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Studies in Ephesians

Proclaiming the Unsearchable Riches of Christ (See 3:8)

Chapter 5:15-21

Walking Through the Minefield–Safely

“Talk with your children about drug abuse, sex, and relationships. Talk!”

You’ve heard the public service pleas. The hope is that parental communication might help save society from its social ills. Worldly wisdom at work, and we wish it well.

In a unique and more effective way, however, the Holy Spirit has been talking to the children of light (5:8) since the beginning of time, walking them through the minefield of our journey, preserving them unto the heavenly kingdom.

In the present portion of Ephesians we have a powerful and practical heart-to-heart from God the Father to His children in Christ.

Let us all, young and old, give careful heed that we might make it safely, for we do walk in danger all the way.

Watch Your Step!

Jesus once allowed that the sons of this world are more shrewd . . . than the sons of light–especially in the service of Mammon (see Luke 16:8). His apostle, however, makes it clear that His people are smarter by far in what really counts for life and well-being.

“Walk circumspectly [literally, accurately]” (v. 15). We dare not be naive. Carefully put your feet where a path is cleared through the minefield, knowing the snares and explosive hazards all around. Don’t trust even your own natural “wisdom.” It is just as corrupted as the world around us!

“Do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Where and how can that understanding be gained? Jesus prayed: “Sanctify [set them apart for holy purposes] them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (Jn. 17:17). Isn’t it wonderful that we have this never-failing light unto our path? God’s wisdom is always within reach for the inquiring Bible student. Without money and without price.

One thoughtful person who once felt it was necessary to taste wickedness to understand it, observed dryly, “Some think that experience is the best teacher, but I’ve learned that the tuition is much too high.”

Thank God, we have a more sure word of prophecy to which we give heed “as a light that shines in a dark place” (2 Peter 1). We are equipped to walk safely!

Carpe Diem

We are urged to safety, not just for safety sake, but for a high purpose–to redeem the time (v. 16), making the most of every moment, every day. Important kingdom work needs to be done. Evil abounds. A fallen, corrupted, dying world needs to know in whom life is to be found!

For years Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress was a mainstay of many Christian libraries, describing in vivid manner the hazards of the pilgrimage. But one discerning reader was saddened to note that the heroic pilgrim never stopped to help any others on the way. True? If so, he hardly redeemed the time in a full sense.

Jesus has left us behind in a hostile, hazardous world. Let us redeem our time there, watching our step all the way.

A Full and Happy Life

(See vv. 18-20) Why is society so given to substance abuse? Some say it is a search for escape from boring reality. Numerous drugs (like the current rave rage, Ecstacy) entice with the prospect of a “happy high” and then deliver death in one form or another.

Truly wise ones know that we do need a lift, and they pray for a renewal of youth that we might soar like the eagle (Psalm 103:5). They also know that this is safely found in the realm of our spirit which resonates to the Holy Spirit and expresses itself in singing sacred truth, bubbling up while “making melody in your heart to the Lord.”

At its very best, that spirit is heard especially in corporate worship, “giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Could one ask for more in life than that?

–Rollin A. Reim