Summary: Christianity, unlike a political or social philosophy, should make a difference. In Christianity, we are made new people. Repentance and faith turn us around. We are set in a new direction, and our lifestyle should reflect that new direction. Does yours?
Ephesians: Our Identity In Christ~Part 19
Children of Light
3. But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;
4. and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
5. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
6. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
7. Therefore do not be partakers with them;
8. for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light
9. (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),
10. trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
11. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;
12. for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.
13. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
14. For this reason it says,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.”
The message of the text is powerful. It is convicting. It challenges us at the very core of our being to be what God wants us to be. And that is as it should be.
We should not be able to read the Word of God without being moved by it. Hopefully, we do not engage in a casual study of this Book. Our lives should be impacted as we read it. At times, however, we will come upon sections which speak very pointedly to where we live. That is why it is important to read the Bible in a systematic fashion. That is also why it is important to systematically preach through entire books of the Bible. In that way, you can avoid the temptation to skip the more convicting passages.
The key verse in the passage before us is verse 8:
…for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light. (Ephesians 5:8)
It seems like a nice verse. Taken by itself, it is not particularly challenging. But it cannot be taken by itself. It is defined by the verses surrounding it. And there is the challenge. In these verses, the contrast between living in darkness and living in light will be clearly drawn. How we live will be challenged. And that is what is so convicting.
We are called to forsake the ways of darkness and to walk in the light. Christianity is not simply an intellectual agreement with a theological creed --- it is a commitment to the living God which is evidenced by a new way of life. And when I apply the standards of God's Word to my life, sometimes I am not happy with the result. There is far too much darkness still there. And when I read the words of Jesus, where He says in John 8:12,
“I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness,” (John 8:12)
I am reminded of how important this new lifestyle really is.
How about you? Have you experienced a radical transformation in the way you live? Has Jesus' life within you made a difference in how you live your day to day life?
It is disappointing that sometimes things that should make a difference don’t make a difference at all. John Kenneth Galbraith said, “Under communism man exploits man. Under capitalism the situation is exactly the reverse.” The reverse indeed!
Christianity, unlike a political or social philosophy, should make a difference. In Christianity, we are made new people. Repentance and faith turn us around. We are set in a new direction, and our lifestyle should reflect that new direction. Does yours?
The way people come to know what Christianity is about is to study Christians. They see us, they watch how we live, the choices we make, they watch us in various situations to see how we respond to things. It’s a little bit disconcerting, actually. You know how some people put those little fish or a cross on the back of their car? And then people watch how they drive, I think that some of those drivers must have bought their car used and just didn’t take the symbol off the car, because they don’t drive like a Christian at all. What do you suppose people see when they look at us? Does our behavior, our way of looking at the world that we live in say about what we claim to believe. What people should see is not the way we used to live, but the power of Christ living His life through us.