See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,”
This verse in the Ephesian letter (5:15-17) tells the Christian to watch how they walk. We are told to be wise, and it tells us to, “understanding what the will of the Lord is.”
We can walk circumspectly, avoiding trouble, when we know the Will of the Lord. Earlier, in chapter 4:14, when we learn the will of the Lord we will no longer be, “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness.”
Bible literacy is a vaccine against charlatans of the world that would exploit your ignorance.
Unfortunately, too many in the world are walking circumspectly around the will of the Lord.
Many folks read much more about the bible than they do OF the Bible. They are circumventing the safety measures of God’s instructions for life and godliness. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:” (2Pet 1:3)
Many manufacturers build into their machines certain safety measures to avoid being injured by its use. They include safety instructions so the user can avoid injury. However, people will CIRCUMVENT the safety measures for many reasons.
Are we walking CIRCUMSPECTLY to avoid trouble, or are we CIRCUMVENTING the truth so we can be free from responsibility toward God? The answer depends on you knowing the will of the Lord.
“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,”
Who is WISE? (cf Jas 3:13)
Paul told complimented Timothy for knowing the scriptures, the WORD of God, which makes one “wise unto salvation.” “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2Tim 3:15) God’s word is the Truth, and is the Wisdom from above. (Jas 3:17)
From there, Paul tells us that the scriptures give us “INSTRUCTION in Righteousness.” (2Tim. 3:16-17) It truly is wise to learn how to live that Pleases God. These Instructions include; doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and makes us thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Another aspect of being wise is doing good works. Consider James 3 again; “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.” (v13; 1Peter 3:1-4; Jas 3:18; 1Pet 2:12). There are plenty of passages telling us to be doers of good things. These good things are only good as defined by God’s word. Consider those who will claim to have done good things, but are condemned because they’re actually workers of lawlessness. “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matt 7:22-23)
The above are three positive actions in answering “who is wise.” The source of Wisdom, the WORD, being INSTRUCTED by the Word, and SHEWING that wisdom through good works. For the last point, we’ll look at a negative.
Who Isn’t Wise? Looking again at James; “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” (v16) The opposite of being WISE is to have ENVY and strife. Our Lord was delivered to death because of envy. “For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.” (Matt 27:18) That certainly is the opposite of being WISE. The patriarchs sold Joseph into slavery because of ENVY (Acts 7:9; Gen 37:4,11,28). Many first century Jews rejected the gospel because of ENVY. “But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.” (Acts 13:45; 17:5) Envy is listed among those sins that will find one turned over to a debased mind by God. (Rom 1:29; cf. 1Tim 6:4). Paul also had to deal with false brethren who, through envy and strife attempted to add to his chains (Phil 1:15).
Who is WISE? The one that reads the Word, is Instructed by it, Shews it, and puts away Envy & strife.
Spencer is an evangelist for the Franklin & Juniper St church of Christ in Borger Texas. If you live in the Borger area and would like a personal bible study, please reach out & let us know how we can help you know more of God’s word.