Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. ó Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. ó Nehemiah 8:8

November 14, 2013

Volume 12 Number 22

Redeeming the Time

While most of us feel that we have little time, many of us live our lives as though we have plenty of it. Paul gave some important advice concerning time. He said that, rather than squandering our time foolishly, we should be diligent to use it wisely. We need to redeem it "because the days are evil.":

15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5

"Redeeming" is the process of buying something back in exchange for a payment. A fair transaction requires that the payment be of sufficient value to cause one to release control of something and give it over to another.

In Paulís letter to Titus, he makes it clear that "the great God and our Savior Yahshua the Messiah" has already given Himself as the payment to redeem us "from all iniquity:"

13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Yahshua the Messiah;

14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. -Titus 2

By His redemption, "the grace of God that brings salvation" has appeared to everyone!

11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, -Titus 2

Our sins have been paid for and we have been redeemed from the curse of the law through Yahshua the Messiah:

13 The Messiah has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree: -Galatians 3

He has redeemed us because of His love for us. Therefore, Paul said, we should follow God and live our lives in this world (walk) with the same kind of love that the Messiah (Christ) has for us:

1 Be you therefore followers of God, as dear children;

2 And walk in love, as the Messiah also has loved us, and has given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor. -Ephesians 5

Therefore, in addition to redeeming us from our sins, the "grace of God that brings salvation" also teaches us how we should live in this present world:

12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; -Titus 2

Through His love and by His grace, God offers to redeem all of us from all of our sins and He has already paid for the transaction through Yahshua the Messiah! This could be called a "proffer," which is an offer presented for acceptance. The offer of redemption is made to us, but we must accept it in order to complete the transaction.

The lyrics of a well-known song vividly capture the concept of the "proffer" of grace in the redeeming transaction:

And the transaction so quickly was made when as a sinner I came, Took of the offer of grace He did proffer - He saved me, O praise His dear name!

(see John W. Peterson, Heaven Came Down and Glory Filled My Soul, Scottsdale, Arizona: John W. Peterson Music Company, 1961.)

However, unless we believe God and His Word, we will not accept His offer of grace, which brings salvation along with instructions on how we should live our lives. As Yahshua cautioned in this parable, it is the Devil that will take the Word out of our hearts, preventing us from believing God and being saved from our sins:

11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then comes the devil, and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. -Luke 8

While the "Devil" presents himself in many forms, his message is the same, which is "You donít really need to believe Godís Word." As the serpent, he began his lie by sowing seeds of doubt in the Garden of Eden:

1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Yahweh God had made. And he said to the woman, Indeed, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? -Genesis 3

Those that do not believe Godís Word will not obey Him. They are deceived and, as Paul warns, are subject to the "wrath of God" that comes upon the "children of disobedience:" He also warns us not be partakers with them:

6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things comes the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

7 Be not you therefore partakers with them. -Ephesians 5

Ironically, Satan appears as an "angel of light" and his ministers appear as "ministers of righteousness:"

14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also are transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. -2 Corinthians 11

Consequently, Satanís message, which is that we do not really need to believe Godís Word, sounds good and pleasant. Just as the serpent in the garden asked if God really meant what He said, Satan also asks many other enticing questions, such as "Did God really say you need to repent from your past works of darkness?"

Isaiah prophesied about people that walked in darkness in "the land of the shadow of death." They remain under the looming shadow of eternal death until the light shines upon them:

2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them has the light shined. -Isaiah 9

This seems to our condition. As Paul wrote, we "were sometimes darkness," but now that the light has shined upon us, we are "light in the Lord." As such, we should "walk as children of light," bearing the "fruit of the Spirit" and discerning that which is "acceptable to the Lord:"

8 For you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. -Ephesians 5

Paul said that Yahshua came to deliver us from the power of Satan unto God. In doing so, He turns us "from darkness to light" so that we might "receive forgiveness of sins" and be counted among those that are "sanctified by faith" that is in Him:

18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. -Acts 26

Once we have come out of the darkness, where the "children of disobedience" still remain, we should not have fellowship with their "unfruitful works." Instead of approving of their works, Paul said we should "reprove" them:

11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. -Ephesians 5

Contrary to what the ministers of the "angel of light" may teach, any doctrine of disobedience to the Word of God leads to the "unfruitful works of darkness." These have no place with the children of light. After all, Paul added:

14 Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? -2 Corinthians 6

If we say we have been redeemed from our iniquities, but we continue in them as we walk in darkness, then, John said, we are deceiving ourselves:

6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: -1 John 1

Walking "in the light" is clearly a condition for the blood of Yahshua the Messiah to cleanse us from all our sin:

7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Yahshua the Messiah his Son cleanses us from all sin. -1 John 1

We need Godís grace because our righteous works are not of sufficient value to redeem us and save us from our sins:

8 For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. -Ephesians 2

It is because of Godís love that He offers His gift of grace for our salvation. However, we can only accept His gift if we believe that He loves us and that His love lives in us:

16 And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him. -1 John 4

Yahshua said if we love Him, then we must obey Him:

15 If you love me, keep my commandments. -John 14

The days are indeed evil and the "night is far spent." The day of our salvation is nearer than we thought. It is now "high time to awake out of sleep:"

11 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.

12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. -Romans 13

If we believe God has redeemed us from our sins, then we need to cast off our works of darkness and walk in His light. The days are evil. Now is the time to redeem our time.

 

 

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