Christ Will Shine on You
Kids are dismissed for Childrens church.
Please turn with me to Ephesians chapter 5. In Paul’s letter on unity within the church, he has been focusing on what our lives should practically look like, on Gods immeasurable riches and the change that he has caused inside of us.
The big, recent idea is that there is right and wrong, there is darkness and light, there is sin and holiness. And we were once in one camp, we were on one side. We were in the darkness. Now, through Christ, we are changed. We are now in the light.
We are putting off the old, putting on the new. We are to stop sinning and to pursue holiness. We are to be imitators of God and to walk in Christ. We are to discern what is pleasing to the LORD, to do what is good and right and true.
Paul is going to continue the light and dark illustration as we get into this week’s scriptures. Though here he will focus on the light, and the goodness of the pouring out of Gods grace and mercy and His light shining out on us.
So, let’s go ahead and read this morning’s passage, Ephesians chapter 5 verses 11 through 21. Ill be reading out of the English Standard Version. Please grab your preferred translation and follow along as we read the very Words of God. Ephesians 5:11-21, Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, writes:
11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
May God Bless the Reading of His Holy Word.
Paul continues from the previous verses, what we looked at last week, he says to take no partners with the unfruitful works of darkness. Scriptures are clear throughout that we are to be careful and discerning who we partner with and who we yoke with.
We see this warning about not marrying into a relationship that is unequally yoked. We see this here with light and darkness. We see this with who and how we look to, who we hitch ourselves too politically or nationally.
When a person, when a group, when a movement or a party share a purpose, or a goal, or an ideal, but they compromise on the Gospel, and more specifically, the fruit and the commands of scripture, then they are not to be partnered with.
Just as the wrong thing done for the right reason is wrong, so too is the right thing done for the wrong reason. We are not to fight fire with fire. We are not to do whatever it takes if the cause is just. The ends do not justify the means. That is 100% unbiblical.
Scripture is clear that what is done in the dark will be brought to the light. We do not ignore evil and wrongdoing in others.
We do not gossip about them or slander them, but we do need to be able to say, “This is Wrong.”
And one of the reasons is because evil and wrong will become known at some point, whether in this world or the next.
And what happens to the church’s credibility, or to our individual credibility when it becomes known that someone, something, some organizations, some group we partnered with was steeped in darkness, when it or they were actually opposed to the Gospel, and it comes out that we knew about this wrongdoing and did nothing about it? Or knew they were opposed to the Gospel, and we decided that wasn’t as important as whatever the reason we partnered with them?
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
It will become visible. All will be revealed. God knows all and sees all. And he won’t be fooled.
We also see in verse 13, that God will redeem all things for his glory. What light illuminates, it will also transform. We were dead in our sins, but he has brought us out of death into life. He has made us alive. We were asleep to the truth but now the Holy Spirit has awakened us to our sins and to the darkness.
And when we are awoken from the darkness, we are then in the light. And when we are in the light, the light of Christ will shine on us.
We are called to, and we will reflect that light that Christ is shining on us like the moon reflects the light of the sun to shine in the night. That is to be us reflecting the light of Christ and the good news of the Gospel to the dark in the world around us.
Paul tells us to be conscious and purposeful, we are to be active in choosing how you walk, how you live, how you act. Not as the unwise, but as the wise.
We cannot just stumble blindfolded through life and expect to do the things that God has called us to do. We are to be wise as serpents but gentle as doves. We are to discern what is pleasing to the LORD, what is good and right and true. And to do all that means we are to seek wisdom. Wisdom not of this world, but wisdom from above, the wisdom of God.
James writes in his letter, chapter 3, verses 13 through 18:
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
We need the wisdom of God in order to do what he calls us to do, to be light in a dark world. To pursue righteousness, to give all the glory of all the world directly to God.
The wisdom of God reminds us to make the best use of the day because the days are evil. No one knows the time or the hour, but we do know that the days of this world do have a limit. There is an expiration date to these evil days. And so, we are to use the wisdom God has given us to, as one commentator says, “actively take advantage of every opportunity to do good.”
Essentially, the days are evil and dark and so we are to shine as much light as possible, every day, by the wisdom given to us by God.
Therefore, because of this, do not be foolish. Use the Wisdom given by God but understand what the will of God is. This is not a secret. God has not hidden his will from us. Instead, he has revealed his will to us through his word.
This is emphasizing to us that the Bible is absolutely vital to our walk with God and to us knowing him, knowing his will and being able to shine His light in this world.
Reading his word, knowing his word, seeing his wisdom, knowing his will.
His word, the Word of God, and the only perfect rule for faith, creed and conduct.
His word is where we find his will. And when we know his will, and act according to his wisdom, we will see within us what Paul describes next.
He says in verse 18, do not get drunk on wine. This is not a blanket prohibition, but Paul is addressing the effects that wine, or alcohol can have, controlling one’s mind. It affects your judgment and thought processes. It leads to foolish decisions and to living and acting in darkness.
And so, instead of letting that control you and your mind and your spirit and your judgment and your decision making, instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit.
When you are filled with the spirit, Paul says this is what happens, you address one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. In other words, being filled with the Spirit results in joyful praise.
And we make melody to the LORD in our heart, giving thanks and for everything to God the Father in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ.
We are to have joyful praise and gratitude and thanksgiving at all times.
This week is thanksgiving and so, hopefully, our hearts and mind are already attuned to the things in our life that we are to be thankful for.
And we have so much to be thankful for. Friends, family, homes, jobs, food, shelter, transportation, freedom, so much.
But we need to remember the source of all that is good and right and true and where it comes from.
James 1:17 & 18:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.[d] 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
God our Father is a good and merciful God. He created us to be in perfect and eternal communion with him back in Genesis 1 & 2. Sin came into the world in Genesis 3 and separated us from that perfect and eternal communion with God. God immediately told Adam and Eve that he had a plan, a solution to this very bad problem. That solution, we now know, was Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, God himself.
? Jesus was a real live historical person. There is more historical evidence for him than for Julius Caesar.
Jesus was the Son of God who came to redeem mankind. He came to reconcile us back to God. He came to bridge the divide that sin causes between us and God. And he did it by taking our justice, our punishment for the sins we have committed.
Each and every one of us here. Each and every person born, with Jesus being the only exception, each and every person has sinned and been separated from God. Each and every person who has sinned deserves to pay the consequences of that sin, which is eternity in Hell, having the full, perfect, holy wrath of God poured out on them. The wages, meaning the payment for sin is death. That is what each and every single person here deserves, especially me.
And yet, God loved us in that while we were yet sinners, he sent his son to take that penalty, that that wrath, to substitute himself, in our place. He who knew no sin became sin so that we could become the righteousness of God. He died the death that we deserved. He took and absorbed the wrath that was justly and rightfully due to us. He paid our debt and bridged that gap for us, on our behalf.
And Jesus did this, not because we obeyed well enough. Not because we did the right thing. Not because our good outweighed our bad. Because none of that is true.
For it is by grace we have been saved, through faith. God’s grace poured out on us, through the vehicle of our faith in his son. And this is a gift, not because of us, but because of God and through God alone so that none of us may boast. And there is no name except Jesus by which we are saved. There is one mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ.
Those who are saved are saved by the grace of God alone, through Faith alone in his Son Jesus Christ alone. All of this is revealed in Scripture Alone and all of it done for the Glory of God alone.
As Jonathon Edwards famously said, we contribute nothing to our salvation except the sin that made it necessary.
Here’s the deal. If you have believed in the Son, then you get the Father. If you reject the Son, you reject the Father. That’s it. Nothing else you do matters.
And so, when we know this, when we truly know this, it is nothing to let the joy and gratitude flow out of us.
Last night at the Father/Son dinner, we sang the Doxology, letting praise for God the Father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit flow out of us.
That’s what Paul is calling us to, let the praise of God flow out of you. Bible commentator Dunnam writes:
The early church, Spirit filled, was a singing church, the dominant theme was joy. It was a thankful church. Knowing who God was, and what he had done, keeping at the surface of their awareness the fact that they were recipients if unmerited mercy and grace, gratitude was the keynote of their life.
How many of us can say the same? How many of us can say that our lives are marked by joy and thankfulness and gratitude? How many of us can say that others see that as our dominant theme?
Paul calls us to be filled with the Spirit and when we are, this is what flows from us. Wisdom and light, joy and gratefulness, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
That last verse is what’s called a tease for where we will go next week in the next passage.
In the meantime, let’s pray.