.
    9. Example 7: Col. 4:6. “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

On walking circumspectly, Adam Clarke says: “Be ye, who have received the truth, careful of your conduct; walk by the rule which God has given you; do this as well in little as in great matters; exemplify your principles, which are holy and good, by a corresponding conduct; do not only profess, but live the Gospel.  As you embrace all its promises, be careful also to embrace all its precepts; and behave yourselves so, that your enemies may never be able to say that ye are holy in your doctrines and profession, but irregular in your lives.”  Also, William Burkitt says, “It is impossible for a Christian to maintain a holy course of obedience to the commands of God, without great care and caution, heedfulness and circumspection; none can walk holily, that do not walk circumspectly and watchfully.”

Matthew Henry refers to vv. 9-15 as remedies against sin.

  1. Bring forth fruits of the spirit, v. 9.
  2. Have no fellowship with sin or sinners, v. 12.
  3. Exactness, care, and caution, v. 15.

“Because the days are evil”  “That is, full of sin, by the scandalous lives of professors; full of error, by the subtility of heretical seducers; full of affliction and misery, by reason of sharp and hot persecutions.

Biblical examples:

Job: Job 1:1, 5-8.

Job had a reputation with God as a perfect and upright man who feared God, hated evil, and daily offered sacrifices on behalf of his children, because he knew of evil that could overcome them. After his trials, he still was found to be “accepted by the Lord.” 42:7-10.

Other Old Testament prophets. Samuel, Nathan, Isaiah, and Jeremiah, to name a few, “Feared not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather feared him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” Mt. 10:28.

John the Baptist.  Fearlessly preached the Gospel, and chastised King Herod for marrying his sister-in-law (Mark 6:18).

Paul.  Lived a very zealous life.  Went from wholeheartedly persecuting Christians to whole-heartedly ministering to the church (after a time of 3 years in Arabia).  Embraced every opportunity to witness to people, in every circumstance and in every city that he found himself in.  Willingly witnessed to governors, kings, and emperor.  Wrote many letters to churches and church leaders, which we have today.

Our ultimate example, Jesus Christ.  Ministered to all who He met, extending God’s Love to all mankind both in His Life and in giving us the Ultimate Sacrifice.

How can we invest time, instead of spend time?

It begins with the heart.  We must remember that what is on the inside will sooner or later show on the outside!  Individually, we personally know the intent of our heart, and why we do what we do.  Must we always have some game or activity to do in order to feel fulfilled, or are we content with spending quality time with family?  This pertains to all age groups.  Are we reading books of frivolous nature, or do we read books that have lasting value?  Do we have proper friendships, both with our brotherhood and with our relations in the world?  What do we do in our friendships: are our times with friends spent in frivolity, or do we have spiritually uplifting times together regularly?  Are we listening for God’s voice?

In Conclusion:

Like Job, may we also be protectors of our brethren, praying for each other and holding each other accountable, and may we, at the end of our trials here on earth, have it said of us, that “the Lord accepted us.”

Like the prophets of old and John the Baptist, let us be bold in our faith, although it may cost us friendships, or even our lives.

Like Paul, let us embrace our opportunities to witness to others, wherever we are, whoever they are.  All men need Christ.

Let us follow Christ in daily reaching out to those around us, spreading the Good News of God’s Love to all those we meet.

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January 5, 2010 - Posted by | Church, Religion, Spiritual Insights

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