Ephesians 5:1–14 (NKJV)
1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.Ephesians 5:1-7
3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.
Walk worthy. The Holy Spirit makes it possible. Don’t walk like the lost Gentiles. Now, Paul instructs his readers to imitate God like dear children. How does the believer do that? By walking in love. Our example is Christ, who loved us so much that He gave His life for us as an offering and sacrifice for our sins. His offering is a sweet aroma to God, signifying that He accepts the offering and gives us the gift of forgiveness and eternal life when we ask in the name of Jesus. Paul then goes on to name more things that cannot be present in the life of the believer if the believer is to walk in a fitting way. Stay away from, or even talking about, fornication, uncleanness, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talking, and coarse jesting. These things are not to be named among true disciples of Christ, but rather giving of thanks and appreciation for God’s blessings and bounty.
Paul goes on to say that fornicators, unclean persons, covetous people, and those who worship idols will have no part in the glorious inheritance which is heaven. When faced with such direct statements about the danger and loss incurred by engaging in such activities, one should flee from and shun such behavior. Paul is trying to help his disciples understand the powerfully negative effects of sin. Sin damages, sin kills, sin takes away intimacy with God and can break the bond between Savior and saint. Be cautious and not deceived. Those who disobey God and follow the disobedient will share in their fate: the wrath of God!
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:
“Awake, you who sleep,Ephesians 5:8-14
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”
Paul reminds the Ephesians and other Christians that they were once children of darkness, but God transformed their existence and made them light in the Lord. Therefore, they must walk as children of the light every day. Discern what is pleasing to the Lord and vehemently avoid the works of darkness. There should be a strong mark of demarcation between dark and light, sin and righteousness. God is righteously jealous and therefore does not wish to share His bride with another. The fruit of knowing God and walking in the Spirit is goodness, righteousness, and truth. These attributes, and the actions that spring from them, must expose darkness rather than fellowship with darkness. Be the light wherever you are, and expose sinfulness by your very presence, and address it directly if necessary. Make it clear that certain actions are sinful, and expose them to the truth of Scripture revealed by the Holy Spirit. Be light in darkness, and then everything will show up for what it is.
Darkness gets too much credit. In science, it is explained that darkness is not matter. It has no wavelength or color. A prism cannot divide it, because it is not substance. Darkness is simply the absence of light. Light is matter, with wavelength and frequency, and can be spread and used in many positive ways. Darkness is emptiness that seems to pervade territory, but is simply evident because of the absence of light to dispel it. Be the light that dispels darkness. We played a game when I was a child in which you reached inside a bag, sight unseen, and tried to guess what was inside the bag. It was kind of a gross game, usually played at Halloween parties, where they put cold, wet spaghetti in a bag, tiny balloons of water in another, and other odd-shaped, odd-feeling items in other bags. Some would guess that the small balloons were eyeballs, the spaghetti might feel like muscle sinews, and a host of other gross guesses. When you looked in the bag, you saw that the items were not so scary or gross, and you could calm down. There is a similar principle involved in shining the light of truth, of God, into a dark situation. The things you experience in the darkness look a lot different in the light. Those that are scary and cause fear look less frightening in the light of God’s love and protection. Those things that seem tempting can look quite awful and unappealing in the light of God’s truth. So, turn on the light in every room in which you find yourself. Be the light, manifest the things of darkness, and change your world!