Summary: We need to remember where we came from so we don’t go back again
The older we get, the more we seem to reminisce about the “good old days.” The Beatles had a song called “Yesterday” where they sang of bygone days where all their troubles seemed so far away yet, the reality is, there is usually sometime in everyone’s past that was not so good, something they have worked to escape from. Unless we deal with the past, our past will come back and revisit us.
Take for instance the businessman who sent an order into his supplier for a large restock in his store. He was heavily indebted to the supplier already.
Noticing the previous bill had not been settled, the collection manager left a voice mail to the businessman stating, “We cannot ship your new order until you pay for the last one.”
The next day the collection manager received a collect phone call from the businessman who said, “Please cancel our order. We can’t wait that long for the supplies.”
Perhaps not a good thing to hear at Christmas when many people purchase the things they cannot afford to give to people who have everything. I won’t ask how many of you might still be paying for a past Christmas still, such as Christmas of 1999.
Our past, we like to dress it up and make it sound better than it is. The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:8-14 takes the blinders off of believers who might want to think their past was something to brag about, exposing the reality of who they were in the past when they did not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In these 7 verses there are 3 things I want to highlight about a believers past, providing us with a contrast so we can have a greater appreciation about our present and our future. The first thing Paul states concerning the believers past is that…
I. It was Lived in darkness.
Ephesians 5:8 “ For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.”
1 John 1:5-7 expands on the contrast of light and darkness saying, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
For those who have asked Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives, there was a time prior to your confession, prior to your knowledge and acceptance of the Light of Christ, when you walks in darkness, you walks without Christ. Sinners, people who violate the truth of God, love to walk in this realm, they love the darkness because they think they can get away with anything because their sin will be hidden by the dark. We know this is not true.
Darkness is the realm of Satan, the evil one, the deceiver. In this world, there are two masters, God and Satan. Satan has been overthrown and one day will be cast into the lake of fire for all eternity. Those who do not follow after Christ, are followers of the devil, Satan, the ruler of the darkness. There comes a pivotal time in every persons life where they are faced with the choice, darkness or Light. Those who embrace the Light embrace Christ who offers eternal life in heaven, and those who choose to embrace the darkness, continuing in their sin, embrace Satan, the ruler of the darkness and will, like him, be cast eternally in the fires of hell. As hard as it is for us to imagine, when we walk down the streets of our cities, when we mingle with people in the workplace, when we sit down at family gatherings, there are people in our midst who are children of the darkness, who will spend their eternity separated from the Light of Christ unless they make a decision to change their present to avoid their past.
If you want to grow in your maturity as a believer, you must come out of the darkness and into the light. Consider fruit, if you were to take a fruit tree, cover it so no light could get in, and then at the end of the growing season, pull the tarp off the tree, you would find no growth taking place because the tree needs the illumination of the light to grow. So, too, is the life of the believer. We need the light illumination of Christ, empowering us through the Holy Spirit, to grow in our faith and love. Remember Paul states, you once lived in darkness. Now, as a believer in Christ, you are a child of the Light. Secondly, as I said of the fruit tree, as non-believer you…