Redemption of Time,
Discovered In Purpose
Warren E. Berkley
“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil,” Eph. 5:16
Focus on the concept of redemption. The most familiar expression of this is, Christ is our Redeemer. What is involved in that redemption? When I bring my sinful life to Him (in obeying the gospel), I am redeemed, saved, justified. Think of Christ converting our lives into good use! Living under the rule of the devil, our lives are not being used well. When we realize that and obey Christ, He brings our lives into good use! He “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works,” (Titus 2:14). He converts our lives into good use, as indicated here: being “His own special people, zealous for good works.”
That’s our duty with reference to time. We are accountable to convert our time into good use.
How can we do that? It may require some ordering, organizing and planning. But that isn’t the core of this redemption. People who live under the rule of the devil are sometimes highly organized people (in many ways, the Pharisees were exceedingly organized). Do not think, therefore, that this redemption of time is merely the issue of having a schedule or plan. (A bad plan can be faithfully followed!)
The order, the schedule must have an underlying purpose. That’s where the redemption comes in.
What is our purpose? That’s the matter at hand. If your purpose is simply to get through the day no matter how, you fail to redeem the time. If your purpose is to compete and achieve victory over others, you fail to redeem the time. If your purpose is to make money to spend on your pleasures and acquire worldly success, you fail to redeem the time. If your purpose is, to surrender to the culture, to compromise, to be led by about by domineering false teachers, you fail to redeem the time.
Redeeming the time, as Paul uses the expression, is discovered in your purpose. It is not found just in budgeting your time, though there is value in that. All of the budgeting and planning is in vain without sound purpose.
If this redemption of time is discovered in purpose, and we want to know what that purpose is, observe how this section of Ephesians begins in verse 1 of chapter 5: “Therefore, be followers of God!” If you are not following God, you cannot redeem the time. (Eph. 5:16 cannot be faithfully discharged without commitment to the purpose announced in Eph. 5:1).
You can have an appointment book, a day planner, a palm pilot, etc., but if you are not following God you cannot redeem the time. Get following God right, and you are in position to redeem the time. This redemption is not accomplished in speed or planning. Purpose is the issue. Only with the right purpose settled in our hearts, can we convert time into good use.
The urgency of this lies in the reality stated by Paul, “the days are evil.” In another place Paul wrote to Timothy: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Tim. 3:1-5).
A day planner will not get you through this. Following God will.