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Time: What does it mean to redeem it?

Gary Googe Nov 13

Redeeming the time is a phrase the apostle Paul used in times past.

Ephesians 5:16

16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. [Emphasis added]

To be sure we understand what is meant by this, we always need to note the context in which the statement is made.  Without that we certainly won’t be able to know for sure what was being communicated.  So, let’s look at that.

Ephesians 5:15-17

15 See then that ye walk circumspectly [AKRIBOS = accurately, with correct understanding], not as fools, but as wise,

16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

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

To help us understand this, we even have Paul’s comment about this same thing in his letter to the Colossian church.

Colossians 4:5-6

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. [Emphasis added]

This is buying up opportunities to serve our Lord by putting out correct information regarding things He wants us all to know. It reminds us of the value of time. What would you be doing with your time if you thought you only had a short time to live? I think that’s an extremely important question for all of us to consider often.  The reality is that we all only have a short time to live.  The older I get the more I realize that.  When you get as old as I am you realize more and more how short a lifetime really is, even if you live longer than most people.  These passages should alert us about the importance of how we invest our time.  Are you really making the most of yours?

As someone has rightly said, “Our talk talks and our walk talks, but our walk talks louder than our talk talks.”  This is another way of saying our actions speak louder than our words.  Do your actions reflect the Word of God?

Those who are “without” mentioned in verse five are unbelievers.  Who have you presented our gospel to lately? Is that not the most important thing we have to talk to people about? Please note the priority the apostle Paul gave to it.

1 Corinthians 2:1-2

1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. [Emphasis added]

Clearly his focus was on that which we speak of as the gospel.  He wanted everyone he came in contact with to know about it.  What exactly is that gospel message? Even though I speak of it often in my other articles and on my videos, I do again here because of its extreme importance.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: [Emphasis added]

But how often do even preachers speak of this and explain it? From what I’ve seen, it is rare.  I actually believe there are many who could not give a correct and clear explanation of it. Is it not worth their time to do so? Is it not worth ours? Isn’t this the most important thing anyone could ever present and explain to someone? Why do so many seem to be afraid to present it? Isn’t physical death and our entrance into Heaven the worst thing that could happen to us by doing so? Is that to be feared or dreaded by us? Don’t we really believe these things we’ve been told about all this in the Bible? Please note what the apostle Paul tells us about these things.

Philippians 3:17-21

17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

Such people are far more concerned about the temporal than they are the eternal things of life.

20 For our conversation [POLITEUO = citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. [Emphasis added]

Paul even tells us he was torn between life and death. His preference was to go on to Heaven. Isn’t that how we should feel about it?

Philippians 1:22-24

22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.

23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. [Emphasis added]

Are you torn between these two? Shouldn’t we be?

Life can be compared to a minefield.  We never know what may be our last step.  Certainly, there are those who were suddenly gone without warning.  Isn’t it possible that you could be one such person? If you’ve not made the right preparation, shouldn’t that be a priority? Furthermore, even if you are prepared in that sense, are you prepared for the Judgment Seat of Christ? What reward do you have awaiting you there? What applications of the Word of God are you making to qualify for these things? Are you faithful in that? Here’s the name of an article I wrote about this that’s on our website that I hope you’ll take the time to read and study.

Rewards:  For what will God wish to reward you in eternity?

Let’s look again at a verse that speaks of preparing for this judgment.

Ephesians 5:15

15 See then that ye walk circumspectly [AKRIBOS = accurately, with correct understanding], not as fools, but as wise, [Emphasis added]

Are you walking “circumspectly”? Do your daily decisions reflect the teachings of Scripture, especially those things written by the apostle Paul? The only way you can make that happen is by having a clear understanding of those things and applying them.  Obedience to this next verse is essential.

2 Timothy 2:15

15 Study [SPOUDAZO = be diligent] to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [Emphasis added]

Yes, you’ll see that verse mentioned often on this website.  That’s because of the very important principle it represents—the right division of Scripture.  After a person is saved, this is probably the most important principle they need to learn.  All the Bible is FOR us, but it is not all TO us or ABOUT us.  If that principle is not learned and applied, a person reading the Bible will get confused and frustrated regarding many things they will read.  That’s because it will appear that there are many contradictions in the Bible, but such is certainly not the case.  This is at least a part of what it means to walk “accurately” as per Ephesians 5:15. In fact, just a few verses down from that we have another verse that relates to this—

Ephesians 5:18

18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; [Emphasis added]

Instead of driving and living under the influence of various beverages, we are to live under the influence of the Word of God.  Paul says the same thing in different words in his letter to the Colossians.

Colossians 3:16-17

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. [Emphasis added]

Again, this can’t be done without “redeeming the time.” We all need to invest time in the study of the Bible every day.  Otherwise, we will inevitably be influenced by principles that are contrary to what we find in the Scriptures.  Please make your study of the Bible an ongoing habit. You’ll never regret it if you will.

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