EPHESIANS 5:8-12: “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: How do we find our way out of the darkness that we currently find ourselves in? As we live in an upside-down world, where good is spoken of as evil, and evil as good, is there a pathway of light to lead us to the other side?
Paul reminds us that, in Christ Jesus, we are not merely children of the light. We are not merely looking for the light.
We are the light!
- “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” Matthew 5:14-15 NKJV
Now, we know that we are not THE LIGHT. Jesus is the true light of the world. However, we are like the moon at night. Our lives are to be the reflection of the light of Christ to a darkened world. We are to shine forth as His light. Jesus has chosen to use His church as the lamp of light to the world. If we don’t shine, then who will?
This is why Paul proclaims,
- “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. “
To walk in the light is to walk in the fruit of the Spirit in all goodness, righteousness, and truth. Yet, Paul does not stop there. He adds – “…finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.” This is where we are facing a crisis in the church. We are no longer seeking God’s Word to find out what is acceptable to the Lord. Each man, as in the book of Judges, is beginning to do what is right in their own eyes. And, as we do this, our light grows dimmer and dimmer.
This is where the Scriptures become the foundational principle for our lives. Many believe that, because we are saved by grace through faith, we no longer need the law of God. Whereas the ceremonial laws were completely fulfilled in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the moral laws still stand.
How can we understand what is acceptable to the Lord if we do not understand His written Word.?
God does not change. His Word does not change. His moral teachings do not change. When Jesus walked the face of the earth he confronted many distortions of man’s understandings of God’s Word. Jesus did not change God’s moral teachings. Jesus clarified them and restored them to God’s original intent. And, in doing so He called His disciples to do the same.
- “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-20 NKJV
No one is saved by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. This knowledge of sin brings us to the cross where we are saved by grace through faith. Then, grace brings us back to the law so that we can understand what is acceptable to the Lord. We no longer reach for these things in order to be saved. We reach for them to please God. We reach for them to allow our light to shine brightly to the world!
- “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NKJV
Paul goes on to say,
- “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.”
How do we expose the unfruitful works of darkness? Is it to study and understand sin and brokenness? No, it is to study and understand the light. We are not even to speak of the things done in secret by those who oppose the truth and walk in darkness. We are to understand what is acceptable to the Lord. This is our calling. This is our quest. This is how we let our light shine!
If you don’t know what is acceptable to the Lord, begin to seek the Scriptures. Pour yourself into His Word. Read it, meditate upon it, and allow it to transform your heart. Be open, honest, and willing to lay all of your misconceptions at the foot of the cross. You are not expected to live out God’s call to perfection without struggle or error. You and I are only called to proclaim it and uphold its truth!
- “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” I John 2:1-2 NKJV
Lord, help me to remember that I am not the Light. You are the Light of the world. My calling is simply to proclaim the fullness of Your light and be a reflection of it. Grant me the grace to shine brightly as a reflection of Your light. And, when I fail, let me run full speed to Your cross to find grace, help, forgiveness, and cleansing!
- “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:8-9 NKJV
In Jesus Name!