Summary: Walking in the light
September 19, 2012
We’re to put off the old man and be renewed in the spirit of our minds as we mimic God in righteousness, “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (5:5). They haven’t learned from Christ to walk in truth, so,
6Let no man deceive you with vain words:
Don’t let anyone fool you with their empty words. Earlier we read that we’re not to “walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18Having the understanding darkened” (Eph. 4:17-18). Their minds and their preaching are void of all truth. But that doesn’t stop them from trying to make converts. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (II Cor. 11:13-15). The Pharisees crossed the sea to make one proselyte (Mt. 23:15). We must be on guard against false teaching,
for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
“These things” refers back to the immorality in verses 3-5. Don’t let them fool you: God’s wrath comes because of wickedness. Now. I’d like to point out here that His wrath has already been poured out on our behalf, and we’re created “after God in righteousness and true holiness” (4:24). But these children of disobedience have only a certain and fearful expectation of judgment (Heb. 10:27). What a stark contrast between us and them! God has been kind and forgiving toward us, but they receive His wrath for their sins. We are holy, but they are disobedient. We are new creations with a new walk!
This theme of being children or of the family of God shows up all through this letter (1:5, 2:2, 2:19, 3:15, 4:6, 5:1, and 6:1-4). We were given to Christ before the world began, and He hasn’t lost a single one of us. His whole mission in coming here was to seek and to save that which was lost (Lk. 19:10).
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:37-40).
7Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
We don’t share in God’s wrath with them, we don’t share in their minds, and we don’t share in their actions:
8For ye were sometimes darkness,
This is a metaphor. If I said, “Don’t let Jim near your fine China; he’s a bull,” you would understand that Jim is a human being, but the way he rams into things without paying any attention is reminiscent of a bull. We used to be darkness—we once walked in ignorance,
but now are ye light in the Lord:
Now we know the truth in Christ,
walk as children of light: 9(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
If the Holy Spirit lives inside of us then it’s shown by the fruit He bears through us (Mt. 7:17-18).
11And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
We don’t join in their wrongdoing because we find fault with it:
12For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
Sin is known to be wrong because we see it clearly for what it is by the light.
14Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
I see this as our calling and regeneration: “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (II Cor. 4:3-6).