“Let us, who are of the day, be sober…” (I Thes. 5:8).
Many people entertain the erroneous idea that truly spiritual Christians must always be solemn and long-faced. In fact, they suppose that such Scripture passages as the above teach this.
Nothing could be farther from the truth, for the word “sober,” in our English New Testament does not mean solemn, but completely under control. This is also true of the original Greek word from which the English word “sober” is translated.
Sobriety in Scripture, as in modern English, is the opposite of drunkenness. This is brought out in the rest of the passage cited above. Along with its context, the above exhortation reads as follows:
“For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken be drunken in the night.
“But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and for an helmet the hope of salvation.
“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
“Who died for us that… we should live together with Him” (I Thes. 5:7-10).
Thus those who are “of the day,” and know Christ as their Savior, should not “sleep” on the one hand, or “be drunken” on the other, but should be awake and alert, their faculties completely under control, so that they might witness the more effectively to the saving grace of Christ.
If ever there was a time when true Christians should “watch and be sober,” it is now.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.