Summary: LENT 3(A) - Let God’s Son shine as Jesus brings us into his light and keeps us away from the dark.
LET GOD’S SON SHINE!
Ephesians 5:8-14 - March 14, 2004 - LENT 3
8For 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) 10and find out what pleases the Lord. 11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
"Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you"
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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:
Today, as we listened to the words of our text, one notices the comparison of light and darkness. Today, as we heard the words of our text, we realize they are not written to all people but to God’s believer. They are written to you and to me specifically. They remind us of the change that is taking place in our life because of God’s gift of faith: a gift which we have not deserved or earned, but which has been freely given and worked in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. This gift of faith comes to us from none other than the God who made the heavens and the earth. The Apostle Paul describes in Corinthians: "For God, who said, ’Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 CORINTHIANS 4:6). Our gift of faith is precious. Our gift of faith is important. Our gift of faith comes from the Creator. What are you and I or any believer to do with that great, precious gift of faith that God has given to us? In our text the Lord encourages us to let God’s Son shine. In other words as we live our lives in a sin-darkened world, the Lord encourages us to let God’s light really shine in order to dispel the darkness.
This is what we will look at this morning. We are reminded to
LET GOD’S SON SHINE:
I. Jesus brings us into his light
II. and keeps us from the dark
I. Jesus brings us into his light.
Ephesus was a major, metropolitan area and trade center. As we have been studying the book of Acts in Bible Study, we learned that Paul spent a long time there. Because of his length of the stay there, many people had changed from their ways of darkness to follow in the way and light of the Lord. Because of the length of time that Paul stayed in Ephesus, we are told that a whole region heard about the message of the Savior. In the first chapters of Ephesians Paul discusses the fact that they were once children of darkness. But not all those dark things have changed.
Today’s text began by saying: 8For you were once darkness. They had lived in a city that was very dark with sin. Ephesus was a big sprawling metropolitan trade center where the people indulged themselves in every kind of sin imaginable. They gave themselves over to fulfill their fleshly desires and sexual immorality, because that was the way person lived. Now because the light of the glory of God had come to these people, their lives were changed. He says: 8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. In other words, they had now seen the light. These believers knew the difference between what was wrong and dark and what was light and good.
Paul says to them, 8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 10and find out what pleases the Lord. Christ had brought them into the light through the Word of Truth. Rather than finding out what pleased them, they were going to find out what pleased the Lord. It would be a challenge, because these new believers, like everyone else around them, had grown up pleasing themselves, not worrying about anyone else or anything else. Now they were to please the Lord.
In case they did not know how to please the Lord, Paul tells them how to do that. He writes: 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth.) Paul uses those terms in a very spiritual sense. Goodness is not just plain being good, but it is the moral excellence that comes from knowing God. That is Christian goodness. He says to find out and discover for themselves righteousness, not their own righteousness, nor the righteousness of some false god; but the righteousness that comes from and through and by God alone. This is the righteousness that saves. Then there is truth, not relative truth, but absolute truth; because God’s Word is true.