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August 26th, 2019

gary damronMY PERSPECTIVE, Gary Damron


For several weeks I’ve been savoring a short letter written by the Apostle Paul to a church at Ephesus, which is in current-day Turkey. A summary of the fifth chapter heading is, “be imitators of God as beloved children”, and we’ve noted the desire of children to imitate their parents. We also talked of adoption, as believers become grafted into a huge family of children dearly loved. We’re warned that there’s an ever-present possibility that love can be corrupted, which results in loss of inheritance in the kingdom. 

Beginning with Ephesians 5:8, this section reads, “but now you are Light in the Lord” and we’re urged to “walk as children of Light”. Verse 10 is significant, as it indicates that light is more than just a revealer – it goes beyond helping one not to stumble, but becomes a purifying force. We all go through stages, where sometimes we feel we just ‘don’t get it’ but the promise is summarized in verse 14, “…and Christ will shine on you.” 

We read last week that walking in love is the dynamic of the Christian life. Walking in light we find direction; all who believe are bathed in light and become capable of comprehending the deep things of God. Speaking with the Pharisees, Jesus said, “‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life’” (John 8:12). 

Many children learn the song, “This little light of mine”. Jesus told the Pharisees, “‘No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away…but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light’” (Luke 11:33). Luke explains the illustration – “‘The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light. If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined’” (Luke 11:34, 36). People can’t generate light, but “possessing light” or “being in the light” indicates God’s grace for holy living,  and helps others along the path. 

An interesting phrase Paul included in the chapter is, “for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth” (Ephesians 5:9). We’ve known several people going through divorce or other trauma, and just this week someone described a loved one as being ‘in a dark place’. The transformation as a person steps from darkness to light may be progressive, but change is a reality. The ethical response of Christ’s followers is to possess the Light which will produce “fruit,” a moral effect. Continuing through the scripture: “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; … all things become visible when they are exposed by the light” (Ephesians 5:11-13). 

A summary of the above passage is that we’re to walk in Light; God’s followers are children of light – which brings forth goodness, righteousness and truth. Light tests and reproves unfruitful works of darkness. And finally, Light is a gift to anyone who’s attentive. “When we awake and arise Christ’s light will shine on us” (Ephesians 5:14). Suddenly, we’ll wake up, be able to see, and will find direction for each day. 

The next six verses outline walking in wisdom. The great king Solomon possessed great wisdom as well as wealth (and many wives). If only he had read Ephesians 5:15-21 and…redeemed the time…understood the will of God…opened his life to the Spirit…expressed joy…showed submission and consideration to others. I’m not being harsh with Solomon – not one of us can do those without the infilling of Light and Spirit. The Light of the Spirit of God reveals, penetrates, and transforms all it illuminates. 

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