SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 5:15

SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”
“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)

Eph 5:15-21 KJV
“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

This devotional, continues to look at the second main division of the book of Ephesians. Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3). It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.

In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.
a. The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
b. The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
c. The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
d. The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
e. The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
f. The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
g. The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
h. The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-21)

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of WISDOM (5:15-21). The Biblical concept of “wisdom” is “the application of God’s Word to our lives”. To be “wise” is to apply the truths of God to our daily living. This is true wisdom and flows from the gracious hand of our Lord.

Keeping all this in mind, let’s turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I. Applying God’s Word To Our Lives Universally (vs 15)
II. Applying God’s Word To Our Lives To Use Time Profitably (vs 16)
III. Applying God’s Word To Our Lives By Recognizing God’s Will For Us (vs 17)
IV. Applying God’s Word To Our Lives Through Self-Control (vs 18)
V. Applying God’s Word To Our Lives To Praise and Thank Him (vs 19-20)
VI. Applying God’s Word To Our Lives By Submission To Others (vs 21)


To being this new section of our study, Paul reminds us of the need to walk wisely, by His grace, in every areas of our life…

Eph 5:15 KJV See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

After explaining the importance of imitating “the children of light”, Paul now emphasizes the need to live wise lives through application of the Word…

See then that ye walk circumspectly,
When Paul writes the opening phrase “see then”, he is calling us to be watchful of the type of life we are living.

“See then” is a phrase that means “to appropriately examine” or “to look at with certainty”. This helps us to understand that, because wise living is so important for each of us, it is only appropriate that we examine our lives to be sure that we are living wisely.

What is to be the subject of our self-examination? “that ye walk circumspectly” or “that every area of our day to day living” is displaying wisdom…

not as fools, but as wise,
There are only two types of lifestyles that we can pursue, that of “fools” or that of the “wise”. These two are exact opposites as can be seen in the word “fool” which simply means “to be without wisdom”. Either each individual area of life is lived by wisdom, or else it is lived lacking wisdom. Either we are applying the truths of God to our lives or we are choosing another route to take for every given circumstance of life. There can be no in-between.

What does it mean to live a life of wisdom?
1. Biblical “wisdom” is the application of God’s Word to the life.

This stands in comparison to
2. Biblical “knowledge” which describes the possessing mental knowledge of God’s Word,
3. Biblical “understanding” which describes the ability to recognize why these truths are so and how to recognize them in life.

The easiest way I can illustrate the differences is by using a driver and a stop sign…

1. If the driver has “knowledge”, this means he is AWARE that he is to stop at the “stop sign”

2. If the driver has “understanding”, this means he knows WHY he is to stop at the sign. It is because there is intersecting traffic and therefore it is necessary to avoid striking the intersecting autos.

3. If the driver has “wisdom”, he will APPLY the knowledge he possesses (stop at the sign), motivated by his understanding (he will hit another car) and then, by wisdom, He will use the brakes and come to a stop.

Note: If the driver choose to run through the stop sign, he would be a fool (lacking wisdom by not applying to his life the truths he knew and understood).

So then, basically, to apply the known truths of God and His will for us, motivated by an understanding of God’s intent behind these truths, to each life situation we may face. Wisdom is saying “I will apply God’s Word to my life in every circumstance that I may face.”

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” (Proverbs 3:5-7)


“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” (James 1:5-6)

May we all recognize that true wisdom is a gift of God. Every time that we apply His Word to our lives, it can only be done through His enabling intervention in our lives.

May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more!

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About Rob Barkman

A retired pastor, Bible teacher and author of 20 years, he is currently ministering through Settled In Heaven Ministries. SIH Ministries is an on-line Bible teaching ministry that was founded by Bro Barkman in 2010. Settled In Heaven’s mission is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by fulfilling two different roles... rendering encouragement and Biblical knowledge to the saints in an effort to enhance their service to Christ; and proclaiming the gospel message to those who are in need of salvation, explaining to them their urgent need to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
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8 Responses to SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 5:15

  1. Great explanation using the diver/stop sign. I recall using this some time ago in a youth camp lesson but had forgotten it.

  2. Rob Barkman says:

    Thank you for the invitation. I’ll be checking out your website later today. Lord bless you.

  3. Eliza says:

    Thank you for this encouraging exhortation. God bless you:)

  4. ptl2010 says:

    I really like your application of wisdom to the driver, Pastor Rob. It is simple and hits home to the point. Thank you.
    I look forward to your blogs on this series.

  5. Thanks sharing. Interesting thought provoking blog post. Please feel free to share your inspiration at Godinterest (The Pinterest for Christians). God Bless Your Ministry.

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