Ephesians 5:15-17

15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,

16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

see (v.15) = discern mentally, observe, consider, take care, take heed

walk (v.15) = to order one’s behavior, to conduct one’s self — so the point of this verse is “Be constantly taking heed how accurately you are conducting yourself” with respect to the Word of God.

The word “walk” appears seven times in Ephesians.

  1. you once walked according to the course of this world (2:2)
  2. walk in good works which God prepared (2:10)
  3. walk worthy of the calling with which you were called (4:1)
  4. don’t walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk (4:17)
  5. walk in love, as Christ loved us (5:2)
  6. walk as children of light (5:8)
  7. walk circumspectly (5:15)

circumspectly (v.15) = exactly, accurately, carefully

fools (v.15) = lit. “the unwise”

redeeming (v.16) — the meaning here is “to buy up for one’s self or one’s advantage”

Redeeming the time (v.16) — It literally means, “Buying up the opportunities.” Just as people go out bargain hunting and say, “There, if I buy that today, I can get it at a good price, much better than if I have to let it go until another time. It is worth my while to buy these bargains up at this rate.” Let the Christian be just as eager, just as earnest, to obtain opportunities to witness for Christ, to serve the blessed Lord, and to be a means of blessing to others with whom he comes in contact. Buying up the opportunities, seeking to use them to the glory of our Lord Jesus, realizing that the days are evil and the time for serving Christ is slipping fast away, and that opportunities once lost will never be found again. Therefore, the importance of buying them up while we have the chance. — Ironside, page 163-264.

redeeming the time (v.16) — Colossians 4:5

time (v.16) — not chronos, “time as such,” but kairos, “time as regarded in its strategic, epoch-making, seasonable, opportune seasons.” The idea is not to make best use of time as such, which is what we should do in the sense of not wasting it, but of taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves. — Wuest, page 126.

evil (v.16) = evil in active opposition to the good, pernicious

do not be (v.17) = stop becoming — forbidding the continuance of an action already going on.

unwise (v.17) = without reason, senseless, foolish, without reflection or intelligence, stupid

understand (v.17) = to set or bring together, to put the perception with the thing perceived, to set or join together in the mind — reflective thinking

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