SCRIPTURE READING: Ephesians 5:5-14, ESV
Be Imitators of God
chapter 5 began exhorting us …as beloved children… to be …imitators of God… . Jesus, is God The Son. He claimed to be …the light of the world. He also claimed that whoever would follow Him would …not walk in darkness, but will have light and life.
Reference 1 John 1:5-7.
God views people in one of two ways. We are either “darkness” or we are “light.”
Truth Point: Light and Darkness are mutually exclusive… where darkness reigns, light does not and where light reigns, darkness does not.
Outside of Christ a person is “spiritual darkness” …meaning spiritual death is their condition and the wrath of God is already upon them.
In Christ a person is “spiritual light” …meaning spiritual life is their condition and there is no condemnation against them for Christ has personally taken away sin’s guilt and penalty.
VS9 gives us 3 characteristics:…
Goodness: comes from a word (agathōsunē) which refers to moral excellence… it finds its expression in that which is willingly and sacrifically done for others. 1 Thessalonians 5:15
Righteousness: is a another “fruit” born of the light of Christ within us. It has to do with both our relationship [to] God and the life walk that is born from that relationship.
Romans 4:5: it is this “declared” righteousness that brings a sinner into right relationship with God.
Once rightly related to God, there is a “life walk” that emerges from that relationship. 1 John 2:29, NLT
Truth Point: The connector between God and man is the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. It brings us into relationship with God, and becomes the footsteps of our walk with God.
Truth:identifies that which is honest, reliable, trustworthy and maintains integrity, all of which are inherent to the light ~vs~ deceptive, hypocritical, falseness which is inherent with darkness.
Ø Goodness: points to our relationship with others.
Ø Righteousness: our relationship with God.
Ø Truth: to our own personal integrity.
Truth Point: living out these characteristics does NOT make us children of light… it simply identifies those who are. Matthew 7:15-16
The Command:...do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness. VS11
We cannot witness to the world if we do not go out into the world. And we cannot go far into the world before coming in contact with all sorts of wickedness. But we are never to identify with that wickedness or give it an opportunity to take hold in our own life. To compromise God’s standards is to weaken our witness as well as our character.
Dr. John MacArthur
Too many Christians miss an important point here…
They think that because they are Christians, they are to separate themselves from “the world”… not true… The Father sent Jesus into the world and Jesus sends His disciples into the world. John 17:18; 1 Corinthians 5:9-11
Truth Point: the command is NOT to separate ourselves from sinners… but that we not participate in their sinful deeds.
By keeping ourselves from sinful deeds, but not from sinful people, we become a light to the lost that will draw some to repentance and faith.
Followers of Christ are on a Mission to expose the works of darkness as the pathway that leads to destruction, and to shine the light on Christ Jesus who is the pathway to life everlasting.
VS13: According to Paul, I don’t have to condemn the darkness, per se, to expose it. When I …walk in the light as He is in the light… His light exposes that which is dark and in doing so, gives light in contrast to bear testimony of what is good, right and true.
The Call: Wake Up!
VS14: Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
This is not a quote from some other portion of Scripture, it is actually believed to be lyrics from a apostolic baptismal hymn sung as the newly converted were baptized. It is a fitting exhortation today to many who are part of the body of Christ, but are spiritually sleeping
The call to the body of Christ is to be awake, alert, and intentional about our lives… to be inspecting ourselves to see if the “fruit of light” (goodness, righteousness, truth) is being produced, or is lacking.
Charles Spurgeon wrote:
It is possible to be slumbering light and even to be well-regarded by the others of the church (especially by others who are in the same state.)
Ø It is possible to be asleep and appear awake.
Ø It is possible to pray while asleep, mouthing phrases others have used before.
Ø It is possible to sing a hymn without being awake to the words.
Ø It is possible to walk (live life) while in asleep and end up in harm’s way.
Ø It is possible to live a dreamy life of unreality in the netherland of inaction.
Darkness is for those who sleep – Light is for being awake, active, responsive, purposeful.
How has the invisible God chosen reveal Himself in the visible world?
Through the testimony of the lives of His children.
Walk in LIGHT!