Do Not Be Foolish

Ephesians 5:15-17
June 16, 2019
Abraham Hong

 

As we begin a new week of preparation and anticipation for the return of our King, let us remember the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and the life that we are to live in him.

Dear Highland, I want you to remember that Jesus loves you so very much. And I want you to remember that he has done so very much for you. Remember that Jesus lived for you and perfectly obeyed the law on behalf of you. Remember that Jesus died for you and humbly took the punishment for your sins in place of you. Remember that Jesus resurrected from the dead for you and has graciously secured for you his forgiveness, his reconciliation, his Holy Spirit, and his inheritance in the eternal kingdom of the new heavens and new earth. Jesus saved you and he loves you.

And now, as we wait for his return, we love Jesus. We seek to walk in a manner worthy of the salvation we have in him. We put off our old selves and put on our new selves. We live differently and we change in our words and thoughts and actions. We love God and we love others. This is the Christian life. A life that goes from guilt to grace. And then from grace to gratitude.

And one very big way that our gratitude is sincerely expressed is found in how we are wise. We are to look carefully how we walk. We are to make the best use of the time. And we are to understand the will of the Lord.

First, we are to look carefully how we walk. This isn’t about looking both ways before crossing the street or avoiding bumping into people on the sidewalk. This is about your words, your actions and your thoughts. This is about your manner of life and how you conduct yourself before God and before others. And the Lord commands you to be careful about who you are and what you do.

Therefore, be wise and pay attention to the details of your life. You need to be thoughtful and judicious with your words. You have to be deliberate and conscientious about decisions you make and actions you take. You must pay close attention to and be self-aware of the thoughts that go through your mind. Look carefully how you walk.

Therefore, be wise and be alert to disobedience. You need to be watchful and on the lookout for temptation. You have to be vigilant against sin. You must examine and study and know yourself and have a humble and accurate assessment of your spiritual well-being. Look carefully how you walk.

Dear church, remember that you are united with Christ. Therefore, you are to be careful about who you are and what you do… in him. You are not just merely a husband or a wife or a student or a worker. You are a husband in Christ, a wife in Christ, a student in Christ, a worker in Christ. And you walk in him and with him and for him (Colossians 2:6). This is why you must be careful. Do not live carelessly. Careless Christianity is Christless Christianity. Be wise and look carefully how you walk. God gave perfect and wonderful care to your salvation. The Lord was never careless with you. Be wise and look carefully how you walk.

Second, we are to make the best use of the time. We are living in the last days of redemptive history. Jesus already came and lived a perfect life for us. He already died for us and rose again for us. He has already ascended into heaven. And so what time is it now? It is now time for us to wait and prepare for Jesus’ return. With this big picture in mind, the Lord commands you to make the best use of the time. And please take note that he are talking about THE time, not YOUR time.

Dear church, remember that the days that we live in are evil days. The devil is active and the world is tempting. The devil has been defeated, he is fighting a losing battle, and the gates of hell cannot prevail over the church. But he is nevertheless doing everything he can to attack the church’s assurance of salvation and our witness to the lost. And the world can be so distracting at times, pulling our focus away from our vision, which is Christ Jesus himself, and our mission, which is the good work of his kingdom.

Therefore, this is not the time to relax and enjoy life. All that good stuff will come for us in the new heavens and new earth after Jesus returns. This is not the time to eat and drink or buy and sell or plant or build or marry and be given to marriage. This is the time to get into the ark that is Christ and stay in him until the time is up. This is not the time to take it easy and rest. This is the time to take up the full armor of God (Ephesians 6) and fight the good fight and finish the race and keep the faith (2 Timothy 4:7). We are not home yet. This world is not our home. The world that is to come… that is our home. Why then do you live like this is it? Why do you settle for this place and this time? Why do you think that these evil days are nice and swell? Dear child of light, do not get deepfaked by the one who disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Do not declare “Peace, peace” when you are actually under attack. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Be a prudent pilgrim, a smart sojourner, and navigate these evil days with the wisdom of Christ. Be wise and make the best use of the time. God is sovereign over time and he spent all it, all of redemptive history, to save you. None of it was wasted. Jesus gave himself for our sins to deliver us from these days that are evil, from the present evil age (Galatians 1:3-5). And when we live fully for Jesus, nothing is wasted. Before, you spent and wasted your life for yourself in this world as a sinner. But Jesus transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. So now, with the remaining days that you have left in this world, spent them all for the glory of God. You’ve wasted enough time. There are many ways that we can waste God’s time. We can waste his time when we commit sin. We can waste his time when we are idle or lazy. We can waste his time when we profane the Lord’s Day at the start of each week. This is foolishness, and it cannot be. Be wise and make the best use of the time.

Third and finally, we are to understand the will of the Lord. Believers in Christ who are wise are people who want to obey Jesus and do the will of their King. Such people read the Bible and study the laws of the kingdom of heaven to understand what their Christian duties are and what they owe to their King. Such people do not talk and act and think as they wish. They talk and act and think as God wills. They fear the Lord and want to please him above all. Be wise and understand the will of the Lord. It was the Father’s will that the Son live and die and rise again for you. It was his will that you believe in Jesus. What then is your will? May your will be God’s will. May your kingdom be his kingdom. May your story by his story. And may your time be his time. May your walk be his walk.

In closing, let us think about the future. Right now we walk by faith. But soon and very soon, we will walk by sight. And in the kingdom of the new heavens and new earth, you will walk with Jesus… face to face. What a walk that will be. What a walk to look forward to. We want to walk with Jesus right now. And we will walk with Jesus very soon. Be encouraged as we renew our strength today to keep walking wisely for the Lord. Walk well.

End