World English Bible translation
5:15Therefore watch carefully how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise; 5:16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 5:17 Therefore don't be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 5:18 Don't be drunken with wine, in which is an abandoned life, but be filled with the Spirit, 5:19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; singing, and singing praises in your heart to the Lord; 5:20 giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, to God, even the Father; 5:21 subjecting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ.
The Lord desires that we live our lives with wisdom. He does not wish us to be ignorant of His ways and of His creation. The world that we live in is full of evil; men who deny God and a culture that is opposed to all the things that God values. But, the culture and the flesh have always been opposed to God's plans. That is why Paul's admonition to his readers is still relevant to us today.
"Don't be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Paul has been instructing his readers on what the will of the Lord is throughout this letter. All things are to be brought together in Christ. The assembled people of God (the church) will be made of all peoples, Jews and Gentiles. Through Jesus of Nazareth, God is revealing a new portion of His nature to His creation. The wise man will set his life toward the course that God has laid out. The foolish will set their lives in opposition.
"Don't be drunken with wine…" Wine of itself is not evil, but when men abandon the responsibility for their actions to its effects, that is an evil thing. We must choose to live upright lives before God. The life that is not abandoned, the life of the wise man, is the life that is filled with the Spirit of God. The Spirit's work is not similar to drink. He does not affect us as much wine would. Rather, when we live wisely and take responsibility for our lives before our Father, the Spirit works in us to magnify the life of Christ. Then, we truly live.
Such a life is filled with joy and praise to God. It is filled with thanksgiving for the blessing that God showers on His people. God gives His people wisdom and understanding. He gives them His Spirit to create in their lives true righteousness and holiness. He gives them the very life of His Son
The way of flesh is to withhold information and wisdom. Ignorance is the beginning of sin. The leaders of the world plan in secret and insure that no one knows the full truth of their actions. But, God's methods are not those of the world. As the beginning of this epistle describes, He has already given us every spiritual blessing in Christ. He is revealing Himself completely. We are free to learn as much about God as we are willing to bear.
How much of God are you willing to experience? How close to the bright flame of His Fire are you willing to stand?
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