Summary: We are called be lighthouses in a dark and stormy world.
Shinning Bright In Christ
Text: Eph. 5:8-14
1. Illustration: There is a story from one of Max Lucado’s books of a lady who had a small house on the seashore of Ireland at the turn of the century was quite wealthy but also quite frugal. The people were surprised, then, when she decided to be among the first to have electricity in her home. Several weeks after the installation, a meter reader appeared at her door. He asked if her electricity was working well, and she assured him it was. "I’m wondering if you can explain something to me," he said. "Your meter shows scarcely any usage. Are you using your power?" "Certainly," she answered. "Each evening when the sun sets, I turn on my lights just long enough to light my candles; then I turn them off." She tapped into the power but did not use it. Her house is connected but not altered. Don’t we make the same mistake? We, too-with our souls saved but our hearts unchanged - are connected but not altered. Trusting Christ for salvation but resisting transformation. We occasionally flip the switch, but most of the time we settle for shadows.
2. However, we don’t have to settle for second best. Paul challenges us to:
a. Live in the light
b. Expose the darkness
c. Shine our light
3. Read Eph. 5:8-14
Proposition: We are called be lighthouses in a dark and stormy world.
Transition: First, if we are going to be the light we need to...
I. Live In the Light (8-9)
A. But Now You Have Light
1. Paul tells the Ephesians, and us, "For once you were full of darkness..."
a. Two things literally jump off the page at us.
b. First, since he is using the past tense form of the verb, he is taking about something that has changed drastically.
c. He is talking about something that used to be, but no longer exists.
d. Second, he insists that they were not only living in the darkness, but they epitomized darkness. They were darkness itself.
e. John 8:44 (NLT)
For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
f. Before we come to Christ, we are contolled, and in affect, owned by the Devil. We do not belong to God, and we certainly are one of His children.
g. We are slaves to the one we obey.
2. However, Paul illustrates this wonderful before and after picture by continuing "...but now you have light from the Lord."
a. We have gone from being darkness to being light. We are the exact opposite from what we used to be.
b. We used to be darkness, but now we are the light.
c. However, we must also notice that the light originates from the Lord, because the light comes "from the Lord."
3. The term light in the Scripture can mean a number of things based on its context. It can be a physical light, like the sun or moon, or it can be a spiritual light, as it does here.
a. It is the "Light that illuminates a person’s darkened soul" (Practical Word Studies in The New Testament).
b. The word is used in connection with joy, blessing and *LIFE in contrast to sorrow, adversity and death
c. This word encompasses not only what the gospel is, but what the gospel does in the life a believer.
4. With that light from the Lord comes a responsibility. Paul says, "So live as people of light!"
a. We have become the light, and have the light living inside of us.
b. But now we have to live like it.
c. We cannot say that we are in the light and live like we are in darkness.
d. 1 John 1:5-7 (NLT)
This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
5. Paul confirms this when he said, "For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true."
a. Light cannot produce darkness anymore than an apple tree can produce lemons.
b. Light cannot produce lies, deception, and hatred.