Ephesians 5:15 & 16 – Walk Circumspectly, Redeeming the Time

As Christians, we all know that we should walk righteously in life; being good examples unto others while setting the standard as a Child of God, for others to follow.

How many of us actually understand what it means by “Walking Circumspectly”, as God has told us to do, in the Bible.
We are also told that we must “Redeem the time”. What does this mean?

To walk correctly in life as Christians, we should first accurately understand God’s instructions. If we don’t, then we can more easily be led astray by any wrong doctrine that comes at us.

I will explain in this teaching, what it means to “Walk Circumspectly” and also the meaning of “Redeeming the Time”.

To do this, we will take a deeper look at Ephesians Chapter 5, verses 15 and 16.

Sections in this Biblical Teaching:
1) See then that ye walk circumspectly
2) Not as fools, but as wise
3) Redeeming the time
4) Because the days are evil
5) Real-life Example

1) See then that ye walk circumspectly

Let’s begin by reading Ephesians 5:15.

I should note that the Book or Epistle of Ephesians was written by Paul the Apostle, while he was in jail, via Revelation from God.
So as we read the verses, the context is of God telling a message to his people.

(Ephesians 5:15) See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

Let’s examine the first half of this verse. “See then that ye walk circumspectly”

The words “See then” are translated from the Greek words: “Blepō oun”
This means to: “Take heed”, “Take action” or “Make sure”.

So God isn’t just saying that you “Should” walk circumspectly, or “Maybe” walk circumspectly if you are feeling to.
He’s saying “Make sure that you do walk circumspectly”. It is an instruction.

Next, let’s look at the word “walk” in this verse.

The word “walk” was translated from the Greek word “peripateō”, which means:
“To live” or “To be occupied with”.

So God wants us to actively be “Circumspect” in our lives.
It’s something you live day-by-day.

Next, the word “Circumspectly” in Ephesians 5:15, was translated from the Greek word “Akribōs”.

“Akribōs” means “Diligently, Perfectly or Circumspectly”.

So now, let’s put together those 3 broken down portions of the first half of Ephesians 5:15, and see what we get.

Ephesians 5:15a is telling us:
Make sure that you Actively Diligent.
Take action on Living Perfectly.

This should remind us of 2 Timothy 2:15, which reads:

(2 Timothy 2:15) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Here, we are again being instructed to Diligently take Action in our Lives.

2) Not as fools, but as wise

Let us now look at the 2nd segment of Ephesians 5:15.

(Ephesians 5:15) See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

“not as fools, but as wise,”

The word “fools” is translated from the Greek word “Asophos”, which means: “unwise” or “fool”.
So it’s straight forward that it means the opposite of “wise”.

Now the word “wise” in this verse was translated from the Greek word “Sophos”, it keeps the same meaning as the translation. It is the same word “wise”.

Sophos – Wise
Asophos – Unwise

In the context of this verse (Ephesians 5:15), it is telling us to walk as the “wise persons do”.
Walk as “Wise men” and not as “Idiots”.

3) Redeeming the time

Let’s now take a closer look at the second verse in our study, Ephesians 5:16.

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

The word “Redeeming” comes from the Greek word “exagorazō”.
It means “to buy up, from ransom”, “to rescue from loss”, “to redeem”.

So what this verse segment is saying, is to “Rescue”, “Recover” or “Get back” the time that is being lost.

It doesn’t mean that we can actually get back time that has already passed, but we must stop wasting time; make the most of the time that we have remaining.

It’s like someone who went off-track in life. They went astray, wasted away most of their life with drugs, alcohol and gambling.

No matter how far they have strayed from God, there is still hope. God is always loving and always forgiving. They can recover their lives and the remaining time they have left, by submitting themselves unto God.

God doesn’t want us to waste our lives away. He put us here for a purpose, which is to Glorify his name, bring others unto his word; and walk righteously as his children, being examples unto others.

4) Because the days are evil

Now let’s look at the 2nd segment of Ephesians 5:16.

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

It says: “because the days are evil”.
This literally means “because we live in evil times”.

As we know, Satan is the ruler of this world; we live in his world until Jesus Christ’s return.
There’s going to be a lot of evil things and distractions all around us, to take us our Focus away from God.

This is what Satan wants, to obstruct us from having God in our lives, to stop us from being born-again and saved.

So let’s again have a look at Ephesians 5:16 in full this time:
(Ephesians 5:16) Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

We’ve gathered that the meaning of this verse is:

“Make the most of the time we have remaining here in this world, because we live in Evil times.”

We are going to have many distractions around us to take us away from God, so we must remain Focused

This ties in perfectly with the previous Verse, Ephesians 5:15, which has taught us to:

“Be sure that you Live Diligently, not as idiots who are led astray by every wrong doctrine, but as wise men who study and apply God’s Word daily in their lives.”

5) Real-life Example

Now yesterday while I was writing this teaching, I realized how easily your time can be taken away subconsciously in life, if you don’t stay focused on what you are doing.

So I was sitting in my usual spot (in the living-room), writing this teaching, however, the television was on.
No one was really watching at it, but it remained on for several hours.

Since the TV was right in front of me, I could hear it loud and clearly, it was a distraction to what I was doing. It was one of those Disney Channel series that was going on, one of those Teen shows.

To my surprise, I realized that I had already seen this episode, about 5 to 10 times!
This isn’t a show that I have interest in watching, but because it’s right there in front of me, I was attracted to look at it.

Even though I already knew what was going to happen next in the show, it still grabbed my attention.
They make these things in a way that every minute it re-catches your attention when something funny happens.

It was a distraction from what I was doing at the moment, which was writing this Bible teaching.
So I got up and took off the television, and the distraction was gone, I could now better focus again on my teaching.

When I sat and thought about it, I probably memorized everything that what was going to happen in that show better than my own daily work! All the Business and Internet stuff that I teach myself daily.

The same goes for a child or a teen. They remember these TV shows better than their school work, because they’ve seen it 5 to 10 times before.

We look at the television as an innocent source of entertainment, but we don’t realize that there are a lot of negative and misleading things that these shows are installing in our minds subconsciously.

It’s not only the TV shows, it’s also the Advertisements, the Music around us, Social Network sites; there are many other sources of distraction that reshapes the way we think.

– It makes us think that we must look in a particular way to be acceptable.
– We must dress in a particular way.
– We must act in a particular way.
– We must have these items, and that car, to feel accomplished.
– We must live an exciting and risky lifestyle, as shown on TV.

Some of us may laugh at this, and think: These things don’t affect me; it does not influence the person I am…

However it does! It’s just that it happens so slowly and subconsciously, that we don’t even realize what is happening.

Every single person has been influenced in some way by those distractions that lie all around us.

When I thought deeply about all of this, I realized that I could be wasting about 1 to 2 hours per day, watching Television without even realizing it!
That’s a lot of time wasted idly, while I could have been doing something more constructive and accomplished more for the day.

I don’t even like watching television to be honest. But because it is a distraction that is right in-front of me, it does take away from my time.

So when you see these various distractions in life, you don’t just sit there and do nothing about it, you should take action on removing or limiting the distraction, which is what I did when I got up and took off the TV, since no one else was really watching it.

So again, recapping on what we have learnt in this teaching:

(Ephesians 5:15) See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

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

“Be sure that you Live Diligently, not as idiots who are led astray by every wrong doctrine, but as wise men who study and apply God’s Word daily in their lives.”

Don’t let the distractions around you lead your thoughts astray, because that is when the Adversary will strike.
Be focused on living our life on purpose; put aside those obstacles that distract us from God and his word.

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Thanks for reading! 😀
God Bless You!
-Andrew Emmanuel Davis


  1. Olubunmi Lukula
    Apr 27, 2014

    The Lord bless and continue to reveal his word unto you. I needed this encouragement this morning. I just finished praying and God laid john3:6 on my heart. I asked God, what is the interpretation of this. The word I heard is walking circumspectly. And as I goggled the word, your writing came up. I was blessed and better informed. Would like to read more of your write ups. God bless you Sir

  2. Andrew Davis
    Jun 1, 2014

    Thank you so much for your kind words, Olubunmi!
    I’m really happy to hear that this teaching has blessed your heart. 🙂

    This encourages me to continue writing more teachings and to spread God’s word further; so I will continue to do so with joy!

    God bless you! 😀
    -Andrew Davis

    • yvette
      Apr 2, 2015

      Thank you so much for allowing The Holy Spirit use you….your obedience is a tresure … Thank you. PEACE & BLESSINGS *yvette love

  3. Kshere
    Jan 24, 2015

    Thank you for the detailed explanation of this scripture. I have asked the Lord to help me to live my life with purpose. The Holy Spirit uttered to me to walk circumspectly before God. I will take your words of wisdom to heart as I purpose to grow in the Lord.

  4. David Sunny
    Feb 8, 2015

    May the Lord bless and keep you! I have got something great from what I’ve just read. Sincerely, I have got much distractions from the things around my environ, and from the ones I think. I think with this teachings, I can forge ahead, knowing that I have wasted much time I should have made use of, for something profiting,
    for my spiritual growth. May God reward you richly!

  5. Larry Hammersley
    Oct 6, 2015

    Your explanation of Eph. 5:14-16 helped me as I am preparing to teach the adult Bible class tomorrow night. Our preacher is recovering from back surgery. It helps me as the subject for tomorrow night is “time redemption.”

  6. Cynthia
    Oct 11, 2015

    This was a passage of Scripture that the Lord spoke to me on how we should walk Ephesians 5:15_16 and this gave me great insight. Cynthia Ann Whitley

  7. Victory Sunday
    Apr 16, 2016

    May God continue to bless you with understanding

  8. Nwika Steve
    Oct 16, 2018

    i want to thank you for this message. it has opened my understanding of the word of God further. May God bless more. Amen

    Jun 27, 2019

    Thank you for teaching it is a message that can be taught everywhere because so many people are distracted and being pulled away from following God. I wanted a better understanding of what Ephesians 5:15-16 means and this has helped me further grow in the knowledge of the Word Of God.

  10. Odunewu Mosunmola
    Jan 19, 2020

    Thank you for this write up. I have really been blessed. I have jotted down every line and points listed here.it will be part of my sermon one day. God bless you sir as I look forward to reading more from you through the inspiration of the holy Spirit .

  11. Servant
    Jan 5, 2022

    This is “wisdom” Thank you for taking your time out to write this and explain it. I pray God Blesses you.

  12. Bettrina Truitt
    Jan 12, 2022

    Amen! Distraction is the devil’s tool to take our attention away from the cross, thus take away our allegiance to Christ. God is so gracious to give us mercy and grace to redeem the time…to still accept us although we have squandered so much.

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