By Oscar M. Baker
"Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them" (Eph. 5:6,7). Vain words are like bubbles, they may have all the colors of the rainbow and are very attractive, but it takes little to burst them. All too many are fed on such food. Nothing to it. The children of disobedience follow after such things. We are not to be of them. It is deceit.
"Walk as children of light" (5:8). Walk in the glory of God which was known to the Jews as the Shekinah. It is the glory or brightness. This is in contrast to walking in darkness where folks stumble and fall. And remember that many prefer darkness because their deeds are evil. There is also fruit-bearing in light, but never in darkness. Compare fruit of the spirit here with the fruit of the spirit in Gal. 5:22,23.
"Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord" (5:10). Proving and approving are very closely related. The C.L. & C. says of it, "to assay, to make trial of, put to the proof, examine, hence, to examine and judge of; prove by test; approve on trial." Make haste slowly.
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them" (5:11). As we said above, there are no fruits in darkness. Fungus growths are not fruits. They are parasites, living off others. When a man walks in darkness, he cannot bring forth fruit of the spirit. But many try it, and some even think toadstools are fruit. Many of them are deadly. It is a shame to speak of works of darkness. Reproof comes by light, the light of the Word. So in reproving these things, use the Word and it only. Christ gives light.
"Walk circumspectly" (5:15), here is the 3rd and last of the series of walks. First walk in love, then as children of light, and finally circumspectly. Circumspectly means looking all around as you go. But narrowly would have been a better word. For there is to be no distraction, but a narrow walk, a straight path. So we have complete instructions on how to walk.
"Be ye not unwise" (5:17). Walk not as fools, but as wise is exhorted in verse 15. So to be unwise is to be a fool, is the gist of the message here. All atheists are fools, for the fool hath said in his heart, 'Let not God be.' He knows that God is, but would wish to abolish Him in some way. Have no part with such.
"Be not drunk...but be filled with (by) the Spirit...and singing" (5:18,19). Drinking is only for those who cannot cope with life, who cannot face realities. So let the Holy Spirit fill the power and strength to meet all the problems of life. And then sing about it. For there is rejoicing in knowing the Word and the One of Whom it testifies. Notice that this singing is to yourselves, not congregational.
(Reprinted from Truth For Today, Vol. 31, No. 7)