Click on the above link to download the slideshow “Live As Children of Light” (284 KB)
Paul presents a stark contrast-a contrast between darkness and light. These are presented as a stark contrast, it is not an equivocal choice, it is an either or decision. Darkness represents all that is bad, light all that is good.
Ephesians 4:17 – “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.” What does this mean? Who were the Gentiles? To use a great simplification, The Jews were the people who believed in and followed after God. The Gentiles were those who rejected God and didn’t live according to his ways.
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love” – Ephesians 5:1
We are to live a life of love to be like our father in heaven. God is love, and we are to imitate Him, we must live a life of love. We are dearly loved children, since in chapter 1 and verse 5, we are told that God has adopted us as His children. We are motivated in this passage as God’s dear children. The synopsis is, summarized as, “Live a life of love.”
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. Here is our contrast again. You were darkness. Now you are the light. Our adoption is complete. Our salvation is in place. Now comes our responsibility-“Live as Children of light!” Back to our original point. If you claim to be a Christian-live like a Christian. So in three verses we have the key thoughts of the passage.
Don’t live in darkness, live a life of love, live as children of the life. It comes down to this.
We have a choice, we can be changed into a new person or we can remain the same old person. We can continue with a futile life of we can change. This change only takes place through the power of God and Christ. In this case it is a clear choice between right and wrong-good and evil.
Christians are to be light in a dark world.
The light and darkness are closely mixed together. The light is present. If it were not, we would be immersed in total darkness. But the light and darkness are close by, almost intertwined. In the world, and in our lives. We must push out the darkness and choose the light.
These are five aspects of the contrast between Christian and non-Christian behavior shown in the passage. Behavior, Language, Anger, Time Management, and What’s Inside. Each of these aspects gives ways in which the Christian is to behave.
There is a difference between enjoying life and being given over to sensuality. The difference is one of degree.
Simply put, we are to put off falsehood and speak truthfully. That is the broad principle. Christians must always tell the truth-never falsehood. But remember earlier in this passage, it says that we are to speak the truth in love.
There is to be no obscenity, no foolish talk, no course joking. Ever know anyone who was constantly complaining, always moaning about what is wrong. That is not a Christian attitude. The Christian has a lot to be thankful for, and that attitude will come out in their talk. You can tell a Christian by the way he or she talks!
The next area for consideration is anger. The Bible never says that one is never to be angry. It simply says-in your anger-do not sin! We all get angry. The difference is that we must process and deal with this anger.
Don’t give the devil a foothold. That’s all the devil needs, a foothold. This is actually a military term, a foothold. Anger gives the Devil a foothold to pin us down.
We must get rid of bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, and malice. Instead, we are to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving.
The Christian is different than the non-Christian in their use of time. The Christian knows that each day could be his or her last. Therefore, he or she enjoys each day and makes the most of it. Could it be today that you know that this could be your last time to hear the gospel? Are you wise enough to get right with God while this opportunity exists? The Christian must make the most of every opportunity.
Many people think that alcohol is the path to happiness. The contrast here is clear-Don’t get drunk on wine instead by filled with the Spirit. Ever hear a drunk person singing and making a fool of themselves? They think they are really something, very charming. The Christians is not to be filled with spirits-alcoholic spirits, but the spirit of God.
That spirit causes us to sing-to bubble over with enthusiasm, which literally means, God in us. We sing and make melody in our hearts to the Lord.
First, we must make sure that we make the choice to live a new life in Christ. Once we have made that choice, then…..
We must make every area of your life subject to Christ: Our behavior, language, anger, time, and motivation.
Let this lesson motivate you to be more Christ-like.
If you need to recommit your life to Christ-please do so.