Intro: Change is the focus of Ephesians chapter 5. It aims to teach us that we are distinct from the world around us and that, since we are distinct, we ought to lead distinct lives. The straightforward fact is that followers of Christ ought to be distinct from non-believers.
This is clear from a quick look at the first seven verses of this chapter. • We are commanded to live like God in verse 1. • The command to love like God is in verse 2. • We are instructed to depart from this world and its ways in verses 3 to 7. • The Apostle explains to us why we are to be different beginning in verse 8. We must take this into consideration and hear it. We do, after all, exist in this world. Here, 1 Pet, we are "strangers and pilgrims." 2:11. There was a time when we were citizens of this world, even though we are now "strangers and pilgrims" in this world. We led lives like theirs. We conceived as they do. We followed their lead. They were made up of us. However, when we were saved by God's grace, we were given a new life of righteousness in addition to being freed from our previous life of sin. Even though we left the world, we are still very familiar with the way it works. The fleshly part of us still longs for the things of the world that we left behind when we were saved. • In addition, the saints of God are constantly subjected to pressure to become more like the world around them. • Advertising, entertainment, and other forms of media exert blatant pressure on us to follow the global trend. • Even the people we care about exert subtle pressure on us because they would like to see us act more like them. They would like to see us perform the same actions as them. I've always thought that these people do what they do because our way of life makes them feel bad about their lifestyle. • As the flesh longs for the things that are now forbidden to it, it feels pressure from within. Even though we have been saved, there is still a part of us that enjoys sin and despises the requirements of holiness. There is both pressure to return and pressure to move forward. The Spirit of God and the resurrected spirit within us want us to be transformed so that we can be what God saved us to be, as the flesh and the world long for us to conform to their ways. 5:16-17. I'd like to share a few verses with you that will help clarify this. • "I beseech you therefore, brothers, that you present your bodies as a holy, acceptable unto God, living sacrifice, which is your reasonable service, by the mercies of God." And do not conform to the world around you: Rom. 12:1–2 instructs believers to "be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, acceptable, and perfect will of God." • "Because the Spirit lusts after the flesh, and the flesh lusts after the spirit:" Additionally, these are in opposition to one another: so that you are unable to do what you would,” Gal. 5:17. “Be not ye therefore partakers with them,” read the seventh verse of the final verse we studied. This morning's verses instruct us on how to make that a reality in our lives. I'd like to draw some conclusions about Walking As Children Of Light from the verses we've read today. This text gives us the first step in learning how to become the righteous person God created us to be. Sin rules and is the driving force in the harsh, gloomy world in which we live. God has saved a people in the midst of that darkness and depravity. He has saved a people He expects to be different from other people. A people He empowered to be different have been saved by Him. How to make that a reality in our lives is explained in the remainder of this book. Let's discuss Walking As Children Of Light after reading these verses. I. V. 8: HOW WE ARE CHANGED • Who We Were: "Sometimes darkness" was our identity. This indicates that we were depraved and lost in the darkness of sin. 2 Cor. says that the worldly god blinded us. 4:4. Eph, we enjoyed living as every other lost person did. 2:1-3. Who we were and what we did were the sins of verses 4 to 5. Sin had us enslaved. We had no other knowledge. We had no other desire. We were headed to Hell and getting lost in the dark. We lived as though we were lost people. • Who We Are: "Light in the Lord" is what we are. We were delivered from darkness when the Lord saved us. Col. “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son,” is the verse from 1 Peter 1:13. We were liberated from the influence of sin when the Lord delivered us from darkness. He has transformed us into children of light. We are now to walk in light rather than the darkness that once characterized us because we have been transformed. Take Roman. 13:12–14: "The night is long over, but the day is coming: Therefore, let us put on the armor of light and put aside the works of darkness. Let us behave honestly, just as we did then; not in disorder and drunkenness, not in squabbling and enviousness, and not in chambering and wantonness. But put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and do not give in to the lusts of the flesh. The works of the world, the flesh, and the devil were once manifest in our lives. For us, sin was a way of life. We loved darkness as well as our home. The Lord has changed us, saved us, delivered us, and changed us through the grace of God. We have been lifted out of the shadows and into His amazing light. However, you are a special people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a chosen generation; that you might extol the praises of the one who brought you out of darkness and into his wonderful light,” 1 Peter 2:9. We are to "walk as children of light" as a result of that. How do we achieve that? We accomplish this by avoiding sinful behavior and thinking. We accomplish this by giving up everything to the Holy Spirit of God, who will infuse us with the "peaceable fruit of righteousness." We have been altered, and our lives ought to be different. Moreover, we shouldn't have to be constantly encouraged to do this. Holiness ought to be a way of life for us if we have truly been saved and transformed! 2 Cor. Ill. 5:17! I. How We Are Transformed II. V. 9-10: HOW OUR CHARACTERIZATION WORKS These two verses discuss the actual state of our spiritual journey. It will be evident from our lives if we are truly saved and walking in the light. There are three ways to observe the "fruit of the Spirit," as Paul says. • It is evident in goodness—the term "uprightness of heart and life" is used to describe it. In its motives, thoughts, and actions, it demonstrates godliness. It's the quality of being godlike. This also has to do with how we treat other people. Walking in love to those around us is what we mean when we practice "goodness." By treating them the same way we treat ourselves, we are acting in a manner that resembles God's. • It is evident in righteousness—The meaning of this word is our standing in front of the Lord. God declared us to be righteous when He saved us. He made us holy in His sight, credited us with Christ's righteousness, and removed all of our guilt. When we live out the truth of who we are and what we have been made of in Christ Jesus, we demonstrate righteousness in our lives. It describes a godliness that distinguishes one's life from others and identifies one with the Lord. • It is seen in Truth: This word refers to trustworthiness, dependability, and honesty. The world's hypocritical, deceptive, and false practices are starkly contrasted when this quality is observed in a believer's life. "Goodness" is about how we interact with other people. - The topic of "Righteousness" is our relationship with God. The subject of "Truth" is our own personal integrity. • The term "fruit" refers to these three characteristics. Life's unfolding is fruit. In their fullest sense, none of these are things that people who don't believe in God do. They are the "fruit," or evidence, of the Lord's life's presence within us. We will be like Him when we know Him! He did not mention praying a prayer, joining the church, being baptized, being kind to others, doing good deeds, or giving to or serving the church. You will notice that. All of those things are beneficial, but they are works that can be easily performed on earth. Even a person who has never been saved can reach them. On the other hand, the three qualities that Paul did mention—truth, righteousness, and goodness—can only be achieved by the Spirit's work in the life of a redeemed believer. I. How We Are Transformed II Third, How We Are Described. V. 11a: HOW WE ARE COMMANDED The expression "do not be a partaker of" means "have no fellowship." Even by association, those who know the Lord should not participate in evil activities. We are to stay away from everything that is bad. 1 Timothy tells us to avoid even the appearance of evil. 5:22. We must be a part of the world. We can't help the lost if we aren't even in the world. However, we must exercise extreme caution to avoid becoming entangled in the ways of the world. To the praise of the Lord, we are to be a distinct, holy people. Eph has outlined the kinds of sins that we should avoid. 4:25–31, and Ephesians 5:4-6. The sins we should avoid are not all included in this list. We must abstain from all sin! In 1 Cor., the extent of our separation is made abundantly clear. 5:9-11. We are expected to safeguard our bodies, minds, and hearts. 1 John 4:4 says that the help of the Holy Spirit is just as present as the presence of sin. He will assist us in leading lives that are holy and pleasing to Him if we put our faith in Him. I. How We Are Transformed II III. How We Are Described. IV. How We Are Commanded. V. 11b-13 HOW WE ARE COMMISSIONED • Our obligation to avoid sin extends beyond merely abstaining from sinful behavior. We are told to "reprove them" here. This indicates that we are expected to "expose" evil for what it truly is. We are guilty of encouraging sin when we remain silent about it. We are responsible for encouraging sin when we ignore it. The concept of "correction, discipline, and punishment" is conveyed by the word "reprove." It indicates that we confront sin by rejecting it. As a result, there will be times when we need to speak up. We must communicate to others what the Bible says is right and wrong. When we come face-to-face with sinful individuals, our intolerance of sin can sometimes be direct. Our rebuke of wickedness will sometimes be indirect at other times. That is, God uses the fact that we act in opposition to what the world around us does to correct them for their error. They are self-centered, but we give. We bless while they curse. We live for God and others, while they live for themselves. We tell the truth, while they lie. In the face of evil, living simply for the Lord is a powerful testimony. The fact that we don't take sin seriously enough is one of our issues. We chuckle at it. We make fun of it. We fail to confront those around us who are engaging in sin. Sin is just not taken as seriously as it ought to be. Even though we would never do many of the things our neighbors do, we admire them from afar. Because we refuse to stand up to sin and correct it, we remained contaminated by it. • According to verse 12, it is shameful to discuss the actions of the world. Don't we all enjoy hearing juicy gossip? We talk about other people's sins, passing it around to everyone. God tells us to handle things with as few words as possible. It is shameful to talk about their sin in a way that spreads it everywhere. I sometimes get the impression that we talk about sin in the same way because we secretly want to do what other people do. God says that our actions are shameful! • In verse 13, we learn how to deal with sin. We deal with sin by exposing every action to the light of God's Word. We must compare it to the Bible, and if the Bible opposes it, we must also oppose it. We are to support it if the Bible supports it. Only God's Word should serve as our life's standard. Things become "manifest" or "easy to see" under light. The evil in the world around us is easier to see when we walk in the light. We as God's children ought to walk in such holiness, cleanliness, and closeness to God that we stand out as beacons of light in a world that is dark. Not everyone will be happy as we speak truth into existence and expose sin. Nevertheless, it does the Lord a favor and serves as a far superior advertisement for Him than a life in which one engages in worldly vices. "You are the world's light." It is impossible to conceal a city on a hill. Men also don't light a candle and put it in a bushel; instead, they put it on a candlestick; Moreover, it illuminates the entire house. Let your light shine so brightly before men that they can see your good works and praise your Heavenly Father. Matt. 5:14–16. Our mission is to stand out from the crowd. The Gospel is extolled, sin is exposed, and God is praised when it happens. Those are sufficient reasons to follow God's will! I. How We Are Transformed II III. How We Are Described. IV. How Are We Commanded? Paul concludes this section by inviting the lost to come to Jesus for salvation in How We Are Commissioned, Verse 14. Jesus will save them and give them light if they simply wake up and come to Him. He is encouraging any lost members of that congregation to seek salvation in Jesus. That is a call that continues to be made. You can be rescued if you get lost. Your life will be altered, you will be freed from darkness, and you will be filled with His light. Additionally, there is a command for believers to approach. We have been lost in this world for far too long in a spiritual haze. We need to get up and get on with the Savior's business. We will be a beacon of light to a darkened world when we do. That light might just be used by the Lord to save sinners. Paul stated it this way elsewhere: And that since it is now past midnight, it is high time to get out of bed: Our salvation is closer now than it was when we first believed. The night is over, and the next day is upon us: Therefore, let us put on the armor of light and put aside the works of darkness. Let us behave honestly, just as we did then; not in disorder and drunkenness, not in squabbling and enviousness, and not in chambering and wantonness. But put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not give in to the lusts of the flesh. 13:11–14. That must be remembered today by the church! Conc: People rushed out of a building in Edinburgh, Scotland, through a passageway that led to the street, after a massive fire. When smoke from the outside burst into the passageway, they were almost safe. They were unable to see the one and only opportunity for escape because the smoke obscured the light from the outside. They were blind and had no idea that safety was just around the corner. They entered a room that appeared to be safe through a door rather than directly through the smoke. However, all of the oxygen quickly ran out, and they all perished. They might have survived if they had seen the light. The light we provide the world with is essential. The Lord intends for His children to be a beacon of light in a dark world. The difference between us and the lost world around us will be highlighted by the power of His light within us. Today, let us go in search of the Lord and beg Him to help us "Walk As Children Of Light."

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