Ephesians 5:8-14
The Contrast of Light and Dark

8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

We may not always understand or even realize the impact of the moral life of a true Christian in this dark world. By not being a participant in the ungodly behavior of others that dishonors God and wrecks lives, we have something positive to offer the people of the world who live in the darkness of sin. The believers in Ephesus who were hearing these words for the first time, knew what Paul was talking about. They had not only been in darkness before God saved them, but had darkness in them. They “were darkness” but now were “light in the Lord.” What a contrast! What an evidence of God’s grace! This could be seen by others who knew them before they were converted, and now could see the reality of their faith.

The fact of being light in the Lord changes everything in our lives. We are “children of light.” That means there was Someone who was Light before we were made light. That Light is our Lord who was “the Light of the world,” and who tells us that we are “the light of the world.” Through us, light is shown to those who live in darkness. They can get light from Christ through the light we “make manifest.” As we live out our new life in Christ, there is a powerful effect for good that results. The fruit of the Spirit is not some ethereal, unreal kind of conduct that leaves us totally irrelevant to what is going on around us. Rather it is seen in our life of liberty in the Lord whereby the bands of sin’s restrictions are broken. We can actually live a life that pleases Him and blesses others. Our standing and our state should be blended and able to be seen.

There is evidence of the reality of the new birth and new life of a new creature in Christ seen in three simple ways. “Goodness” is a reference to moral excellence in ourselves in which our actions reflect our faith. We are expected to live above reproach morally and conduct our lives in a way that reflects God’s goodness to those around who see very little goodness in day to day life. “Righteousness” has to do with the way we deal with others. This is moral and spiritual light being shed on our business, our conversations and the pleasures in which we engage in our spare time. Our family and friends see this. Often neighbors also see this even though we may be unaware of this fact. The third way this light is seen is “Truth.” Honesty in activity, reality in attitude, and equality in our dealing with others without “respect of persons” has a strong beam of light that is shed in dark places of human lives.

The beneficial results to us are important to consider as well as how we being light affects others. As a child of light I can have my questions answered. “Should I do this?” “What difference does it make?” Why can’t we do that?” These kinds of questions are answered when I prove what “is acceptable unto the Lord.” A simple test to any action that I might take is to ask myself, “What does the Lord think about this?”
That does not lead to complicated explanations to an honest believer. After all, the Holy Spirit is within us and He is producing through us what God wants us to do and be. Don’t complicate what is simple. The leading of the Spirit is to just do what is appropriate for the time, place and purpose in which you are found.

We were darkness in the past and because of that there may be an attraction to the “unfruitful works of darkness” in the present. Remember, in those fruits there is only sorrow and shame because actually, the fruit of darkness is barrenness both morally and spiritually. There is inherent shame in them that we should in no way participate or be tolerant toward. We should show no lenience toward evil and should go beyond merely avoiding those dark things to speaking against them in words of conviction and correction. Usually people know what is wrong, but they don’t know how serious wrong is. Any connection we have with evil defiles us, therefore it is important that we do not discuss immoral sins or make comments or jokes about evil as those who are in darkness are inclined to do.

There is inherent energy in light that exposes darkness as the rays of harnessed spiritual energy shine into the vacuum of darkness. Light exposes evil for what it is and reveals what it does. But light also gives direction and hope. The shining of spiritual light shows the way that change can be brought about. It not only exposes and reproves the fact that evil is bad, but also that it gets worse. Through the standards of righteousness, and the stand that believers take in spite of the pressure to conform to evil, those in darkness are awakened and hope is given to ones who are lost to come to the light.

In the lives of committed Christians who live what they believe and teach, there is given light to the lost. There is hope for a new day. Christ’s love and light is shining on them now through those who are rays of light shining in the darkness and leading the lost to our Lord Jesus Christ who is the Light of life. It is important for us to see how important it is for us to stay the course that we have laid down for us in God’s Word. We have nothing to offer those in darkness if we try to be as much like them as possible. They need to know that real life begins when they become like us. We are who we are because God’s light shined into us. It would be foolish of me to lower my standards of life and conduct that are based on the Bible, in order to attract people to the Savior. It would be foolish of us as assemblies of God’s people to try to attract people to God’s truth by adapting our practices to appeal to the fleshly desires of the ungodly.

To compromise what we know to be right in order to attract those who want to do wrong is in no way appealing to a seeking soul. The “few that be that find it” will come to the light because they want to and the Father draws them. The differences are the strengths of truth, not similarities to sin. We are children of light who are to walk worthy of our calling, walk in love, walk in light and walk in wisdom.

To try to mix what does not belong together,
Makes a mixture that cannot last.
Light and darkness will be separate forever,
Because at death everyone’s die is cast.
That is why the lives of God’s children,
Are to shine in this world as lights.
By the power of the Spirit of God within them,
They are daily reminders of that which is right.

It is futile to try to bring about change,
By adapting to sin all around.
Light cannot ever darkness rearrange,
By letting its light fall to the ground.
Light must retain its unchanging standards,
That those in darkness can see,
The truths that God Himself has commanded,
Now and forever will be.

Those who are light need to let their lights shine,
Undimmed by the things others do.
People in darkness need to know where to find,
Where they can learn what is right and true.
It is through lives lived in the fear of the Lord,
That we have something people in darkness need.
Living by faith guided by the Spirit and Word,
To goodness, righteousness and truth will give heed.

“Father, give us as Thy people the desire and wisdom to walk as light in this world and have no fellowship with darkness. May we as Thy “children of light” show what the benefits of light really are. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.”

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