Summary: Walk in the light
June 27, 2010
This morning we return to our study of Ephesians in chapter five.
If you’ll remember, we’re to walk in good works (2:10), and in a manner worthy of our calling (4:1), and in repentance and righteousness (4:17), and we’re to walk in love (5:2).
Christ is the demonstration of the standard of God’s love because He gave Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice. His love is contrasted against the immoral, impure, self-serving love of the world.
We’re to imitate God in love and not the world “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. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience (Eph. 5:5-6).
Now we come to…
Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light
1. The sons of God have experienced a drastic change and should live like it (:7-8)
He says, “Therefore.” Immorality is out of character for the church, and God’s wrath comes upon those who are disobedient, so “therefore do not be partakers with them.”
“Partakers” is used only one other time in the New Testament, and it’s found in Ephesians 3:6—
“…the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”
To be a partaker is to be a co-participant in something; it’s to join together with someone else. In Ephesians three Paul reminds the Jews that the Gentile Christians are co-participants in the promise of salvation. These two separate bodies, the Jews and the Gentiles, have been made into one body (Eph. 2:14-16). They’re partakers with each other of the promise.
Now back in Ephesians five Paul warns believers not to be joined with non-believers in their deeds: “do not be partakers with them.” Don’t be joined with them; don’t do what they do.
Our relationships with other believers should be lived as fellow partakers of the same promise, but our relationships with unbelievers should be lived in total contrast.
To illustrate, he uses light and darkness which is a common theme throughout Scripture:
The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day. 19The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know over what they stumble. (Proverbs 4:18-19)
"I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life." (John 8:12)
[God] has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. 13For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son. (Colossians 1:12-13)
But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (I Peter 2:9)
Now here in Ephesians Paul says, “Do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light.”
The idea is that as believers we’re supposed to be as different from unbelievers as light is from darkness. At one point we “were darkness” (we were the very definition of darkness), but now we are Light.
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. 17"Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord. "AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; and I will welcome you. 18"And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me," says the Lord Almighty. (II Corinthians 6:14-18)
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. (I John 1:5-7)