Summary: Living as children of light. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:

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• A friend of mine once saw a tramp and decided to help him;

• He noticed he was wearing a dirty old coat;

• It was ripped and fit only for the bin.

• So my friend offered the tramp his coat;

• The tramp took it but to my friends surprise;

• Instead of taking off the old coat and putting on the new;

• He just put the new coat straight on top of his old coat

Sadly like that tramp two many Christians behave the same way:

• They want the new things of Christ;

• But don’t want to let go of the old things of self & sin.

• When a person becomes a Christian;

• There is a putting on and a putting off.


• Shortly after joining the Navy,

• The new recruit asked his officer for a pass so he could attend a wedding.

• The officer gave him the pass,

• But informed the young man he would have to be back by 7 p.m. Sunday.

• “You don’t understand, sir,” said the recruit. “I’m in the wedding.”

• “No, you don’t understand,” the officer shot back. “You’re in the Navy!”

• When a person becomes a Christian;

• There is a change of lifestyle required.

(1). The command (17-19)

“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking”.

These verses contain a warning, a caution, an instruction to follow;

• The Christian is not to imitate the life of the non-Christians around him or her.

• The Christian is called to be different!

• Elsewhere the New Testament puts it this way:

• “We are in the world but we are not of the world”.

• In other words, we all as people live in and interact with this world,

• But our Source, our motivation, our values are not from this world system,

• The Bible describes us as ‘aliens, foreigners, strangers & pilgrims’,

• “We are in the world but we are not of the world”.


• A boat in water is pleasurable, constructive and fulfils its purpose;

• But too much water in the boat and you got big problems!

• The Christian in the world is there to make a difference!

• But too much of the world in the Christian and you got big problems!

Christians are meant to be different!

• Notice in this warning there is a emphasises on the mind;

• Christians are to think differently from the world in which they live.

• There is a contrast between the believer and the non-believer.

• Verse 17: ‘Thinking’.

• Verse 18: ‘Understanding’.

• Verse 18: ‘Ignorance’.

• Verse 18: ‘Learned Christ’.

• Verse 20: ‘Know (learned) Christ’.

Then in verses 18-19 the apostle Paul then draws a contrast with an unconverted person:

“They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts”.


• If you came to my Church one Sunday I could introduce you to Colin;

• Now Colin could not describe to you a beautiful sunset because he is blind.

• He is therefore limited in his understanding.

• Now in many areas of life he is far more advanced than many of us;

• But in this one area he will always be behind.

• Like wise there are many people in the world who would leave us for dead;

• When it comes to a whole variety of things.

• But NOT when it comes to God;

• The reason being they cannot see, they are blind!

• It takes the Holy Spirit of God to bring light and life!

• And you are saved and kept by the Holy Spirit.

In verse 19 the contrast continues:

“Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.”

• Because they have darkened minds they ignore and therefore nullify their conscience;

• And leave on the principle; “If it feels good the do it!”

Note the contrast in verse 20:

• Christian’s have to be different because they have come to ‘Know Christ’.

• When a person becomes a Christian a change of ownership that takes place:

• ill: Fish & Chip shop sign.

• Because we are under new management,

• We are to be different!

• We walk to the beat of a different drum.

Paul says we have finished with that old lifestyle:

• We have exchanged our old clothes (lifestyle);

• For new clothes (lifestyle).

(2). The explanation (20-24)

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