Children of Light

Ephesians 5:8–10 ESV

“8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.”

Darkness. It’s all around us. I’m not speaking of the darkness associated with nighttime, but the darkness that is pervasive in our hearts. Accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior does not make us immune to seeking darkness, either.

While we as followers of Christ are called out to be examples to a dark and lost world (Matthew 5:16), all too often we become indistinguishable to the very world we are called to be a witness to. This is contrary to God’s Word that clearly extols that if we truly are in Christ, darkness will be absent from our lives (c.f. 1 John 1:5-7; 2:9).

​Paul was admonishing the church at Ephesus for the way they were still being led by the same sins of those outside of the church body. How true is this same admonition for us today? Are we indistinguishable from our friends who remain outside of Christ’s forgiveness?

The light we have in us is a two-way light: it reflects the love of Christ that dwells within us (by our deeds) and provides a lamp to those still in darkness. In Romans 12:1-2, we are to present ourselves as living sacrifices, set apart from the world. In other words, the light of Christ we all possess should shine forth from our conduct. Later, in Ephesians 5:11-14, we are called to not only not participate in works of darkness, but to use our light to expose them.

This does not mean to gossip or slander others, but it does require that the works of darkness are not to be ignored among God’s holy people. While we are not called to judge the world (1 Corinthians 5:12), we are obligated to bring forth admonition (in gentleness and humility) to those who claim to be followers of Christ, yet willfully continue to repeat the unrepentant same sin over and over (Matthew 18:15-20; Galatians 6:1).

As we reflect on Paul’s letters here, we need to remember that living in the light means continuously receiving the light. It is an ongoing process for the believer, as our sinful life gives way to a new life walking in the light of Christ.

Are you a lamp? Does the Spirit of God pour out of you in every thought, word, and action? We all have work to do in this area, but let us not allow our silent witness to the world tarnish the image of God by a daily walk mired in worldliness. Be a light for your family, for your co-workers, and for your community all the while recognizing we are only borrowing the light of our Lord and that it is not of ourselves; for to do otherwise relegates us to nothing more than a modern day Pharisee.

Ultimately, you must decide to hate the darkness within you if you are ever to allow the new creation to rule your life (Luke 11:35-36). Place your hope in the Light of Christ so that our bodies become such a radiant light that darkness can find no home.