Written and preached by David P. Nolte


"But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light Ephesians 5:1-8 (NASB). Formerly in darkness now, in Christ, light! "Walk as children of light!" That means no longer practicing or giving consent to former things which are shameful. That means allowing the light Jesus to radiate from within. He who said, "I am the light of the world" said, "You are the light of the world!" Paul wrote: "Do all things without grumbling or disputing; that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may have cause to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain." Philippians 2:14-16 (NASB). Walking as children of light means showing by character and conduct the light of Jesus Christ to a dark and disoriented world. When the Bible calls someone a "son of" or a "child of" something, it means that the person bears the character or nature or likeness of that thing. For instance, when Jesus called James and John "sons of thunder" it meant they had a thunderous attitude. Here we are told to walk as children of light. What characterizes children of light?
    1. Walking, or living, as Christ would have us to do is always productive. It brings forth some desirable things in our lives.
    2. Paul mentions three specific fruits in this text; let's notice them one by one:
      1. The first fruit is goodness: The word means "uprightness of heart and life," and "being 'good' in character or constitution," and "that which is beneficial in its effect."
      2. The second fruit is righteousness: the word means "living in a way that is acceptable to God." It means, "integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking, feeling, and acting and, in a narrower sense, justice or the virtue which gives God and man what is due."
      3. The third fruit is truth: the word means "that candor of mind which is free from affection, pretense, simulation, falsehood, deceit" and in a religious sense, "the truth respecting God and of his purposes through Christ, and of the duties of man. "  Paul speaks of truth as opposed to "the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians."
    3. Though it does not appear in this text,
      1. Paul also makes it clear that the Christian, those who walk as children of light, are to bear what he calls the fruit of the Spirit: "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; Galatians 5:23 (NASB).
      2. Jesus spoke of being fruitful when He said, "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing." John 15:2-5 (NASB).
    4. A man had a dream in which an angel showed him a great fruit orchard. The man noticed row after row of fruitful trees. But he noticed that there was one spot where a tree was missing. He asked, "Why is there a tree missing in this row?" The angel said, "That is where your tree should be. You, however, are so busy with things of the world that there is no fruit in your life." The man woke with a start and determined that from then on he would bear fruit for the Lord. He would thereafter be:
      1. Useful and helpful and benevolent.
      2. Doing what is right in the eyes of God.
      3. Living by what is honorable and upright.
    5. To walk as children of light means to be fruitful.

    1. Everybody tries to please someone:
      1. Employees should try to please their employers
      2. Husbands ought to try to please their wives, and vice versa.
      3. Children need to try to please their parents.
      4. Some try to please their peers.
      5. Many try to please themselves.
      6. We ought, however, to seek first and foremost, above all else, to please the Lord.
    2. Pleasing Him involves obeying Him. Doing what He commands and avoiding what He forbids. What pleases Him is determined by His will as declared in the Bible. It is not determined by
      1. Our own feelings or sentiment.
      2. Popular opinion.
      3. Other people.
      4. World religions.
    3. Pleasing Him involves serving Him. Every Christian is a servant of Christ. But how do we serve Him? He's seated at the right hand of the Father's throne and we are stuck here on earth. We serve Him by serving others. In as much as we do it to the least of His, we do it to Him.
      1. When we give to others, we give to Him.
      2. When we help others, we minister to Him.
      3. When we benefit others, we serve Him.
    4. Talk about pleasing your master: A certain man had a very smart dog. He taught the dog many tricks and the dog complied with his ever command. He was showing the dog to some friends and the dog implicitly did what he was told: "Roll over!" "Speak!" "Play dead!" "Beg!" and "Pray!" The dog did as commanded. One of the spectators, impressed by the dog, said, "Man! That dog is all ears!" What he meant was, "That dog really listens when his master speaks!" That's how to please the Lord: Be all ears! Listen when He speaks - and then comply!
    5. To walk as children of light means to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

    1. When Paul says not to participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness he means, "Be different! Be distinct! Don't be like that!"
    2. And when Paul says to expose the deeds of darkness, he means to reprove, refute and rebuke them. He does not, however, mean that we are to be spiritual vigilantes, sniffing out the wrong doings of others so se can drag them out for censure. We are not to publish a Christian Gossip Column; We are not to run a "know all - tell all" agency.
    3. I believe that what Paul has in mind here is this:
      1. We are to steer clear of evil, sinful practices. Shun, renounce and loathe them.
      2. We are to illuminate the world with Christ's light and by contrast of Christian goodness with worldly evil, expose evil for what it is.
      3. That it is the nature of light to expose what is hidden; when you shine a light in a dark corner you can see all the cobwebs and dust gathered there.
    4. Let me illustrate:
      1. In the market places of Paul's day, it was dark. Customers would carry a proposed purchase into the sunlight for inspection. The sun would expose cracks in pots and snags and flaws in material. The light would expose what the darkness hid.
      2. I know a young lady who was raised in a cult. She married a boy from a congregation I served a lot of years ago! After a couple of years of marriage, she converted from the cult to Christian faith. Her reason: she saw a great deal of difference in the lives of her Christian in-laws and her own family. She saw love instead of hate; kindness instead of meanness; truth instead of error; light instead of darkness.
      3. Just by being Christ's light our presence should expose the evil all around us.
    5. To walk as children of light means to be distinct from the Christ less world, even exposing the evils thereof.

"Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you" Verse 14. That has reference to rising out of the baptismal water. That has reference to the light Christ brings into our new lives. If He has shined upon you, let His fruit flourish; seek in every way to be pleasing to Him; be more and more distinct from the Christless world. Ask Him to change your heart; to make it a place of light and truth; to make it like His heart; to cleanse it of sin and defilement and wrong. Walk as children of light. Bear fruit, please Him, and be separate from the deeds of darkness.

Illustrations original

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