For most of 2013 I have been preaching through Ephesians. This coming Sunday, I am getting to Ephesians 5:7-14. This passage is a continuation of a thought that Paul has been dealing with for a while now: the difference between the “old” and the “new.” In this current passage, however, Paul characterizes the two sides as “light” and “darkness.”
Now I have read about light and darkness in the Scripture for years, but God has revealed something to me in my preparation for this sermon, and I want to share it. I am going to do that by sharing two passages of Scripture:
“Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them…But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light…” (Ephesians 5:7-11; 13-14a)
Do you see what the life of a Christian is supposed to look like? Too often, we look just like the world, which the Bible describes as being in darkness. When we watch the same television shows, listen to the same music, talk the same way, act the same way, etc., what are we expecting? Do we really think that behaving like those in darkness will attract them to the light?
Paul tells us to not partner with those in darkness nor take part in their works. Why? Because we are no longer in darkness; we are now children of light! We have the Light of the World living in us. Therefore, we should live like it. Simply by living as children of light, we should expose the darkness, not blend in with it.
“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:5-7)
This passage goes on to tell us that if there is no difference between someone who says they are in the light and someone who is in darkness, the person who says they are in the light are not in the light at all but rather in darkness. As Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:23b) My fear is that many will believe that they are in the light, while truly being in darkness. As Paul and John have said, you cannot be in the light if you do not live like you are in the light. In other words, you prove whether you are in the light or not by how you live.
So my prayer for those of you who read this is that you will allow God, as I have been allowing God this week, to search you heart and life with His light, exposing the darkness. If we are to be children of light, we do not need to have anything to do with darkness, except taking the Light into it. Allow God to work in your life today, so that you can truly walk as a child of light!