Not as Unwise but as Wise
In Ephesians 5:15-17—Paul the Apostle instructs believers in how to behave. Firstly, one should be careful. “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,” (Ephesians 5:15 NIV) Paul reminded believers.
The Bible often advises people to be careful, as Moses said, “Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands.” (Deuteronomy 8:11) In Gospel of Matthew, “Watch out that no one deceives you,” (Matthew 24:4) Jesus warned people.
Wisdom comes from God. People have to respect and fear God in order to gain wisdom.
Secondly, Paul emphasized the importance of not being a foolish person, which is defined in the Bible as those who “are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good,” (Jeremiah 4:22) “Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice,” (Matthew 7:26) or “They knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him,” (Romans 1:21) or those who “conform to the evil desires.” (1 Peter 1:14) Therefore, Paul taught us to be wise. How do we be wise? Wisdom comes from God. People have to respect and fear God in order to gain wisdom. Just as the Book of Proverbs pointed out, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10) More importantly, obey God’s words—“All who follow his precepts have good understanding.” (Psalm 111:10)
Paul hopes that we can seize the opportunity God has given us before then.
Furthermore, Paul instructs believers in seizing the opportunity. “Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil,” (Ephesians 5:16) he said. While it is easy to understand the latter in today’s crooked and corrupted world where wickedness, adultery, and all sorts of injustice collide—what does Paul mean by “Making the most of every opportunity”? Opportunity is Kairos in Greek, which refers to a specific time. What Paul refers to here is God’s time. Especially because we live in the wicked age, and “the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) As believers, we ought to grasp the opportunity to hear the gospel because we are granted salvation. Jesus Christ was born as a man and shed his blood for our once-only redemption. When the Lord returns—it will not be another salvation but judgement of the world. Therefore, Paul hopes that we can seize the opportunity God has given us before then.
Believers must not be ignorant, one must understand God’s will.
Finally, “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is,” (Ephesians 5:17) said Paul. Believers must not be ignorant, one must understand God’s will. What is the will of God? In accordance with the fundamental principles, the apostles enumerated some illustrations, for instance, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality,” (1 Thessalonians 4:3) said Paul, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) “It is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people,” (1 Peter 2:15) said Simon Peter. However, God has a unique purpose for each one of us. One can only find their own answer by approaching and asking God humbly. As King David said, “Who, then, are those who fear the Lord? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.” (Psalm 25:12)
Let us understand his will and seek wisdom in this dark age; seize the opportunity and act carefully.