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Darlene

Ephesians 5:15-20

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Father God,

 

As we come into Your presence this morning through Your Word, I just ask that Your Spirit would open and widen our hearts to receive more of You, removing less of us. Heal our eyes spiritually that we might see and understand, our ears that we might hear Your voice, Your direction, Your will for our lives, and heal our spiritual cripleness that we might walk in the light of You love, through Christ, Your Son.

 

 

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

 

Calvin shares, "See then. If believers must not neglect to drive away the darkness of others by their own brightness, how much less ought they to be blind as to their own conduct in life? What darkness shall conceal those on whom Christ, the Sun of righteousness, has arisen? Placed, as it were, in a crowded theater, they ought to live under the eye of God and of angels. Let them stand in awe of these witnesses, though they may be concealed from the view of all mortals. Dismissing the metaphor of darkness and light, he enjoins them to regulate their life circumspectly as wise men, who have been educated by the Lord in the school of true wisdom. Our understanding must shew itself by taking God for our guide and instructor, to teach us his own will."

 

Clarke comments, "Walk circumspectly] Our word circumspect, from the Latin circirmspicio, signifies to look round about on all hands; to be every way watchful, wary, and cautious, in order to avoid danger, discern enemies before they come too nigh, and secure a man's interest by every possible and lawful means. But the original word akribwv signifies correctly, accurately, consistently, or perfectly. Be ye, who have received the truth, careful of your conduct; walk by the rule which God has given you; do this as well in little as in great matters; exemplify your principles, which are holy and good, by a corresponding conduct; do not only profess, but live the Gospel. As you embrace all its promises, be careful also to embrace all its precepts; and behave yourselves so, that your enemies may never be able to say that ye are holy in your doctrines and profession, but irregular in your lives.

 

Not as fools, but as wise] mh wv asofoi, allÆ wv sofoi. The heathens affected to be called sofoi, or wise men. Pythagoras was perhaps the first who corrected this vanity, by assuming the title of filosofov, a lover of wisdom; hence our term philosopher, used now in a much prouder sense than that in which the great Pythagoras wished it to be applied. The apostle here takes the term sofov, and applies it to the Christian; and, instead of it, gives the empty Gentile philosopher the title of asofov, without wisdom, fool."

 

Henry writes, " Another remedy against sin is circumspection, care, or caution (v. 15): See then, &c. This may be understood either with respect to what immediately precedes, "If you are to reprove others for their sins, and would be faithful to your duty in this particular, you must look well to yourselves, and to your own behaviour and conduct" (and, indeed, those only are fit to reprove others who walk with due circumspection and care themselves): or else we have here another remedy or rather preservative from the before-mentioned sins; and this I take to be the design of the apostle, being impossible to maintain purity and holiness of heart and life without great circumspection and care. Walk circumspectly, or, as the word signifies, accurately, exactly, in the right way, in order to which we must be frequently consulting our rule, and the directions we have in the sacred oracles. Not as fools, who walk at all adventures, and who have no understanding of their duty, nor of the worth of their souls, and through neglect, supineness, and want of care, fall into sin, and destroy themselves; but as wise, as persons taught of God and endued with wisdom from above. Circumspect walking is the effect of true wisdom, but the contrary is the effect of folly."

 

16. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

 

Calvin writes, Redeeming the time. By a consideration of the time he enforces his exhortation. The days are evil. Everything around us tends to corrupt and mislead; so that it is difficult for godly persons, who walk among so many thorns, to escape unhurt. Such corruption having infected the age, the devil appears to have obtained tyrannical sway; so that time cannot be dedicated to God without being in some way redeemed. And what shall be the price of its redemption? To withdraw from the endless variety of allurements which would easily lead us astray; to rid ourselves from the cares and pleasures of the world; and, in a word, to abandon every hinderance. Let us be eager to recover it in every possible way, and let the numerous offenses and arduous toil, which many are in the habit of alleging as an apology for indolence, serve rather to awaken our vigilance."

 

Clarke comments, "Redeeming the time] exagorazomenoi ton kairon? Buying up those moments which others seem to throw away; steadily improving every present moment, that ye may, in some measure, regain the time ye have lost. Let time be your chief commodity; deal in that alone; buy it all up, and use every portion of it yourselves. Time is that on which eternity depends; in time ye are to get a preparation for the kingdom of God; if you get not this in time, your ruin is inevitable; therefore, buy up the time.

 

Some think there is an allusion here to the case of debtors, who, by giving some valuable consideration to their creditors, obtain farther time for paying their debts. And this appears to be the sense in which it is used by the Septuagint, Dan. ii. 8: epÆ alhqeiav oida egw, oti kairon umeiv exagorazete? I know certainly that ye would gain or buy time - ye wish to have the time prolonged, that ye may seek out for some plausible explanation of the dream. Perhaps the apostle means in general, embrace every opportunity to glorify God, save your own souls, and do good to men.

 

Because the days are evil.] The present times are dangerous, they are full of trouble and temptations, and only the watchful and diligent have any reason to expect that they shall keep their garments unspotted."

 

Henry shares, "It follows, redeeming the time (v. 16), literally, buying the opportunity. It is a metaphor taken from merchants and traders who diligently observe and improve the seasons for merchandise and trade. It is a great part of Christian wisdom to redeem the time. Good Christians must be good husbands of their time, and take care to improve it to the best of purposes, by watching against temptations, by doing good while it is in the power of their hands, and by filling it up with proper employment—one special preservative from sin. They should make the best use they can of the present seasons of grace. Our time is a talent given us by God for some good end, and it is misspent and lost when it is not employed according to his design. If we have lost our time heretofore, we must endeavour to redeem it by doubling our diligence in doing our duty for the future. The reason given is because the days are evil, either by reason of the wickedness of those who dwell in them, or rather "as they are troublesome and dangerous times to you who live in them." Those were times of persecution wherein the apostle wrote this: the Christians were in jeopardy every hour. When the days are evil we have one superadded argument to redeem time, especially because we know not how soon they may be worse. People are very apt to complain of bad times; it were well if that would stir them up to redeem time."

 

17. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is

 

Calvin shares, "Wherefore be ye not unwise. He whose

 

“delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates in it day and night,”

(Psalm 1:2,)

 

will triumph over every obstacle which Satan can oppose to his progress. Whence comes it that some wander, others fall, others strike against a rock, others go away, — but because we allow ourselves to be gradually blinded by Satan, and lose sight of the will of God, which we ought constantly to remember? And observe, that Paul defines wisdom to be, understanding what the will of the Lord is

 

“How shall a young man,” says David, “direct his way? By attending to thy word, O Lord.” (Psalm 119:9.)

 

He speaks of youths, but it is the same wisdom which belongs to old men."

 

Clarke comments, "Wherefore be ye not unwise] mh ginesqe afronev? Do not become madmen. Here is a most evident allusion to the orgies of Bacchus, in which his votaries acted like madmen; running about, tossing their heads from shoulder to shoulder, appearing to be in every sense completely frantic. See the whole of the passage in Livy, to which I have referred on ver. 12.

 

But understanding what the will of the Lord is.] It is the will of God that ye should be sober, chaste, holy, and pure. Get a thorough understanding of this; acquaint yourselves with God's will, that ye may know how to glorify him."

 

Henry states, ""Wherefore," says the apostle (v. 17), "because of the badness of the times, be you not unwise, ignorant of your duty and negligent about your souls, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. Study, consider, and further acquaint yourselves with the will of God, as determining your duty." Observe, Ignorance of our duty, and neglect of our souls, are evidences of the greatest folly; while an acquaintance with the will of God, and a care to comply with it, bespeak the best and truest wisdom."

 

Ignorance of my duty and the neglect of my soul is something I'm very acquainted with...I did it for years. It's true that there is no way I can know the will of God for my life when I make a choice to neglect the needs of my soul. 'My' best thinking netted me nothing, and I'm learning that as I have burned out on the things in this world and have gone running to Him, desperate to be closer to Him, I have found that hope, that meaning, that peace, that confidence that I tried to imitate and manufacture in my heart, outside of Him.

 

18. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

 

Calvin writes, "And be not drunk with wine. When he enjoins them not to be drunk, he forbids excessive and immoderate drinking of every description. “Be not intemperate in drinking.”

 

In which is lasciviousness. The Greek word ἀσωτία, which is translated “lasciviousness,” points out the evils which arise from drunkenness. I understand by it all that is implied in a wanton and dissolute life; for to translate it luxury, would quite enfeeble the sense. The meaning therefore is, that drunkards throw off quickly every restraint of modesty or shame; that where wine reigns, profligacy naturally follows; and consequently, that all who have any regard to moderation or decency ought to avoid and abhor drunkenness.

 

The children of this world are accustomed to indulge in deep drinking as an excitement to mirth. Such carnal excitement is contrasted with that holy joy of which the Spirit of God is the Author, and which produces entirely opposite effects. To what does drunkenness lead? To unbounded licentiousness, — to unbridled, indecent merriment. And to what does spiritual joy lead, when it is most strongly excited?

 

Clarke comments, "Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess] This is a farther allusion to the Bacchanalian mysteries; in them his votaries got drunk, and ran into all manner of excesses. Plato, though he forbade drunkenness in general, yet allowed that the people should get drunk in the solemnities of that god who invented wine. And indeed this was their common custom; when they had offered their sacrifices they indulged themselves in drunkenness, and ran into all kinds of extravagance. Hence it is probable that mequw, to get drunk, is derived from meta, after, and quw, to sacrifice; for, having completed their sacrifices, they indulged themselves in wine. The word aswtia, which we translate excess, means profligacy and debauchery of every kind; such as are the general concomitants of drunkenness, and especially among the votaries of Bacchus in Greece and Italy.

 

But be filled with the Spirit] The heathen priests pretended to be filled with the influence of the god they worshipped; and it was in these circumstances that they gave out their oracles. See a remarkable instance of this quoted in the note on Luke ix. 39, where the case of a Bacchanalian is described. The apostle exhorts the Ephesians not to resemble these, but, instead of being filled with wine, to be filled with the Spirit of God; in consequence of which, instead of those discoveries of the Divine will to which in their drunken worship the votaries of Bacchus pretended, they should be wise indeed, and should understand what the will of the Lord is."

 

Henry writes, "In the three following verses the apostle warns against some other particular sins, and urges some other duties. 1. He warns against the sin of drunkenness: And be not drunk with wine, v. 18. This was a sin very frequent among the heathens; and particularly on occasion of the festivals of their gods, and more especially in their Bacchanalia: then they were wont to inflame themselves with wine, and all manner of inordinate lusts were consequent upon it: and therefore the apostle adds, wherein, or in which drunkenness, is excess. The word asotia may signify luxury or dissoluteness; and it is certain that drunkenness is no friend to chastity and purity of life, but it virtually contains all manner of extravagance, and transports men into gross sensuality and vile enormities. Note, Drunkenness is a sin that seldom goes alone, but often involves men in other instances of guilt: it is a sin very provoking to God, and a great hindrance to the spiritual life. The apostle may mean all such intemperance and disorder as are opposite to the sober and prudent demeanor he intends in his advice, to redeem the time. 2. Instead of being filled with wine, he exhorts them to be filled with the Spirit. Those who are full of drink are not likely to be full of the Spirit; and therefore this duty is opposed to the former sin. The meaning of the exhortation is that men should labour for a plentiful measure of the graces of the Spirit, that would fill their souls with great joy, strength, and courage, which things sensual men expect their wine should inspire them with. We cannot be guilty of any excess in our endeavours after these: nay, we ought not to be satisfied with a little of the Spirit, but to be aspiring after measures, so as to be filled with the Spirit. Now by this means we shall come to understand what the will of the Lord is; for the Spirit of God is given as a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding. And because those who are filled with the Spirit will be carried out in acts of devotion, and all the proper expressions of it, therefore the apostle exhorts,"

 

Speaking to yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

 

Calvin writes, "To psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs. These are truly pleasant and delightful fruits. The Spirit means “joy in the Holy Ghost,” (Romans 14:17;) and the exhortation, be ye filled, (ver. 18,) alludes to deep drinking, with which it is indirectly contrasted. Speaking to themselves, is speaking among themselves. Nor does he enjoin them to sing inwardly or alone; for he immediately adds, singing in your hearts; as if he had said, “Let your praises be not merely on the tongue, as hypocrites do, but from the heart.” What may be the exact difference between psalms and hymns, or between hymns and songs, it is not easy to determine, though a few remarks on this subject shall be offered on a future occasion. The appellation spiritual, given to these songs, is strikingly appropriate; for the songs most frequently used are almost always on trifling subjects, and very far from being chaste."

 

Clarke comments, "Speaking to yourselves in psalms] We can scarcely say what is the exact difference between these three expressions. Psalms, yalmoi, may probably mean those of David.

 

Hymns] Æumnoiv? Extemporaneous effusions in praise of God, uttered under the influence of the Divine Spirit, or a sense of his especial goodness. See Acts xvi. 25.

 

Songs] widaiv? Odes; premeditated and regular poetic compositions; but, in whatever form they were composed, we learn that they were all pneumatika, spiritual - tending to magnify God and edify men.

 

Singing and making melody in your heart] The heart always going with the lips. It is a shocking profanation of Divine worship to draw nigh to God with the lips, while the heart is far from him. It is too often the case that, in public worship, men are carried off from the sense of the words by the sounds that are put to them. And how few choirs of singers are there in the universe whose hearts ever accompany them in what they call singing the praises of God!"

 

I can sure understand the heart and the lips being on two different planes. For whatever reason, it is usually very easy to see when someone is just giving lipservice, and I sure know in my own life that I'm not comfortable trying to say something that I'm not feeling in my heart.

 

Henry writes, "To sing unto the Lord, v. 19. Drunkards are wont to sing obscene and profane songs. The heathens, in their Bacchanalia, used to sing hymns to Bacchus, whom they called the god of wine. Thus they expressed their joy; but the joy of Christians should express itself in songs of praise to their God. In these they should speak to themselves in their assemblies and meetings together, for mutual edification. By psalms may be meant David's psalms, or such composures as were fitly sung with musical instruments. By hymns may be meant such others as were confined to matter of praise, as those of Zacharias, Simeon, &c. Spiritual songs may contain a greater variety of matter, doctrinal, prophetical, historical, &c. Observe here, (1.) The singing of psalms and hymns is a gospel ordinance: it is an ordinance of God, and appointed for his glory. (2.) Though Christianity is an enemy to profane mirth, yet it encourages joy and gladness, and the proper expressions of these in the professors of it. God's people have reason to rejoice, and to sing for joy. They are to sing and to make melody in their hearts; not only with their voices, but with inward affection, and then their doing this will be as delightful and acceptable to God as music is to us: and it must be with a design to please him, and to promote his glory, that we do this; and then it will be done to the Lord."

 

20. Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Calvin writes, "Giving thanks always. He means that this is a pleasure which ought never to lose its relish; that this is an exercise of which we ought never to weary. Innumerable benefits which we receive from God yield fresh cause of joy and thanksgiving. At the same time, he reminds believers that it will argue ungodly and disgraceful sloth, if they shall not always give thanks, — if their whole life shall not be spent in the study and exercise of praising God.

 

Clarke states, "Giving thanks always] God is continually loading you with his benefits; you deserve nothing of his kindness; therefore give him thanks for his unmerited bounties.

 

God and the Father] That is: God, who is your Father, and the Father of mercies. See the observations on the Greek article at the end of this epistle.

 

In the name of our Lord Jesus] He is the only mediator; and through him alone can ye approach to God; and it is for his sake only that God will hear your prayers or receive your praises."

 

Henry writes, "Thanksgiving is another duty that the apostle exhorts to, v. 20. We are appointed to sing psalms, &c., for the expression of our thankfulness to God; but, though we are not always singing, we should never want a disposition for this duty, as we never want matter for it. We must continue it throughout the whole course of our lives; and we should give thanks for all things; not only for spiritual blessings enjoyed, and eternal ones expected (for what of the former we have in hand, and for what of the other we have in hope), but for temporal mercies too; not only for our comforts, but also for our sanctified afflictions; not only for what immediately concerns ourselves, but for the instances of God's kindness and favour to others also. It is our duty in every thing to give thanks unto God and the Father, to God as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and our Father in him, in whose name we are to offer up all our prayers, and praises, and spiritual services, that they may be acceptable to God."

 

 

Heavenly Father,

 

Thank You for Your Word, and thank You for these men that have aspired to reveal the depth and wisdom contained in these scriptures.

 

It's been interesting reading this portion of Your Word. As I read the "do this, don't do that", I am reminded of days gone by when I didn't live that way. Even when I tried to at times, I seemed to fail more often than not. I'm not quite sure how to put this into words, I know I don't quite understand it all yet, but what I do know is that as that craving and desperation to know You more, to be closer to You welled up in my heart, these things as stated above, began to occur naturally. Yes there are times when I have to make decisions as to whether or not I'm willing to lay down things that I've been holding onto, but I am also starting to see and believe that as my heart grows fonder of You, as I grow closer to You, that many of these things just happen...these desires for a more holy life, a life that is more pleasing to You, become planted in my heart. So, I'm beginning to think that many of my efforts to obey here or there could only manifest itself in my life as You began to change me...change my mind, my heart, my life.

 

I do know that I was fearful of giving up that control, per se, my whole life. I never wanted to give You everything for fear that I wouldn't like who You would make me to be. I don't know why I have such confining thoughts but I did. I wanted to live and partake of things in this world, there's no denying that. It wasn't until I burned myself out on me that I really got scared and went running to You, begging You to intervene cause I knew I was well on my way to self destruction.

 

I know I may think different than some people Lord, but it's just how I think lol. And being the brat that I am, if I, in my heart, am truly ready to let go of all these things I've held onto my whole life, then I want ALL that You purposed for me from the beginning of time. I'm just that way...all or nothing. So, Holy Father, I ask that You would complete Your perfect plan and will for my life, no holds barred. I don't care what anyone may think, I have a single minded focus on You and choose to trust You like I never have before. I'm tired of the limitations and errors that surround my own thought processes. I've done the best that I could and I'm not happy with the results. I do know and believe that You are exceedingly able to do so much more and so that's what I'm asking for...more Lord.

 

That most vulnerable place in my heart that rarely got touched, I give to You...and extension of my trust, my faith in You, and my yearning for You to fill and expand my heart...to be used by You for Your glory, because You are the Most High King and I love, need and trust You with my life. You are my creator and I will trust You with that, which You created to begin with.

 

That is my prayer today Lord.

 

In Jesus Name,

 

 

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vs15

What darkness shall conceal those on whom Christ, the Sun of righteousness, has arisen? Placed, as it were, in a crowded theater, they ought to live under the eye of God and of angels. Let them stand in awe of these witnesses, though they may be concealed from the view of all mortals.

 

 

...do not only profess, but live the Gospel. As you embrace all its promises, be careful also to embrace all its precepts; and behave yourselves so, that your enemies may never be able to say that ye are holy in your doctrines and profession, but irregular in your lives.

 

vs16

Let time be your chief commodity; deal in that alone; buy it all up, and use every portion of it yourselves. Time is that on which eternity depends; in time ye are to get a preparation for the kingdom of God;

 

vs 17

"Wherefore be ye not unwise. He whose

 

“delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates in it day and night,”

(Psalm 1:2,)

 

will triumph over every obstacle which Satan can oppose to his progress.

 

vs18

The meaning of the exhortation is that men should labour for a plentiful measure of the graces of the Spirit, that would fill their souls with great joy, strength, and courage, which things sensual men expect their wine should inspire them with.

 

vs 20

Giving thanks always. He means that this is a pleasure which ought never to lose its relish;

 

...we should give thanks for all things; not only for spiritual blessings enjoyed, and eternal ones expected (for what of the former we have in hand, and for what of the other we have in hope), but for temporal mercies too; not only for our comforts, but also for our sanctified afflictions;

 

========================================

 

 

Wow.....there is just so much here today that speaks to me...reminding, enlightening, and that word that the commentators kept using ...exhorting. I think I'm going to print this one out...so that the reminding/enlightening/exhorting can continue with just a glance at the paper.

 

Especially today, when I'm rather UNhappy about getting re-infected sick with that stomach virus that I just took 2 wks getting over the first time. (DH came down with it on Easter day... frown ) So I came here rather put out and grumpy and not at all even *thinking* of being thankful..... Oh yeah, these words written so very long ago and commented on long ago too....they speak fresh any day we listen. Then suddenly, in the light of all that I MUST be thankful for...I look out at this perfectly gorgeous day with a renewed mind and heart.

 

 

Don't worry Darlene...you are not so different as you may think. It's a road many of us walk...run...leap&jump...hobble...crawl.....but ever moving forward. Thanks again for the study!

 

 

MtRider

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Darlene, you have inspired and touched me this morning with the partaking of the Bread of Life and the opening of your heart!

 

Thanks and by the way...hi! I've missed you!

 

prayed2BaMom

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