The greatest act and example of redeeming the time is the work of God the Father through his Son the Lord Jesus Christ. As you search through scripture you will find that the Lord God always did things on time and at the appointed time. God Almighty is not confined by time himself, but his work throughout the history of creation is shown in scripture as time as a factor.
God’s redeeming work is the provision of payment for the penalty of the sins of mankind by the sacrifice of his son Jesus on the cross. A look at the word of God will show the timing of this act of grace.
• Romans 5:6 - “ For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”
• Galatians 4:4 - “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.”
• Mark 1:15 - “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
• Matthew 16:21 - “From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.”
We see that when the “fulness of time was come”, God the Son became flesh and dwelled among men. In “due time” Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Jesus himself talks about it being the right time that he was on earth saying that the “time is fulfilled.” Not until the correct time did he begin to reveal to his disciples the suffering that he was about to experience.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 states that there is a time to every purpose under heaven. God had a purpose, a plan to redeem mankind and there was a specific time for it. When Jesus came to earth to die on the cross and rise from the dead, he carried out that purpose and fulfilled that time. It was the perfect time and it was on time. It was not too soon nor was it too late.
The important thing to realize about the Lord’s on time work was it’s redeeming value. To redeem means to set free by payment of a ransom. Mankind who is lost and without hope and powerless to change his condition is eternally indebted to the grace and mercy of God. God paid the price for man’s sin and all man has to do is freely receive this gift by faith.
One can find many illustrations in the Bible on the use of time. There are specific times of judgment and there is the time of the end. The antichrist is revealed in his time. There are specific timings on God given visions. The great tribulation is prophesied for a specific time. There are times of temptation and suffering. If God works on time and within time and his work has redeeming value should not we as believers be zealous in carrying out the Lord’s command in Ephesians 5:16 to redeem the time for the days are evil?
The church of Jesus Christ needs to be going about the business of redeeming the time on behalf of the Lord because of what he has done for it and on behalf of those who are still lost and without hope that they, too, might experience forgiveness of sin and receive eternal life.
A good illustration of Jesus himself practicing the art of redeeming the time is found in Luke 9:51-53. It says, “And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.” Jesus was focused on the work that the Father had sent him to do and he would not let anything hinder his goal. The time was right for him to die for the sins of mankind and all his energy and focus was directed to reach that ultimate act of grace. It is what redeeming the time is all about for the believer. What is more important than the salvation of the souls of men? Nothing! Everything we do should be motivated by a passion for redeeming the time for the kingdom of God.
Ecclesiastes 9:12 gives us additional motivation for redeeming the time and it strengthens the thought presented in our focus passage of Ephesians 5:16. It reads, “For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.” Men are snared by their sins especially in evil times, making it even harder for them to comprehend the gospel message, because of the darkness of their heart. That is why we must redeem the time when times are evil. We must do our part in rescuing men from sin and eternal
darkness. Evil times bring judgment. What are you doing to redeem the time?