The Book of Ephesians ~ Chapter 5:15-16 ~ Doctrine of Wisdom

Vol. 16 No 10 – March 5, 2017

eph 5 vs 16 Word pic for 03 05 17Section 3, vs. 15-17 – Wisdom.

Having noted the first two sections of this chapter that tell us how to be imitators of God:

  • The Pattern for Our Walk, Walking in Love as God’s Dear Child, Eph 5:1-7.
  • The Proof and Reason for Our Walk, Walking in Light, Eph 5:8-14.

We now understand the third way in which we become imitators of God:

  • The Power and Provision for Our Walk, Walking in Wisdom, Eph 5:15-17.

Doctrine of the Wise Man and Wisdom

Eph 5:15, “Therefore, pay close attention to how accurately you conduct yourselves, not as unwise men, but as wise.”

  • Wisdom is the sum total of the teaching of Bible doctrine under the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit and the positive response to that doctrine, resulting in perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. Wisdom must always have a textbook. The textbook is the infallible Word of God, the canon of Scripture, with emphasis on the New Testament epistles for wisdom in the dispensation of the Church.
  • Our wisdom comes from God and Jesus Christ, who are the wisest of all, Rom 16:27; 1 Cor 1:25, 30; Rev 5:12; 7:12.

Rom 16:27, “To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.”

1 Cor 1:25, “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

1 Cor 1:30, “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”

  • We are taught God’s wisdom, (Bible Doctrine), through the Grace Apparatus for Perception (GAP), the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit, Job 32:8; Luke 10:21; John 14:26; Rom 9:1; 1 Cor 2:12-13; Eph 1:17; 3:10; Col 1:9; 2 Peter 1:20.

Job 32:8, “But it is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding.”

1 Cor 2:13, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God, 13Which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.”

Luke 10:21, “At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You did hide these things from the wise and intelligent and did reveal them to babes. Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Your sight.” Cf. Mat 11:25.

  • You have to have humility to gain and maintain wisdom; for no one is teachable apart from humility, Rom 16:19; 1 Cor 3:18. Without humility, your mind is not open to teaching. Metabolized Bible doctrine is the mastication of wisdom.

Rom 16:19, “For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good, and innocent in what is evil.”

1 Cor 3:18, “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become foolish that he may become wise.”

  • Humility is the basis for teachability, and teachability is the road to wisdom. No one has or will attain wisdom apart from virtue and humility. From virtue comes great happiness. From humility comes grace orientation to life.
  • For the Church Age, God’s wisdom is found in the Mystery Doctrines for the Church Age, 1 Cor 2:7; Eph 1:8-9; Col 2:2-3.

1 Cor 2:7, “But we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory.”

Col 2:2-3, “That their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, 3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

  • If you desire to acquire more of God’s wisdom, you are to pray for it, Eph 1:17; Col 1:9; James 1:5.

James 1:5, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

  • Wisdom is both knowing and doing the will of God. Knowing and doing the will of God requires wisdom. Wisdom therefore, is a buildup of your spiritual muscles, as a result of the exercise of doing the will of God.
  • Wisdom understands both the will and the plan of God for your life. You have to know both. You have to know what the will of God is and what the overall plan of God is. The two go together. Wisdom begins when you understand that God has a plan for your life and begin to see it from the Scripture, and then to understand the spiritual life and use it. From this comes wisdom.
  • With the wisdom of God in your soul, you are able to discern Scripture and the trends of history according to God’s Plan, cf. Rev 13:18; 17:9.

Rev 13:18, “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.”

  • The wisdom from the world, Satan’s cosmic system, is actually foolishness at best, Rom 1:22; 1 Cor 1:19-27; 3:19-20, but also evil and demonic, James 3:15.

1 Cor 3:19, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is THE ONE WHO CATCHES THE WISE IN THEIR CRAFTINESS”.” Cf. Job 5:13.

James 3:15, “This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.”

  • We are to conduct our lives as “wise master builders” inside God’s Plan for our lives, 1 Cor 3:10. When we do, we will receive blessings for time and eternity, 1 Cor 3:11-15.

1 Cor 3:10, “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man be careful how he builds upon it.”

  • The Wisdom of God causes the believer to grow up spiritually, to grow to spiritual adulthood, and attain the super-grace life, Eph 4:13; Col 1:28.

Col 1:28, “And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ.”

  • Deacons are to be selected based on their demonstrated wisdom of the Word of God, Acts 6:3.
  • Wisdom was a special spiritual gift of the early Church, 1 Cor 12:8.
  • God’s Wisdom allows you to encourage and exhort your fellow members of the Royal Family, and praise God, Col 3:16.

Col 3:16, “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

  • Wisdom gives you power for witnessing and evangelizing, Acts 6:10; Col 3:16.

Acts 6:10, “And yet they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he (Stephen) was speaking.”

  • You should have wisdom through the Word to decide matters between members of the body of Christ, 1 Cor 6:3-6.

1 Cor 6:3-6, “Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life? 4So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church? 5I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, 6but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers?”

  • Likewise, you are to apply wisdom when interacting with unbelievers, Col 4:5.

Col 4:5, “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.”

  • As a result of the wisdom you acquire from God, you will be wise and produce the Fruit of the Light, i.e., Divine Good works, Mat 11:19; Luke 7:35; James 3:13, 17.

Luke 7:35, “Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

James 3:13, “Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.”

James 3:17, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.”

Conclusion:

Wisdom is the sum total of the teaching of Bible doctrine, under the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit and the positive response to that doctrine, resulting in perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. Wisdom understands both the will and the plan of God for your life.

Rom 11:3, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!”

Rom 16:17-19, “Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissentions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. 19For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.”

Wisdom gives us great discernment between right and wrong, holiness and unrighteousness, good and evil, love and hate, righteousness and wickedness, the truth and the lie, goodness and sin, true doctrine and false doctrine, light and darkness, and God’s Plan versus Satan’s cosmic system.

Vs. 16

Eph 5:16, “Making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”

As we noted above, believers are commanded to live wisely, and wise living is described in three ways in the following verses:

  • It makes good use of time in an evil age that is passing away, vs. 16; cf. 1 Cor 7:31; Gal 1:4.
  • It seeks to learn God’s will, vs. 17; cf. vs. 10.
  • It is the soul filled with the Holy Spirit, vs. 18.

This verse begins with the Verb EXAGORAZO, ἐξαγοράζω that means, “redeem, deliver, buy back, or rescue.” It comes from the verb AGORAZO that means, “buy, or purchase in the marketplace,” as the Noun AGORA means, “marketplace.” EXAGORAZO reminds us that we have been purchased by Christ from the slave market of sin. It is used that way in Gal 3:13; 4:15 regarding Christ’s redemption of the believer from “the Law,” which means from sin. Therefore, Jesus purchased our sins from us, purchased us from the slave market of sin, as a result of His completed work upon the Cross.

Gal 3:13, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us– for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”.”

Gal 4:5, “In order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

But in our verse and Col 4:5, it has the meaning of buying back time or making the most of each opportunity to produce Divine Good. That is why it is translated in both passages as “making the most of the time / opportunity,” literally – “redeeming the time.” The same phrase is used in the Greek version of Dan 2:8, meaning that you are gaining or protracting time.

In both our passage and Col 4:5, EXAGORAZO is in the Present, Middle, Participle in the Imperative Sense, Nominative, Masculine, Plural, giving us another command that we are to perform daily that has a benefit back to ourselves. It refers to purchasing for ourselves or for our personal benefit on a continuous basis. BDAG defines it as, “to gain something, especially advantage or opportunity, make the most of.

With this we have “the time” HO KAIROS, καιρός in the Accusative Singular for Direct Object that means, “time, a fixed time, season, or opportunity,” as it is translated in the parallel verse, Col 4:5.

Col 4:5, “Conduct yourselves (walk) with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity, (literally – “redeeming the time”).”

With the Possessive Pronoun HO, it stresses the importance of each and every opportunity we have daily to apply God’s Wisdom and produce Divine Good, especially in the evangelization of or witnessing to others. It tells us that we cannot buy anyone else’s time; we can only purchase our time. So, the definite article is used as a Possessive Pronoun meaning, you have time; time belongs to you, and that God has assigned to you time.

Therefore, it simply means to make the best possible use of all circumstances, like a prudent merchant would. We are to make the most of the time or opportunity in the sense, “take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way,” with the context of our verse of the avoidance of anything that interferes with understanding of the Lord’s will. This is further emphasized in vs. 18.

This command is given with an exhortation, “because the days are evil,” HOTI HO HEMERA PONEROS in the Nominative Plural. The Adjective PONEROS, πονηρός means, “painful, serious, grievous, bad, wicked, evil, or depraved.” Although used in the NT to describe Satan, the devil, Mat 13:19; Luke 8:12, here it is used to characterize this age, an “evil generation” that is under the grip of the evil one, that tells us of Satan’s cosmic system, cf. Luke 11:29; Gal 1:4; 1 John 5:18-19.

Luke 11:29, “And as the crowds were increasing, He began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah”.”

Gal 1:4, “Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us out of this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.”

“Evil days” or “evil age,” is speaking of a time period and system, whereby Satan tries to control the world. Satan is basically an evil being and every bit of good that he does is just as evil as every bit of sinning he does. Therefore, we are given this warning because the “evil days” or “evil generation” is in active opposition to that which is good and Godly. If we believers are not careful, the evil nature of this age will rob us of the opportunities to do God’s will. In addition, because many are walking in sin, and since the time is short, believers must make full use of their time to help turn those in darkness to light. This necessitates wise conduct.

“Our English word opportunity comes from the Latin and means “toward the port.” It suggests a ship taking advantage of the wind and tide to arrive safely in the harbor. The brevity of life is a strong argument for making the best use of the opportunities God gives us.” (The Bible Exposition Commentary).

How we live matters. In this passage, we are called to identify the things that waste our time away and remove them the best we can and then to prioritize everything that has to do with God and His will relentlessly. We must passionately shine our light in this dark world while we have breath. If we do, when we see our Lord, we will not regret having spent our lives wisely. This is the tactical victory in the Angelic Conflict.

Therefore, in the execution of the Plan of God for your life, you are commanded to purchase or redeem time. As such, you purchase time by your Perception, Metabolization, and Application of Bible doctrine, from which comes the application of wisdom, from which comes maximum utilization of your time daily walking in the Plan of God. This means you have purchased time because you are utilizing your time to the maximum. When you do not utilize your time for the things of God, you have lost that time in regards to the spiritual life and impact therein.

By learning the mechanics of the Plan of God, (doing a right thing in a right way), by understanding and utilizing your Portfolio of Invisible Assets, by knowing the Problem-Solving Devices and using them, and by being faithful in the little things, you maximize the time you have, and therefore purchase it for God’s good; i.e., Divine Good Production. In God’s timing, faithfulness in the little things must precede faithfulness in the big things.

In the parallel verse, Col 4:5, “Walk with wisdom toward outsiders, (unbelievers), redeeming, (purchasing), the time,” means in one sense to be ready to evangelize at all times through your words and actions. It means being a witness with your life to lead unbelievers away from sin and towards the Cross. It also means that the believer should not be negatively influenced by the ambitions and desires of unbelievers by getting caught up in them too. Unbelievers get pushy, want things in a hurry, want shortcuts to success, bypass virtue, want what they want right now, and there is no tomorrow. If the believer picks up on these things and operates in the same manner, he will lose out on understanding and living in the Plan of God.

Eph 5:16, also reminds us of Eccl 3:1-8, in which God has given us an appointed time for every aspect of our lives. Our task is to know the will of the Lord at all times and live in the moment, to His glory. The music group the Birds turned this into a hit song back in the late 60’s or early 70’s.

Eccl 3:1-8,

1There is an appointed time for everything. and there is a time for every event under heaven–

2A time to give birth, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted.

3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build up.

4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

5A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing.

6A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; a time to keep, and a time to throw away.

7A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; a time to be silent, and a time to speak.

8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Conclusion

Life for the believer is assigned in terms of days. God gives us one day at a time here on earth until our assignment runs out and He takes us home. These days that God gives us are inside of Cosmos Diabolicus, which means that we are living on earth while Satan is the ruler of this world and his is administering his cosmic system. It means we live in evil days. Even so, God has given us all the resources, power, and strength necessary to overcome these evil days and to live victoriously inside of God’s Plan for our lives. To be victorious is a volitional issue. Only you can purchase each day from the evil grasp of Satan. Bible doctrine applied from the soul is the way that you purchase a day from the evil grasp of Satan and be victorious.

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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson #’s:

17-023 – 17-025

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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life.

To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:

“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”

If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!

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