Summary: Paul exhorts us to live wisely.
The Walk Of Wisdom
Introduction: Paul exhorts us to live wisely. Note the word “careful” (NIV) in v.15. It suggests looking around and giving attention to circumstances and consequences as one might do when passing through a dangerous place. It expresses the idea of living in strict conformity to a standard. It means to live with precision, accuracy and exactness. One cannot leave the Christian life to chance.
Live not as unwise (Asophos) but as wise (Sophos). Grab hold of the right wisdom. Remember James wrote about two kinds of wisdom (3:13-18). Pay close attention to how you live. Walk wisely. What does this involve?
I. Redeem The Time (v.16)
Time can be killed, wasted, passed, spent or taken. Paul’s meaning here is to make the
most of every opportunity. We should make (buy, purchase) the best use of our time. The word “time” (opportunity) is not “chronos” (chronology, linear) but “kairos” (special time or strategic opportunity). We live in a special time, a strategic moment, a golden opportunity. Let’s recognize the time and use it while we can.
Why? “Because the days are evil.” That is, the conditions are unfavorable to Christians.
“Evil” means there is active opposition to the things of God. Evil is actively at work and making the most of its opportunities. The overall idea here is that of a ship taking advantage of the wind and tide to arrive safely in the harbor.
II. Reflect The Will (v.17)
Understand and reflect God’s will. Discern and do. Use your mind. God has certain
things He wants to accomplish in our lives and through our churches. Let me use a sporting analogy to illustrate.
A. Get in the Game: There are too many bench warmers! Master the rule book and the play chart. Listen to the coach.
B. Get out to the Field: Life is lived on the playing field, not in the stands or the weight room. Be active, proactive and reactive.
C. Get on with the Business: Don’t let the opportunity pass you by.
III. Receive The Spirit (v.18)
It’s not “physical stimulus” but “spiritual stimulus” that leads to righteousness. Let the
Holy Spirit fill you. Be permeated by His presence and power. Be under His control. Allow Him to guard, govern, guide and gladden you. What are the marks or evidences of being filled with the Holy Spirit?
A. Joy (v.19: This is a glad or cheerful disposition. See Gal. 5:22 and Acts 2:13-15.
B. Thankfulness (v.20): When? Always, constantly. What? For all things. Whom? Unto God. How? In the name of Jesus.
C. Submission (v.21): See Phil. 2:6-7.
Conclusion: Walk wisely.