Ephesians Sentence by Sentence: 5:17

διὰ τοῦτο μὴ γίνεσθε ἄφρονες, ἀλλὰ συνίετε τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ κυρίου. For this reason, do not become foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

In connection with wise Christian living, Paul explains in verse 17 what he means by “making most of the time” from verse 16. This phrase, διὰ τοῦτο, “for this reason,” introduces the conclusion to vv. 15-16. What does it mean to live wisely by making the most of the times? It means not to be foolish, but rather, to understand what the will of the Lord is. Wise living does not involve characteristics lacking in good judgment. Instead, wise living entails comprehending what the Lord desires. To make the most of the time, Christians are to take time to understand what God desires for them.

For this reason, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Ever heard the phrase, “In order to make money, you have to spend money”? Well, in order to make the most of your time, you have to spend a little time. Just as you have to invest money in order to earn more money, so also must you invest your time in order to get more out of your time. The essential idea in both concepts is investment. Money and time must be invested in order to obtain some sort of return. In Ephesians 5, Paul emphasizes the idea of investing time. Christians are to make the most of the time, which means that they should not be foolish, but rather, they should comprehend the will of the Lord. Christians should be investing their time in discerning the will of the Lord. In turn, they can use their time wisely, working to do what God wills. But how do we discern what the will of the Lord is? Scripture tells us. We have to spend time reading the Word. If we do not make this investment with our time, we will not be able to comprehend the will of God; therefore, we will not be able to live wisely. In Ephesians, Paul has already described for us God’s will–that the church should do good works. The church itself also bears a responsibility for communicating to the world God’s wisdom and salvation. Scripture reveals to us in further details what the church is called to do and what the will of the Lord is, so we cannot stop here at Ephesians. But we must invest our time. We have to spend some time in order to make the most of our time. Scripture gives us direction, and by reading it we can learn what to do in order to please God and fulfill his will for our lives.

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