As we study God’s Word, a contrast can help guide us in better understanding the principle at hand. There is no greater contrast than that of light and darkness, and Paul compared the lives of the Ephesians before Christ (“you were once darkness”) with their lives as people of faith (you “are now light in the Lord”). He reminded them that they were children of light and their walk must demonstrate this fact.
Note that Paul didn’t say that they once lived in darkness. He said instead that they “were once darkness” (verse 8). Darkness wasn’t external, something they were in, but rather internal, something they were that penetrated to the core of their being. But God, through Christ, the Light of the World (John 8:12) reversed that, so that they became light—and light now illuminated their lives.
Being a Christian today, desiring to walk in the light, should cause us to act differently as we seek to find out what pleases the Lord (v. 10). To tell the truth, to push for justice, to uphold goodness regardless of societal norms— to bring light to darkness in the world where we live. What pleases the Lord? Are you actively pursuing these things?
By nature, light exposes what is in the dark, and in a spiritual sense reveals sin for what it really is. Paul exhorted the believers to expose evil deeds, but we may wonder, whose deeds were they to expose? Were they to give verbal witness to all the sin they saw? Many theologians agree that Paul is speaking here of believers who are participating in fruitless works of darkness, who must be confronted and rebuked, not those who are outside the church. This is consistent with what Jesus taught in Matthew 18:15–17 when He stated that a sister or brother was to go to the sinning sister or brother and point out a fault. We also find this in 1 Corinthians 5.
Keep in mind that darkness can never dispel light. Until the end of time, it works the other way around. Light and darkness cannot coexist. Light always dispels darkness. And light always wins. First John 1:7 reminds us that “if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” Walking in the light reveals our true character, leads to fellowship, and enables unity.
How can you walk more in the light?
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