15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Last Sunday we looked at
the preceeding passage out of Ephesians.
Paul wanted his readers to make a connection
between their new life in the Body of Christ
and the real world in which they lived.
And so, he instructs the Ephesians
to put off falsehood,
not to let anger get the best of them,
to work so that they may contribute
to the needs of others,
to replace any unholesome talk with words
that build up,
and to forgive one another.
And in all these things to imitate Christ
who gave himself up as a fragrant offering to God.
If that isn’t enough exhortation,
Paul reemphasises the point and says,
“be very careful, then, how you live –
not as unwise but as wise.”
In this portion of scripture the focus falls first of all
Today, as in the time of Paul,
there are many voices that call for our allegiance. Therefore, he says in 5:6,
“Let no one deceive you with empty words”...
You were once darkness…
but now you are light in the Lord.
So, live as children of light
(for the fruit of the light consists
in all goodness,
righteousness and truth).
As Christians we must know
That there will always be voices
calling for our allegiance.
But we are marching to the beat of a different drummer. As those who have been redeemed
by Christ’s fragrant offering and sacrifice,
we are diffierent.
And so, we must be wise – not unwise.
We must discern as the Body of Christ
what will bring honor to our Lord and King.
We must let go of the unfruitful works of darkness,
the hidden, shameful behaviours
of our former life without Christ.
In studying documments from the early church,
scholars tell us that new believers
that were coming into the fellowship of the church
often spent three or more years as catechumens – that is,
they were instructed in the imitation of Christ.
The emphasis was not only
on the right understanding of the faith,
but much more important was the right living
as children of light.
And so, Paul invites us here to be wise
in our thinking and our behavior.
And to make the most of every opportunity
because the days are evil.
As Christians we must live our daily lives
with our eyes wide open.
We must be aware of the things that are happening
in society around us,
and we must seek God’s will
and behave accordingly.
The days are evil…
there is a lot of unholesome stuff
going on around us.
And there are no guarantees in life.
For that reason, we must cease the moment of grace
that God has entrusted to us.
We must make the best of it
and give thanks to the Father in all we do.
May God grant us wise hearts to redeem the time
and make the most of the time He has given us.