Summary: 44th message from Ephesians dealing with knowing and doing the will of God.
“What God Wants”
I. Our Wealth and Worth In Christ 1-3
II. Our Worthy Walk in Christ 4-6
A. Live in Unity 4:1-16
B. Live in Newness of life 4:17-24
C. Live in Love 4:17-24
D. Live in Purity 5:3-14
E. Live in Wisdom 5:15-6:9
Wisdom is the practical application of data or knowledge. It applies to human relationships and general life skills. Proverbs, mostly written by the wisest man that ever lived, is full of counsel on how to get along with others and please God. There is man’s way of doing things that excludes God. Then there is God’s wisdom that draws from God’s written revelation and personal direction. Ephesus was steeped in Greek culture which gave birth to numerous famous philosophers. They were saturated with man’s speculation as to how life works.
Most ideas were born out of ignorance and even defiance of God and His ways and a darkened understanding. Paul expended considerable ink describing their woeful spiritually dark condition. He urged these new children of light, shining in a dark place, to live differently because they were different. On the basis of who they were, they were not only to live in purity but in wisdom. They were to conduct themselves according to God’s way of doing things. He instructed them to carefully scrutinize their lives to make sure they were living according to God’s ways and not mans. He told them to live not as unwise but wise. Don’t think and act according to the current philosophy but according to God’s ways.
Paul elaborated this general instruction with five ways to specifically live wisely.
• Seize every opportune moment for eternal purposes (make the most of every moment).
• Understand the will of the Lord.
• Don’t zone out but tune in.
• Be continually enlightened and energized by the Holy Spirit.
• Live under submission
1. Seize every opportune moment for eternal purposes 5:15-16
Be careful how you live, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of (redeeming) the time, because the days are evil.
Use your time wisely because we only have one life in this present age to offer in His service.
Only one life twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.
2. Understand the will of the Lord 5:17
Sometimes it is difficult to understand just what someone wants or expects. Communication is difficult. Understanding each other is at times excruciating. Most conflict begins with a failure to really understand each other.There is much confusion about what God wants and expects.
Scores of books have been written about knowing the will of God. Does God want me to buy the red truck or the blue one? What College should I attend? Who should I marry? Where should I live? What career should I pursue? What is God’s will for my life?
Paul told the Ephesians in v17 to stop being foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is.
He would never tell them to do something that was impossible to do so it must be possible then to really understand what the will of the Lord is.
What is God’s will? What does God want? What does God expect? Today, we will explore the subject of knowing the will of God and doing it. Let’s begin by unpacking this verse a bit more carefully.
Every verse of Scripture connects to the surrounding verses in some way. There is a divine logic that unfolds as you understand those connections. This verse is connected to the previous thought in verse 16 that spells out the urgency associated with the command found in verse 17. Use time wisely because we live in evil days. Because we live in evil days, we must stop being foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is. This command has a negative and positive aspect. We are to discontinue a particular way of life and practice another.
Stop that! Practice this!
In the face the evil days in which we live, we need to stop taking our clues from the culture around us and focus on what God wants. We need to understand the will of the Lord. We need to understand how God wants us to live during our remaining time in this evil age. There are three terms in this verse that warrant a closer look.
"Foolish", "understand" and "will".
This term comes from a positive noun preceded by a negative. We do the same in English.
Un–wise -- A–moral -- a-typical – Un-desirable
The term originally referred to the diaphragm. It was thought that that this organ is what gave power and strength to the spirit. It came to be translated mind, or controlled reigned in emotions and thinking. When Peter tried to discourage Jesus from going to the cross, Jesus rebuked him and said, "You're not setting your mind or thinking on the things of God but on man."