Summary: There are three distinct definitions for the word "Illuminate" that can be used as a model for how we as Christians are supposed to live.
The Definitions of the Word Illuminate
I want to present to you a word that has had great impact on me personally. – Youth Name
When I started to do some research on the word, I found some very interesting things that follow that directly relate to how as Christians we are supposed to be
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin illuminatus – meaning to light up.
1. The Noun
il-lu-mi-nate: one having or claiming unusual enlightenment
John 1:1-5 (NLT)
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
So here we have the starting point for Christians; we are different, because we have been given a special illumination in a dark world.
John 8:12 Jesus says, "I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life."
We now know that there is something better than the world has to offer!
Making decisions in the dark can lead to some regrettable consequences. Back in the days before electricity, a tightfisted old farmer was taking his hired man to task for carrying a lighted lantern when he went to call on his best girl. “Why,” he exclaimed, “when I went a-courtin’ I never carried one of them things, I always went in the dark.” “Yes,” the hired man said wryly,” and look at what you got!”
Ephesians 4:17-24 (NLT)
With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.
So here we have a very clear picture from Paul as to what those ensnared in the world have become bound to without Christ’s Light in their life.
20 But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
As Christians we are not of the world any longer! The bible tells us that we have undergone a Spiritual Renewal!
We have been saved through the blood of Jesus, and to an unknowing world, that’s unusual! Not only that, we have the privilege of being able to look back at our sin and realize that we have been saved, we have been forgiven!
But that is also a call. We are called to stand out, to truly be set apart.
Ephesians 5:8-9 (NIV)
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord.
We all have gifts and abilities, now we need to start using them for God’s glory.
We have the enlightenment, but we’ve also been given more: talents, abilities and gifts
2. The Adjective
il-lu-mi-nate: brightened with light; intellectually or spiritually enlightened
Matthew 5:14 (NLT)
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.”
When I light a candle, you know its lit why? – Because of the light!
In the same way, when you are truly following after God, using your talents, gifts and abilities for him you are illuminated! You can’t help it, and people will notice it!
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NLT)
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
I know what you’re thinking, that’s a tough act to follow. It’s true, but when you truly break it down, it’s a matter of acting in the manner God would in each situation. Paul goes on to contrast again:
Ephesians 5:3-5 (NLT)
Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. 4 Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. 5 You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.