Ephesians Session 11- Walking Wisely

Ephesians 5:15-21

Subject: Wisdom

Central Theme: Living Wisely

Objective Statement:   Believers can live wisely by adopting three values.

Session Resources:


  • Have you ever been lost?
  • It doesn’t happen now as much as it used to, but most of us have found ourselves without direction, not knowing where to go.
  • Why doesn’t it happen as much anymore? The answer is simple.  More people have GPS on them most of the time.
  • With GPS on our phones we have access to the latest information on our surroundings.
  • We can even find out how long it will take us to get to where we want to get, and how to get coffee along the way.
  • Instead of just showing us where certain things are, the GPS system takes us turn by turn where we need to go.
  • It’s not a perfect system, but it is accurate, and very convenient.
  • Do you ever wish that there was a turn-by-turn navigation for life?
  • Something to tell you step by step directions about what to do in real time- would that be a good thing?
  • To have access to wisdom to make the right choices every day would be invaluable.
  • And of course, in a real sense we do have that kind of access to wisdom.
  • The Holy Spirit indwells those who know Christ as Savior. And while he doesn’t speak audibly to believers today, He has given us access to the wisdom that we need to live lives that honor God.
  • Today, we are going to look at Ephesians 5:15-21 where Paul tells us how to live wisely in this world.


Believers can live wisely by adopting three values.

Value #1– Be attentive. V.15-16

Eph 5:15-16

(15)  See then that ye walk circumspectly,

  • Paul continues to use the “walk” metaphor to speak about how we ought to live.
  • He calls us to walk circumspectly.
  • What does “circumspectly” mean?
    • Circum – circle/around. Think “circumference”.
    • Spectly – to look.  Think “spectacles”.
    • The idea is to watch how you walk. Take care in placing your feet!
  • “Circumspectly” walking looks like walking through the woods in battle, or while hunting.
    • In battle your life is at risk.
    • On a hunt prey could be lost if you do not walk carefully.
  • Compare that kind of walking to taking a stroll in the park or with a date at the mall.
  • To walk circumspectly is to take every factor into account with every step.
  • Paul is saying to those of us that are in Christ that we must walk with purpose. We should think very carefully about our walk.

not as fools, but as wise,

  • The person who walks circumspectly is being wise because he is measuring the risk of misstep correctly.
  • Don’t be foolish! Be wise!  What does that look like, why is it important?

(16)  Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

  • The cost of foolishness is too high.
  • Why? Because we have so much time to do what God desires for us, and the days are evil.
  • There is so much that can take us out!
  • We only have so much time to accomplish what God has left us on the planet to do.
  • Therefore, we must walk carefully!
  • What might that look like?
  • Extreme amputation of things that hinder my careful walk.
    • Jesus called for us to cut off the things that keep us from following him.
    • It is better to get rid of temporary things that may seem to cost substantially but could hinder eternal things, than to allow those temporary things in our lives that keep us and others from eternity.
  • Feel the weight of the cost of foolish walking.
  • Know the importance of making the most of our time.


Value #2- Be filled. V.17-18

Eph 5:17-18

(17)  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

(18)  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

  • Paul goes on to call believers to be wise specifically by understanding God’s will.
  • God’s will is always wise.
  • To be wise we must live out God’s Will!
  • Walking carefully, walking wisely, and redeeming the time looks like understanding the Will of the Lord and living it out.
  • Walking carefully, walking wisely, and redeeming the time also looks like being filled by the Spirit of God and not by alcohol or some other outside substance or influence.
  • The way to be controlled by the Spirit is to study what the Will of the Lord is with the aim of doing what it says.
  • This is in keeping with the theme of Ephesians.
  • Live out your position.
  • The Holy Spirit lives inside of you, therefore, be controlled by Him.
  • Walking circumspectly looks like walking according to the Will of God/Spirit of God.
  • When you do that it will lead to this third value

Value #3- Be fruitful. V.19-21

Eph 5:19-21

(19)  Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

(20)  Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

(21)  Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.


Paul mentions four outcomes of being controlled by the Spirit as we walk circumspectly as wise believers.

  1. Speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs.
  • A spirit-controlled person knows the Word of God and the truth of God put to song and uses it to encourage and teach others.
  1. Singing and making melody.
  • A spirit-controlled person is a person whose worship comes out of him from the heart in song.
  1. Giving thanks always.
  • A spirit-controlled person gives credit to the Lord for all the good and even the bad in the name of Christ.
  1. Submitting one to another.
  • A spirit-controlled person puts others ahead of themselves. They do this out of fear of God and not fear of man.
  • Now you may practically be thinking, how do I “be filled with” or be controlled by the Spirit?
  • It’s important to point out that the Spirit of God was instrumental in giving us Scripture. God wrote a book, and we are privileged to have what the Holy Spirit wills spelled out for us in the very words of Scripture.
  • Consider this verse:

2Pe 1:20-21

(20)  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

(21)  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

  • God’s will has been written down.
  • And when we know what the Spirit wrote and live it out, we are being controlled by the Spirit.
  • He begins to bear fruit in our lives.
  • Consider that the same “fruit” shown here- Worship, Thanksgiving, and Submission- are the results that Paul says come from “letting the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom” in Colossians 3:16.

Col 3:16-19

(16)  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

(17)  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

(18)  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

(19)  Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

  • Next week we will see how that being controlled by the Spirit bears fruit in our relationships with each other.
  • It will be very practical.
  • Don’t miss the point here:
    • We must be attentive. – We don’t have time to waste being foolish or influenced by this evil age.
    • We must be filled. – We must allow God’s Spirit, through God’s Word, to dominate our thoughts and actions.
    • We must be fruitful. – As we are controlled by God’s Spirit, through God’s Word, we will fruitful in our behavior. We will be worshipful, thankful, and submissive.
  • This is how we live wisely!

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why must you pay careful attention to how you live?
  2. What changes do you need to make in your own life to better invest your time for the advancement of the gospel?
  3. How does your life demonstrate that the Holy Spirit controls you?
  4. How does a variety of musical expression in the church edify you in your walk with God?
  5. Can you live in submission without humility? Explain.

1 thought on “Ephesians Session 11- Walking Wisely”

  1. The Abiding Spirit

    The signature of God’s Presence
    Is His Spirit abiding within;
    Filling my heart with His beauty and truth,
    giving strength to overcome sin.

    This powerful, healing Helper
    Is my Counselor, Companion and Friend;
    Guiding me with the light of His Word,
    through each valley and round every bend.

    When I come to the end of life’s journey,
    I’ll soar with The Spirit above;
    To worship and honor the glorious Lamb,
    and forever abound in His love.

    Sharon Sue Miller

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