Living Light (Eph 5:7-14 )

Sunday, November 18th, 2007
Sermon Series: Ephesians

Sermon Manuscript …

Living Light

How the light deals with darkness–Ephesians 5:7-14

Those who agree with us may not be right, but we admire their astuteness

For five summers in a row, I worked at Hume Lake Christian Camps.  Two of those summers, I was on the lead staff for wagon train, which was the junior camp–fourth through sixth grade, which happened to be the camp farthest away from all civilization, people and lights.  As I result, I experienced something really unusual.  There were some unique nights when the sky was totally overcast, and there was no moon when I encountered pitch black.

As I walked back to my room on those moonless nights, a distance of about a mile, it was so dark you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face.  I’d have to listen very carefully as I walked along the narrow, asphalt road.  If I heard crunching under my feet, it meant I had walked off the asphalt and was about to run into a tree on one side of the road, or fall off a 30-foot drop on the other side of the road.

As I walked in the total darkness, I would imagine the mountain lion we saw from time-to-time lying in wait for me, or worse, that some rabid, killer, vampire squirrel was waiting to lunge at me and bite my neck.  What amazed me was how long it took to walk to my room on those dark nights.  Instead of twelve minutes, it took forty minutes to an hour–why?  Because I couldn’t tell where I was going!  I’d end up walking from one side of the road to the other, back and forth, from tree to cliff, from lion to squirrel, feeling my way back to my room.  Each time I discovered the edge of the road, I’d correct my course.  Because of the blackness and curvy road, I’d drift off course again.  It was like some people test for land mines. d

What I experienced is exactly what those without Christ live every single day, those in Christ never have to face again.  The non-Christian lives in the dark and is dark–the Christian lives in the light and is light, and God illumines us.  In verses 7 to 14 of our study in Ephesians 5—open there and take out your outline.  We are studying this letter verse-by-verse, seeking only the author’s intended meaning.  In the first half of Ephesians God told us what He has done for us, and in the second half of this letter God tell us how we will live as a result.

Paul uses the word “walk” to describe our new, born again lifestyle.  Chapter 4:1 we will walk worthy, 4:17 walk uniquely, 5:2 walk in love, and now in 5:8 walk as light–our lifestyle is light.  We are going to tackle a larger chunk of Scripture today, because this section is one complete thought.  Read with me starting in verse 7.

Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

What in the world is Paul saying here?  At the center of life in Ephesus was the temple of Artemis, and the activity that centered around this goddess worship would make anything that happens in Las Vegas blush.  The temple to Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and the most popular cult worship of the first century centered in Ephesus–it was huge for tourism and the economy, and at certain festivals there might be one thousand prostitutes at the temple ready to worship.  The worship was sexual, a giant orgy, and its purpose was to excite Artemis into producing fertile crops.  Plus, to encourage her to increase the harvest pilgrims would also buy statues of her–the thinking was, the more trinkets you bought, the better the harvest would be.

This kind of thinking made its way into society and subtly into the life of the church.  So get this, Paul is telling the church in Ephesus in Ephesians 5:1–don’t imitate her, imitate your perfect heavenly father, verse 2 don’t love like that, love like Christ, verse 3 don’t act like them in immorality, verse 4 don’t speak of the things they do that are so nasty, and verse 5 to 7 if you do you are not truly saved.

But you Christians live differently–so different that you are light compared to darkness.  God made you light, so live light, don’t go back to living dark.  And avoid hanging out with Christians who live dark.  In fact Christian, you are to live so light that you help Christians who are living dark to stop living dark and start living light.

Maybe the light/dark discussion confuses you, so look at it this way–God made you clean, so don’t go back to living dirty.  Stay away from dirty Christians, but live so clean they’ll want to live clean too.  God freed you, don’t go back to living like a slave.  God made you sweet, don’t go back to smelling bad again.  God woke you up, don’t go back to sleep.  God made you alive, don’t act like you are dead anymore.

Never forget, this letter is written to Christians in the Church.  Paul is primarily instructing Christians how to deal with those in the Church who start living like they are non-Christians.  Do you know anyone like that?  How does God want us to respond?

#1 Grow in your burden for the lost in the Church–right now, write down the name of someone you are concerned about and praying for

#2 Grow more dependent–God made you light, but you can’t shine in your own strength.  Be thinking of some ways to show Him off.  Write down a way to positively show off Christ in a way you haven’t been doing.

#3 Examine your own heart for darkness–write down the one sin the Holy Spirit brings to mind that you need to expose and repent of

So how do we live what we are–to live as those who are light.

#1  Christian, live light–you are a new person

We are not what we used to be.  You may look the same, sound the same, smell the same, but you are not the same.  Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”  You are no longer dirty but clean, no longer asleep but awake, and you are no longer dark but you are light, so Paul says . . .

First  Do not get involved in dark–what you used to do

Read verse 7 again, “Therefore do not be partakers with them.”  Do not partner with those who say they are Christians but live like they are non-Christians.  It is okay to hang out with non-Christians who sin.   But it is not okay to hang out with believers who are continually immoral, greedy or speak inappropriately.

Look at verse 7 again–the verb “do not be” is a continual command, directed at obedient Christians about disobedient believers in the Church.  To understand this, turn over to 1 Corinthians 5.  God is not talking about avoiding a Christian who enjoys a beer or smokes a cigar.  He is not talking about staying away from a believer who wears leather jackets, has tattoos, piercings or rides a Harley.  He is talking about staying away from a so-called Christian who lives in continual disobedience to a clear command of Scripture.

And God is not talking about staying away from non-Christians.  God does not want you to avoid being around non-Christians, just don’t join them in their sin–mix but don’t join.  But God does want you to avoid being around a so-called Christian who is in defiant unrepentant sin–it is bad for you.

This is what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5:9 to 13, “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters; for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he should be an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler– not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.”

Notice in verses 9 and 10 God doesn’t want you to isolate yourself from non-Christians–God does not want you to leave this world.  You are here to make an impact on this world, you are here to show off and share the Gospel of Christ to the lost world–they need you near them, they need to hear from you.  Mix but do not join.

Jesus had friends who were lost and lived in sin, but He didn’t sin with them.  He hung out with prostitutes, but He didn’t sleep with them.  He hung out with drinkers, but he didn’t get drunk with them.  These guys’ blood alcohol level was so high they couldn’t drive their camel home.  He hung out with shady business types but did not steal with them.  He had non-Christian, sinful friends, but He didn’t sin with them.

But in verses 11 to 13, God says do not hang out with a Christian who lives in continual, unrepentant immorality, or are greedy, or worship things other than God, or speak evil of others, or get drunk, or cheat others in the marketplace–do not spend time with them.  Stay away.  A defiant, sinning non-Christian–mix but don’t join.  A defiant, sinning Christian, stay away–why?  Because it’s confusing, leads to compromise, conflict and spiritual decay.

Back to Ephesians 5–you see true Christians are not what we used to be.  We used to be dark, smelly, dirty, asleep–but now we’re light, sweet, clean and awake.  So own the fact that . . .

Second  You are no longer dark—the old you

Verse 8 says, “For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.”  Notice Paul doesn’t say you were formally “in” darkness or “in” the light, but you “were” dark and now you “are” light–it is who you were and who you are.  It is your essence, it is who you are now.  In fact the verb “you were” tells us that this is a fact–you were continually all the time, never not dark.  Your character was dark, your heart was dark, your understanding was dark.

If you are a non-Christian today, you may know things about God, you may even understand some things about the Bible, but your heart is dark, your understanding is dark, you are ruled by the prince of darkness–you are facing a dark judgment, and you are headed to

a place of eternal darkness.

Notice in verse 8, if you are in the light, you are in the Lord–you have Christ and He has you.  You are never alone, Christian–but did you see, those who are dark are alone.  Those in Christ are light, their understanding is light, their heart is light, they are ruled by the Prince of Light and are going to a place of eternal light.

And Christian, you were dark, so don’t go back to living that way.  Darkness is what you do all by yourself in secret and in shame.  More sin is committed in the dark than in the light.  Christians will do more wrong things in the dark, alone, hidden away than they would ever do in the daylight, in public, around others.  A lot of sin is done in secret and in the dark–there is this sense of hiding, an incorrect thinking that no one can see me.

Remember Adam and Eve–the first thing they did after they sinned was hid.  They were hiding, ashamed.  Men often compromise with their computers or with lust when they are alone in the dark.  Certain nasty establishments are only open in the evening, after dark–why?  No one can see me go in, and no one can see me go out.  No one wants to be seen in that place.  That should tell you something.  One of the keys to fleeing sin is to stay public, keep the lights on and bright, and remain in the open where others can see.  D.L. Moody said, “Character is what we are in the dark.”

Why should you not partner with Christians who sin, why should you stay away from continual immorality, greed and inappropriate talk?  Because you are no longer dark, no longer the old you–you were dark but now you are light.  Therefore . . .

Third  Daily live light—the new you

Read the command at the end of verse 8, “Walk as children of light.”  God commands us to continually maintain a lifestyle of being light.  Our Father is a God of light, so His children, literally His intimate offspring want to be just like Him–we are children of light.  The imagery here is being someone who is open and honest.  Light is where I live exposed to God, His people, and His Word–I have nothing to hide, there is nothing I am ashamed of.  If there’s anything I have to conceal, lie about, or hide in darkness, then it’s wrong–all true Christians have been freed from secrecy, from hiding.  Don’t run back to that life of fear, the fear of being discovered.  Whatever you are doing, you should be able to talk about it.  There should be nothing to hide–live as light.

Living light also means doing good deeds, right?  Jesus made that clear in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  Living light is not merely avoiding darkness, it is shining out with good deeds.  This is why Paul says . . .

Fourth  The new you has obvious indicators

Read verse 9  “(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth).”  If you are light, a genuinely born again Christian, then there will be indicators.  If you are an apple tree, then you will produce apples.  If you are an orange tree, you will produce oranges.  And if you are truly in God’s family tree, then you will produce the fruit that comes from Him, which verse 9 says is goodness, righteousness and truth.  Simply stated, those three qualities mean a Christian will live right, be made right and believe right.

There is no such thing as a Christian who does not bear fruit.  Now there are Christians who have a very small yield–maybe nothing more than an apple or some shriveled up raisins under a leaf, but there will be fruit.  But there is no such thing as a no-fruit Christian.  If you’re a child of light, you will produce the fruit of light.  Those who claim to be children of light but don’t produce any fruit are liars.  Fruit production may go down because of sin, or our lives are not what they are supposed to be, but eventually a Christian will see the fruit of light through their life.

So how do you know you are a Christian?  Verse 9 says one of the indicators is fruit.  Listen, it’s not because you are religious or have gone to church or made a decision–in fact if you have to speculate, you’re not examining yourself the way the Bible commands.  Verse 9 says there will be fruit.  Verse 9 says genuine Christians do good deeds, demonstrate a commitment to live righteously, and have the ability to believe truth.  Plus Paul adds . . .

Fifth  And the new you has a passionate drive

What is that drive?  Verse 10 says, “trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.”  All true Christians have a passionate drive to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.  Real believers want to please Christ even when they fail to.  Genuine saints are those who delight in pleasing their Lord.  If you are God’s child, in your heart there is an ongoing desire to learn those things that are continually pleasing to Christ.

What is pleasing to the Lord?  Answer–those things He has already told us in His Word, the Bible.  And we please Him when we apply His principles to those things in life that are not directly addressed in the Scripture.  All Christians will pursue trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.  Learn to ask yourself throughout every day, what pleases Christ?  Evaluate every task, every behavior, every conversation–does my driving please the Lord, does my work please the Lord, school, relationships, witness?  Be honest.

I am a drunk–I don’t think that pleases the Lord.  My mouth does not please the Lord, my lack of compassion for the lost does not please the Lord, my late night computer voyeurism does not please the Lord.  And when you are in situations where you don’t know what to do ask–what will please the Lord?  It will answer a lot of your questions.  How can you grow in knowing what pleases the Lord?  Three simple steps . . .

1 Pray about it, and God will many times make it obvious.  “Lord, should I rob this bank?  No?”

2 Study the Word.  You can’t please Him if you don’t know what He wants, what Christ loves, or what Christ is passionate about.

3 Imitate models.  You are arguing with your spouse, you meet a couple who seem to love each other and don’t argue as much–ask them for help.  Offer to take them out to dinner and ask them questions about how they keep from injuring each other as a couple.  “How did you two learn to love each other so much?”  Or you say, “I am in a financial Chernobyl.  I need someone who is biblically good with their money so I can learn from them.”  Or you say, “I have never shared the Gospel with anyone–I need someone to show me how.”

Again, the danger we face in good Bible-teaching churches is this–we think if we know the Word that we are pleasing to Christ.  No, it’s only when we live the truth does it please Christ.  And our biggest problem is pretending–we pretend we have it together, we pretend that we live the Word, we publicly appear to be godly but in private, in the dark, we are a wreck.  You have to repent and get with someone who will model the truth for you–pride is our biggest enemy.  Kill your pride and ask someone who can help you live the truth that pleases Christ.

Pray, study and get with models.

Paul says you are not dark but light, so live that way all the time–produce the fruit of light and show forth a desire to please Christ in everything.  But there is another side to this, and that is . . .

#2  Avoid living like you used to—dark

There is a healthy expectation if you are a Christian that you are not going to live the way you used to live when you were a non-Christian.  Now that you are light. you will no longer live dark.  Such were some of you.  Be specific, Paul–okay I will.

First  Don’t do dark deeds

Look at verse 11, “And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness.”  The command to not participate is actually to not have ongoing intimate fellowship with sinful actions.  This is why John says in 1 John1:6, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”  Again, you can mix with the unsaved, but not join.  But if they claim to know Christ, do not have fellowship with them.  If they are going to the temple orgy or getting drunk in pagan worship, do not join them or remain intimate with them.

Notice in verse 11, Paul says these deeds are unfruitful.  They are not going to produce a harvest of fruit, but just the opposite.  In contrast to those who are of the light, who produce fruit–those who are acting dark, their deeds are unfruitful, they are not eternal.

The deeds of darkness are like a tree that doesn’t produce fruit, or a factory that doesn’t produce a product – there is lots of action, but it is empty.  It is a fruitless, sterile, dark system that is a waste of time.  Again the pagans taught that immoral deeds in their worship would produce a fruitful crop, but God says it is empty and unfruitful.

The media gives us a great illustration of this–when you see a commercial for a casino and people are gambling, the people being shown are happy, laughing, pretty and winning.  But typically when you see gambling in person, in real life, the people are sad, smoking, ugly and losing.  I am not addressing gambling here–the point is this.  Don’t be deceived–these sins are fruitless, empty and hollow.  What the non-Christians say about them is a lie—therefore don’t join in, even when other Christians do.  So what are we supposed to do?

Second  Help those living in dark see the light

Read the end of verse 11, “but instead even expose them.”  Does this mean I am to go around and point out everyone’s sin?  “You are proud, you are selfish, you are weird” . . . no, that’s me.  Churches sometimes have people who think it is their job to point out everyone else’s sin.  And for some so-called believers, the Bible is not specific enough–they want to make their preferences the standard for everyone.  So preferences become the standard for what is really godly–now you are above reproach, more holy or living better.  They say things like, “You shouldn’t wear that dress, Christians can’t dance [most can’t], holy Christians never drink, men don’t wear hats, hair shouldn’t be short, hair shouldn’t be long, you’re wearing too much make-up, or for some, you’re not wearing enough make-up.”

Is that what Paul means when he commands “even expose them”?  Look at verse 12, “For it is becoming disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret [in hiding].”  He says don’t even speak of what they do, so he can’t mean to go around and point out everyone’s sin at the end of verse 11, since he doesn’t want us to talk about it in verse 12.

So what does he mean?  Answer:  Shine–show off the Gospel, show the hope we have in Christ.  Shine your light, talk about what Christ did for us.  Expose the truth.

You mean avoid talking about sin?  No!  There is no Gospel without sin.  There is no light without darkness.  But if all we do is talk about sin then we are condemning, judgmental, critical and unappealing.  But if we talk about the Savior who died for their sin, who can free them from sin, who can rescue them from their sin then we are offering life, showing off the light, and dispelling the darkness.  Do you see the difference?  Both approaches rebuke sin, but only one approach shares the Gospel, only one approach makes Christ shine.

As Jesus said in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.”  Again, our job is not to go around exposing everyone’s sin, but it is our job to shine the light of God’s answer to sin and judgment–both talk about sin, only one gives the answer.  Let me explain it this way.  You are not the doctor who has never been sick telling people how to get well–you are the doctor who just about died, sharing with others how to get well from the same disease.  You are not the lifeguard who has never struggled in the water, telling others how to swim–you are the lifeguard who had nearly drowned when Christ pulled you out and gave you mouth to mouth, so now you tell others He is the only one who can rescue them.  You are not the well-fed rich man telling others they need to eat–you are the beggar who almost died of starvation, telling others the only place to find the bread you were given.  You are exposing their sin by shining your light.

 

If someone in the Church begins to live dark, you confront their sin personally, intimately, privately, in humility sharing with them three of your own battles with sin first–possibly talking about God’s grace and how He is helping you with those sins.  You demonstrate the humility of Galatians 6:1, “Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted.”  If they are not a Christian, talk about Christ and what He had to do in order to take care of their sin.  Share how He forgave you of your sin.

Think about what non-Christians hear from you–do they hear religious judgment and self-righteous superiority, or do they hear brokenness over your own sin and see Christ as the only answer?  You expose the sins of darkness with the light.  You shine the light, you show them the way to Christ, you help them see their sin, yes–but with the same breath, you show them the only hope of salvation from sin is Jesus Christ.  He is the light, you are light, show off the light.  The exposure of darkness is the light of the Gospel.

Sometimes when shopping in foreign lands, the shops are so dark you have to step out of the shop to see the item in the light in order to see the flaws.  Listen, when men and women are exposed to the light of the Gospel, when they learn of God’s perfection, holiness and justice; when they understand just how serious sin is, that a perfect God had to die on our behalf in order to satisfy God’s justice and holiness; when they understand that just one sin is enough to condemn them forever; when they comprehend your sinfulness and how desperate you were for a Savior–they are going to be exposed, they will see their flaws, their sin will come to light.  This is why Paul tells us . . .

Third  Do not focus on dark behavior

Verse 12 says, “For it is becoming disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret [in hiding].”  Some of us don’t do anything wrong, we just love talking about sin.  “Did you hear what Britney did this week?  OJ is gay?  Angelina is mad at Jennifer for hanging out with Brad’s mom?  Did you hear what they did at the Temple of Artemis this week?”  God says it is disgraceful to speak of the things they do in dark, in hiding–don’t talk about it.

Sometimes Christians don’t do evil, or talk much about it–we just watch it on TV.  There is nothing wrong with a TV set or a movie theater, they are used for good and for evil, and we need to avoid those things that are disgraceful–literally shameful, ugly, deformed.

Sadly, we Christians violate verse 12 in others ways.  Last year, I was meeting with a group of men and all they wanted to talk about was dirt.  Did you hear about pastor so and so and what he did, and what his church is doing, and this yucky thing he had to deal with, and the bad way he responded?  I have been guilty of the same, but by the time I came to this meeting I had had enough.  I am far less prone to dialog about others in this manner, and at this gathering it literally broke my heart.  I love these guys and only see them once every few years, but they kept talking about dirt.  I sat in silence until I could change the subject.  I did change the subject three times, but each time the conversation eventually went back to dirt–shameful things, ugly things, deformed things–did you hear what so and so did?  Paul says, don’t talk about them–don’t speak about it, you are light, not dark.  Don’t talk about dark, for as you do, it gives the impression you are comfortable with it, you like it or approve of it.  So then what are we to talk about? What are we to focus on?

Fourth  Focus on Christ and the Gospel

Look at verse 13, “But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.”  Everything becomes clear through the lens of the Gospel.  Everything is visible when we see it through the window of God’s Word.  When Christians who are light show the light, it exposes not only what is dark, but also what it is true, right and good.

The verb “becoming visible” is so cool, because not only is it telling us the light makes things continually visible, but it is also a continually passive verb which means you and I don’t make the truth visible–God must make the Gospel visible.  God shows people their sin, God shows people the only answer for sin, God shows people who He is and what Jesus did on the cross when He took their place, paid their punishment and because He was perfect rose from the dead.  God uses His Word through your life actions and your words to make the good news clear to people.

And at the end of verse 13, when Paul says, “for everything that becomes visible is light” means when God shows someone their sin, their need of Him, their need of faith and repentance–it is God who is turning that dark into light, it is God who is saving someone, it is God who is awakening the sleeper, raising the dead and turning someone who is dark into someone who is light.  So Paul concludes by commanding us to . . .

#3  Call others to live light

The conclusion is in verse 14, “For this reason it says, ‘Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’”  This is a quote from Isaiah 60, which is the context of God evangelizing His own people Israel.  So whether in the Church or in the world, Paul gives two commands to those who are dark or who are currently acting dark, sinning.

Command one:  awake sleeper–don’t sleep through this.  There is a lot of news on TV and radio today that I sleep through–it doesn’t matter, it has no consequence, I don’t need to act upon it.  But the news in verses 7 to 14 is the only news that can transform your heart, deliver you from darkness, and bring you ultimately to eternal heaven.  Don’t go through life asleep at the wheel–eventually you are going to crash, and one day it will be fateful.  So wake up.

Command two:  arise from the dead–get up, respond, act on this, put your whole trust on Christ.  Listen, you’re dead–you don’t make yourself alive, you don’t save yourself, you must trust totally in what God did for you through Christ on the cross.  Submit to Christ, trust in Christ, depend upon Christ.  Arise, turn from your sin and follow Christ.

And if God moves in your heart, then verse 14 says Christ will shine on you—you will be saved.  It’s a new day, it’s a do-over.  The image is morning time, wake-up, new grace each day.  You can be saved and you can walk in the light.  With Christ there is truth, healing, life and light.  It doesn’t need to be the way it’s been, you don’t need to be the way you’ve been.  It’s a new day–wake up.  That is the good news–now what will you do?

The Bible is pointed, often black-and-white, dirty or clean, smelly or sweet, sleepy or awake, dead or alive, and dark or light.  How should you respond?

1 Fight This is war–Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  We are in a spiritual battle–if you are light, then you are fighting against the darkness.  Don’t fall asleep at your post, stay on guard.  Some of you need to wake up–there is no cruising in true Christianity.

2 Share You have a purpose–1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”  We have a message to share to those who are still enslaved in darkness.  We have a message that will open their eyes, free them from slavery to sin, turn their dark depression to joy, peace and love–don’t hide your light, share the light, show them what Christ has done for you.

Are you excited about sharing the light?  Be like Paul who said to King Agrippa in Acts 26:18, “to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”

3 Show Put Christ on display–Jesus said in Matthew 5:14 to 16, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  We together are the city on the hill, and we together show off Christ by the attractive good works we do for this community.  This is what gives us a platform to share the Gospel, to show off Christ.  This is what makes us light in the midst of darkness.

4 Flee the darkness of sin–Jesus said in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.”  You are light–don’t participate in darkness.  If you continue, you may not be His child.  Flee darkness by shining His light.  Today, some of you need to confess those deeds you’re doing in darkness.

5 Prepare Jesus is coming soon.  Talking about Jesus soon return, 1 Thessalonians 5:5 to 6 says, “For you are all sons of light and sons of day.  We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.”  Let’s be alert, get ready and live life as if this day were our last.  Our only opportunity to make a difference for eternity is now.  Make it count–serve Christians with your gift in the church, share the Gospel with non-Christians in the world.  Don’t be ashamed when He comes–He is coming soon.  Come!

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ABOUT THIS PREACHER

Chris is the teaching pastor at Faith Bible Church - Murrieta.
Tough Stuff
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1 Peter
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