Summary: 42nd message in a series from Ephesians dealing with living a godly life style.
“Living In Purity”
I. Our Wealth and Worth In Christ 1-3
II. Our Worthy Walk in Christ 4-6
A. Live in Unity 4:1-16
B. Live in Newness of life 4:17-24
C. Live in Love 4:17-24
D. Live in Purity 5:3-14
1. Guard your reputation 5:3-6
2. Guard your associations 5:7-10
3. Guard your lifestyle / practice 5:11-14
Avoid all involvement in the deeds of darkness or with any who practice them.
Live like grateful children of light who please God by their life and expose evil in the world.
Paul encouraged the Ephesian followers of Jesus to live as children of light in a dark place.
They were surrounded by the “sons of disobedience”. Paul characterized the sons of disobedience like this…
So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 4:17-19
Their callous heart toward God disqualified them from experiencing true meaningful living. Their hardness caused ignorance, darkened understanding and futile thinking. Their callousness toward God left them only to find a sense of life in sensuality and the practice of every kind of impurity with lust. Paul affirmed the truth that in spite of the fact that the Ephesians also once lived in that darkness, they were, by God’s power, NOW children of light.
They once were dead in their trespasses and sins in which they once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, by the dictates of the spirit that continually energizes the sons of disobedience, living in the lusts of their flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath. (2:2-3)
They once were driven by sexual immorality, impurity, lust and inappropriate speech. But God saved them and raised them up and gave them new purpose and position with Christ. Rather than sons of disobedience they became children of light. They became God’s special workmanship (artistic masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that they should walk in them. (2:10)
They were no longer strangers and aliens, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (2:19, 22)
They had put off the old identity, which belonged to their former corrupt and lustful life and became renewed in the spirit of their minds, and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (4:22-24).
This was the basis of Paul’s call to live differently than the culture around them. They were to now live different because they actually were different.
Today I want to explore further the concept of light and walking as children of light.
In some way, our relationship to Jesus is similar to the moon and the sun. We have no light in ourselves. We can only reflect His light. At times we fully reflect His light as a full moon beautifully lights up the night sky. At other times we seem more like a crescent moon or even a new moon which reflects little or none of the sun’s glorious light. Sometimes something gets in between and prevents us from reflecting light similar to an eclipse. I like that picture even though I think it falls short of the complete reality.
God does not just call us reflectors of light. He calls us the light of the world. He calls us children whose identifying characteristic is light.
The Primary source of light
God is Light
God’s essential nature is light. The use of the term “light” communicates at several levels.
• Indicates intellectual perception – truth, knowledge, ultimate reality (God is truth)
• Indicates moral purity – holiness, purity, sinlessness, faultless (God is holy)
• Indicates ethical perfection – righteousness, justice, truthfulness, faithfulness (God is right)
• Indicates social passion warmth – love, compassion, kindness, mercy, grace, goodness (Love)
• Indicates spiritual awareness – wisdom, understanding, insight (God is all-knowing)
• Indicates power and influence – energy, power (God is all powerful)
• Indicates physical manifestation – seen and felt (God is self-revealing)
God spoke light into being even before there was a sun and stars. There is no life without light in both the material and spiritual dimensions of life. God is light. God is life. The New Testament declaration that God is light, even though profound, was not new.