Redeem The Time

What are you doing with the time, talents and gifts the LORD has given unto you?

Ephesians 5
14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.


"There is a Key only one Key
There for Whosoever will to find...
The Key is Jesus, He is the One
...I can swing wide the doorway up to Heaven
all because the Key was hung on a nail."
Phil Cross ~  Poet Voices

A reader wrote and asked me what I really thought about this song, some time back---about the lyrics and meaning.  So, I wrote a letter to Phil Cross and asked him about the song...  I appreciated his kind reply and wanted to share it with you.  He's a remarkable man.

Mrs. Spurling,
Often the scriptures describe the separation of God in terms associated with "the chains of darkness".  Every one is separated from God because of sin.  My use of the term "sin's prison" is a metaphor describing this.  When one receives the One who became sin for us (Christ, the key), this prison door is opened and the shackles are gone.  
"Open up the very gates of hell".  I envisioned this line in two ways.  First of all, we all deserve hell.  In Rev1:18 Christ says "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."  Therefore receiving the Key allows each one of us to escape the literal hell supported thoroughly in scripture.  Secondly, I always see this line referring to people who have lived in the darkest places of this life,  the "figurative" hell on earth.  Though I agree that nothing of this earth is as bad as the literal hell, many people identify the darkness and hopelessness in their lives as hell.  Christ, the key, allows them out of this. 
In this song, I wanted to reach the extremes of life.  There are many people who have no problem identifying with the metaphoric terminology of this lyric.  I have used this song in meetings of all sorts including a maximum security prison in Kentucky.  Those accused of violent crimes facing life in prison have no problem relating to these lyrics as you could well imagine.
I hope this helps.  These were and continue to be my thoughts for this lyric.  I have spent the last 20 years composing biblical songs that teach, edify, and admonish people.  Sometimes, I'm led to write things that cause people to think and that's good.  Please encourage people to use their God-given mind to explore the entire context of a lyric just as they must in the scriptures.  When analyzed this way, these two thought-provoking lines become clear.  I hope you will continue to find this lyric useful in your meetings.
God bless,

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