Intro: Paul has encouraged them to walk circumspectly, now he defines what he means by circumspectly.
I. REDEEMING THE TIME.
A. There should always be a sense of urgency in getting the gospel out.
1. Time is short even if you live to be 130 years old. When the Pharaoh asked Jacob how old he was, Jacob responded my pilgrimage has been 130 years, few and evil have been the days of the years of my life.
2. We have only one life, twill soon be past, and only what's done for Christ will last.
3. Jesus seemed to have that sense of urgency.
I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you:
4. Paul had that sense of urgency.
And that, knowing the time, that now [it is] high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when we believed.
5. To the Corinthians Paul said:
But this I say, brethren, the time [is] short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;
And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
And they that use this world, as not abusing [it]: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
B. Moses asked the Lord to teach him to number his days that he might apply his heart to wisdom.
C. It is interesting how that wisdom is related to redeeming the time.
1. In the very context of the exhortation Paul said, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil, wherefore be ye not unwise.
2. In Colossians 4:5
he said, "Walk in wisdom toward those that are without, redeeming the time."
D. How can we redeem the time?
1. So much of what we do, especially today, is just a waste of time.
a. I think of how much time is wasted in front of a T.V. I think that T.V. causes your brain and your body to vegetate. That same time could be used to learn a foreign language, to study the Word, to draw close to God.
b. Think how the church could be impacting the world for God if we were giving the time in prayer that we spend in front of the T.V.
c. There are certain things that must be done that in and of themselves often seem to be a waste of time but they need not be.
2. I believe that radio and tapes are one of the greatest ways to help keep driving from being a waste of time. Many times I have truckers who write or tell me that as they are driving across the country they are listening to the Bible study tapes.
a. Some of you who have to drive the freeways every day could learn all about the Bible through tapes, your car could be your own little seminary classroom.
b. You housewives who have the care of the children and the upkeep of the home, that time could be well spent by listening to tapes as you do the dishes, or the work around the house.
c. It is interesting to see the janitors and yardmen around the grounds here at the church, most of them have earphones on, I assume that they are listening to the Bible study tapes.
E. Paul said that they should redeem the time because the days were evil.
1. Our old nature is attracted to evil.
a. People who would never think of committing adultery will enjoy the story of one who does.
b. A person who would never think of using a gun to kill someone will watch with fascination as on T.V. the actors portray mass killings.
c. Paul speaks of taking pleasure in those who are doing evil things. He was perhaps thinking of the theater of his day, but it is true in the movies today.
2. Paul warned the Galatians concerning sowing and reaping.
II. "WHEREFORE BE NOT UNWISE, BUT UNDERSTANDING WHAT THE WILL OF THE LORD IS."
A. One of the most oft questions is, "How can I know the will of God for my life?"
1. It is God's will that you walk worthy of the vocation wherein you were called.
2. It is God's will that you not walk as the world.
3. It is God's will that you walk in love.
4. It is God's will that you walk as children of light.
5. It is God's will that you walk circumspectly.
B. You say, "No, I want to know what God wants me to be."
1. He wants you to be holy, for He is holy.
2. He wants you to be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as He for Christ sake forgave you.
C. How can you discover the specifics of God's will?
1. Paul wrote to the Romans, "I beg you brethren, by the mercies of God that you present your bodies as living sacrifices unto God which is your reasonable service, and be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you might prove what is the good and perfect and acceptable will of God for your life."
2. God often reveals His will just one step at a time.
a. This is where we often have difficulty, because we want Him to spell out the whole picture.
b. I am not content just to know where God wants me to go, but I want to know why He wants me to go there.
c. God often does not reveal step two until you have taken step one.
3. The example of Philip.
D. Do you know the will of God for your life?
III. "BE NOT DRUNK WITH WINE WHEREIN IS EXCESS, BUT BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT."
A. On the surface this seems to be a strange pairing. What does being drunk with wine have to do with being filled with the Spirit?
1. What is a person seeking when he turns to the bottle?
a. Sometimes the boldness and confidence to face a difficult situation.
b. Sometimes he is seeking to escape from his problems.
2. What do you receive when you are filled with the Spirit?
a. Boldness and confidence to face any situation.
b. The answer to your problems.
B. There are several warnings in the scripture concerning being drunk.
Wine [is] a mocker, strong drink [is] raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:
For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe [a man] with rags.
Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, [when] it moveth itself aright.
At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
They have stricken me, [shalt thou say, and] I was not sick; they have beaten me, [and] I felt [it] not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, [that] they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, [till] wine inflame them!
Woe unto [them that are] mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares.
1. Drunkards are on the list of those who will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
2. Peter relates it to our old life in the world.
For the time past of [our] life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with [them] to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of [you]:
C. The book of Acts tells us the marvelous things that happened to those who were filled with the Holy Spirit, and the great things that God did through them.