As I write it is the 16th day of the New Year. Already a good chunk of 2016 has gone. The sense of ‘newness’ is already fading. Many of us will have slipped into the ‘groove’, and we are back to normal life. Sixteen days of our time in this world have gone, never to return. I would press upon you that these have been sixteen days of quality time. Time for the unbeliever to get RightWithGod, and for the believer to pursue holiness and enjoy the full delights of being RightWithGod.
In Ephesians 5:14, 15,16 we read, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil”. The whole context here is addressed to believers, even v14, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give the light”. The death spoken of cannot be the spiritual death which is on the unbeliever, because it would be absurd to ask the spiritually dead to rise from the dead. The spiritually dead are not commanded to arise from the dead, but to believe on Christ. The imparting of spritual life is of God, and it often accompanies the preaching of the gospel. The death spoken of in v14 is the death, or spiritual slumber which can come on the believer (Even the five wise virgins in the parable slumbered and slept, Matthew 25:5). The call, “Awake thou that sleepest” is to believers who have lost their zeal for Christ, and have allowed a spiritual sleep to come upon them, making them live like the spiritually dead. This slumber is always a danger to the believer in this life.
Paul makes clear the way that we must live if we are to overcome this slumber, or, better still, prevent it happening. “See that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise”, v15. ‘Circumspectly’ is not a word we commonly use today, but it is a good word we would do well to grasp, in order that it might help us to keep our souls lively, keeping us RightWithGod, and hence delighting in Him. The dictionary defines the word, as ‘being wary, and unwilling to take risks’ We would like to flesh this out with some practical guidance, but we must leave that this week, so that we can deal with the v16: “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil”.
To redeem something is to gain or regain for the payment of a price. Here it would have the simplified meaning of getting full control of our precious time, at whatever cost. There will be a cost in terms of making adustments in our lives. Some things would have to go: things that have stolen away our time, perhaps for many years. We live in evil days, when Satan is reaching new heights, or depths, to entice and seduce the believer to waste his precious time, giving himself to thoughts and imaginations which corrode and corrupt the mind, and which prevent him from experiencing the greatest enjoyment possible in this life: being RightWithGod.