Living as Children of Light
“There are people who truly believe in their hearts that they are followers of Jesus, but their lives look nothing like his” Francis Chan. A Christian is a person who transitions from death into life and from darkness into light. How should we then live now that we have chosen to follow Christ? We are to live as people who have the identity of Jesus now, people of the light since Jesus himself calls us to be the light of the world. Paul writes a letter to a church to remind Christians what it means to live as children of light.
There is distinction between light and darkness. Paul makes a distinction between those who are in Christ and those who are not, whom he called “Gentiles” (secular, worldly). Paul reminds the believers not to live like the secular because they are characterized by darkness. This is how the Gentiles or Secular live: (v.18-19)
– Their thinking reasoning is empty (vain, empty minds) futility (uselessness) of their minds
– Their understanding is darkened
– Alienated from God because of their ignorance due to their hardness of heart.
– They are callous, desensitized (they deliberately engage in sensuality (outrageous conduct), with a lust for more.
This is them, but not you. (v20)
(v.20) you didn’t come to know Jesus this way. This living does not reflect God’s standard.
Here is what God’s taught those who are children of light. (v.21) You heard of him and were taught in him according to the truth that is in Jesus.
– To renounces the old life./self (which is being corrupted by lust and deceit. (22)
A Christian made the transition from the old life to a life with Christ, therefore, renounce the old self; your old identity because you have a new identity in Christ. You are a new creation in Jesus, therefore, you must live as such.
– To continue to renew you minds (renewed in the spirit of your mind).(v.23) Continue to renew your mind, the way you think. Rom.12:2 Transformation happens when you change the way you think, when you adopt Christ’s perspective.
– To continue to be clothed with Christ. (v.24) Our new self is Created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Rom.13:14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.(NIV) Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires. NLT Keep on putting on Christ, being clothed with Christ. He is our new identity. We are a new creation in Christ Jesus.
Here is the application of what it means to live as children of light. Paul goes on to list some examples of what it means to renounce the old self and to be clothed with Christ. (V.25-32)
Therefore, so then…. Because of what I told you…..
Children of light stand for truth rather than falsehood (25). If Christ is your new identity, then truth reigns and not falsehood. The truth is what sets us free. Truth is even one of the spiritual weapons we have to wage war against the enemy. Eph.6: 14. We are to stand firm with the belt of truth buckled around our waist. God’s children exhibit truth rather than falsehood.
Children of light are not mastered by anger. (v.26)Be angry but do not sin. You will become angry at times, this is why he said, do not sin in your anger. Deal with your anger quickly or you will give the Devil a foothold to tempt you to sin. As children of light we are to keep anger in check.
God’s children don’t steal, but work hard and show generosity with what they have (v.28)He who has been stealing must steal no longer. There were people in Ephesus, who were thieves, and Paul encouraged them to stop that attitude of the old self and to portray a kingdom attitude by working hard and sharing with those in need.
Children of light honor God with their speech. (v.29) No unwholesome talk (rotten, worthless, nasty). Use your words to build others up and not to destroy them. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person Col.4:6 ESV
Children of light should strive not to grieve God. The Holy Spirit lives in those considered children of light, He is the down payment of what is to come. We grieve God when we don’t behave as his children, when we ignore his directions and follow the pattern of the world. 9In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity, he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. 10But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit; therefore, he turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them Isa.63:9-10 ESV
We grieve God when we sin, when we rebel against his command.
Children of light reject or lay aside: (v31) bitterness, rage, anger, brawling (outcry against each other) and slander (blasphemia: speak evil of) and malice (wickedness)
Children of the light are kind, compassionate and forgiving people. (v.32)
This is the standard God has given to those who are His. There is a distinction in God’s people and those who are not. It is obvious in how they live.
We who have chosen to follow Christ as called children of light, we have made the transition from death to life and from darkness into light. As his people, we must act according to the standard given to us by our Creator. Here we learned how to distinguish a God’s people from those who are not.
Jesus had said on the sermon on the mount: Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matt.5:16
Is it obvious to people around you that you are a child of God, a child of the light?
Eph.5:8 You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.