Ephesians 5:15-17: Walking Wisely
The word walk is used several times in the letter to the Ephesians. The word is used metaphorically to indicate a lifestyle, a life direction, a pattern of behaviour. It is used to describe our lives before Christ,
2:2, ‘And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.’
4:17, ‘Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.’
And in contrast to that we are called to walk in light of God’s work of the gospel in us, 2:10, ‘For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.’
4:1, ‘I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.’
5:2, ‘And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.’
5:8, ‘for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.’
And again in the verses we are considering today, 15-17, ‘15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.’ Walk in good works, walk in a manner worthy of your calling, in other words a walk of unity, walk in love, walk in the light, and now walk wisely.
Paul has been telling us what to do and why to do it. He has just told us to walk in the light because of our identity as children of light, now he tells us to walk wisely, why? Because the days are evil. The structure of these verses are simple Paul tells us to walk wisely, and tells us two ways to do so, by redeeming the time, and by discerning the Lord’s will. We will look at these verses under three headings, seeking wisdom, redeeming time and discerning God’s will.