|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:15-21 Another remedy against sin, is care, or caution, it being impossible else to maintain purity of heart and life. Time is a talent given us by God, and it is misspent and lost when not employed according to his design. If we have lost our time heretofore, we must double our diligence for the future. Of that time which thousands on a dying bed would gladly redeem at the price of the whole world, how little do men think, and to what trifles they daily sacrifice it! People are very apt to complain of bad times; it were well if that stirred them more to redeem time. Be not unwise. Ignorance of our duty, and neglect of our souls, show the greatest folly. Drunkenness is a sin that never goes alone, but carries men into other evils; it is a sin very provoking to God. The drunkard holds out to his family and to the world the sad spectacle of a sinner hardened beyond what is common, and hastening to perdition. When afflicted or weary, let us not seek to raise our spirits by strong drink, which is hateful and hurtful, and only ends in making sorrows more felt. But by fervent prayer let us seek to be filled with the Spirit, and to avoid whatever may grieve our gracious Comforter. All God's people have reason to sing for joy. Though we are not always singing, we should be always giving thanks; we should never want disposition for this duty, as we never want matter for it, through the whole course of our lives. Always, even in trials and afflictions, and for all things; being satisfied of their loving intent, and good tendency. God keeps believers from sinning against him, and engages them to submit one to another in all he has commanded, to promote his glory, and to fulfil their duties to each other.
Verse 15. - Take heed then how ye walk strictly. The construction is somewhat peculiar, combining two ideas - see that you walk strictly, but consider well the kind of strictness. Do not walk loosely, without fixed principles of action; but make sure that your rules are of the true kind. Many are strict who are not wisely strict; they have rules, but not good rules. Not as unwise, but as wise. This rendering brings out the force of ἄσοφοι and σοφυὶ: "fools" (A.V.) is rather strong, for it is not utter folly that is reproved, but easy-mindedness, want of earnest consideration in a matter so infinitely vital, so as to know what is truly best.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
See then that ye walk circumspectly,.... The Alexandrian copy and the Vulgate Latin version read, "see then, brethren", it being an exhortation to the saints at Ephesus, upon the foregoing discourse and citation, to take heed to their walk: the believer's walk is both inward and outward; his inward walk is by faith on Christ; his outward walk is his conversation among men: this supposes life; requires strength and prudence; denotes continuance and progression; with patience and courage: this walk should be seen to, and watched over; a man should see to it that he does walk, and to the way in which he walks, and how he walks; that he walks circumspectly, with his eyes about him; that he walks with diligence, caution, accuracy, and exactness, to the uttermost of his strength and power; and with wisdom and prudence, looking well to his going:
not as fools, but as wise; such walk like fools, whose eyes are not upon their ways; who walk in their own ways, which are crooked, and ways of darkness, and lead to destruction; who walk after the flesh, and naked, without the garments of a holy life and conversation; and with lamps, but no oil in them: and such walk as wise men, who walk according to the rule of God's word, make Christ their pattern, have the Spirit for their guide, and walk as becomes the Gospel of Christ; inoffensively to all men, in wisdom towards them that are without, and in love to them that are within; and as pilgrims and strangers in this world, looking for a better country; and so as to promote the glory of God, and the good of souls.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. that—rather as Greek, "See how ye walk," &c. The double idea is compressed into one sentence: "See (take heed) how ye walk," and "See that ye walk circumspectly." The manner, as well as the act itself, is included. See how ye are walking, with a view to your being circumspect (literally, accurate, exact) in your walk. Compare Col 4:5, "Walk in wisdom (answering to 'as wise' here) toward them that are without" (answering to "circumspectly," that is, correctly, in relation to the unbelievers around, not giving occasion of stumbling to any, but edifying all by a consistent walk).
not as fools—Greek, "not as unwise, but as wise."
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