Jeff Overton, lead pastor
Beulah Baptist Church, Douglasville
Ever since the fall in the Garden of Eden, sin and the darkness it brings has been a part of our world. It seems that our world today is even more open about sin than ever before.
Sin that we used to oppose, we don’t even call sin anymore. The issue with that compromise of sin is that we may cease to call sin, sin. Yet, God still calls sin, sin and He encourages the child of God to do the same thing. We see this laid out in the inspired writing of Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus.
In our text for this week, Paul starts out by reminding the child of God how the old life used to be. Every child of God was at one time a child of darkness. There is not a middle ground. We are either a child of the light or a child of darkness.
Paul tells the child of light to walk as children of light. He then proceeds to tell the child of light what that would should look like. The child of light will live a life that produces goodness, righteousness, and truth. An interesting insight to these three characteristics is that we cannot produce them in the flesh. Goodness, righteousness, and truth come from God and only as we walk in Him and follow Him in obedience can we produce the “fruit” of light. Paul tells us we cannot live as we used to live, but as children of light.
Paul challenges us to live as children of light and in doing so we bring pleasure to God. God loves to see His children living an obedient and productive life. When we live as children of light we live a life that is obedient to the Father. God uses that obedient life for His glory and that brings pleasure to Him. The desire of every child of God should be to bring pleasure to the Father as He receives the glory to which He is due.
Paul continues the text with a warning. Children of the light are to have no part in the “unfruitful works of darkness.” There should be a distinct difference between the children of light and the children of darkness. Paul points out not only should the child of light have nothing to do with works of darkness, but also he should be involved in exposing the darkness for the evil it is. When the child of light is willing to be used of God to expose the darkness, he is able to draw others from the darkness into the Light. This is the work of evangelism to which we all are called.
In today’s society we seem to have become comfortable being the silent children of light. While there are certainly times for silence, this passage makes it obvious there are times for the child of God to be a voice to expose darkness with the truth of the Light.
One of the best ways to expose darkness is with the Word of God. Paul told Timothy in 2 Tim. 3:16 that Scripture was profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. For this to take place the child of light must know God’s Word and then be bold enough to share God’s word. In doing so, the light of God’s Word exposes the evil of darkness.
We mentioned earlier that when we walk obediently as children of light we bear the fruit of light and bring pleasure to the Father. The opposite is true when we choose to ignore or remain silent about the work of darkness. When we take this step, we do so in disobedience to the Father and of course, this will not bring pleasure to Him.
Jesus spoke of the works of light and darkness in John 3:19-21 ESV – “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
As I said in the beginning, sin has been around since the fall in the Garden. However, to break the darkness brought about by sin, the Light has come. We have been called to be children of the Light. By living in this manner, we are obedient to the Father as we expose darkness and bringing pleasure to the Father.
If we walk in this way we present a contrast to the world – the difference between walking in light and walking in darkness.
Questions to consider
- Discuss the fruit of light – goodness, righteousness, and truth.
- What are ways the child of light can expose darkness?
- In what ways have we become comfortable with sin in our society?