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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

CHILDREN OF LIGHT

Ephesians 5:8-10 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

Although this epistle of Paul was written to the saints which are at Ephesus, it was also written to the faithful in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:1). The indication here is that this particular inspired message of Paul was delivered to congregations of God's people other than those at Ephesus. The faithful in Christ Jesus, refers to all churches of Christ. This message from Paul is just as applicable today as it was in the day it was written. The chapter begins with an exhortation to follow God's will and walk in love (Vs. 1). In doing so, they were told to recognize, avoid, and abstain from indulging in the sinful, impure practices of the worldly-minded people living around them. This was sound, godly advice then, and it is the same sound spiritual advice to all Christians today.

The world, and its sinful state, is here referred to as darkness. The Christians of Ephesus, to whom Paul was writing, were once living in the darkness of this world. In this state they were dead in trespasses and sins,and ...walked according to the course of this world (Eph. 2:1-3). They were at that time ...without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world (Eph. 2:12). There can be no darker place for mankind to dwell, than by dwelling completely alone here on earth, having no hope, and without God. In darkness, they were as far apart from God as they could possibly get. In this state of darkness, they were physically alive, but spiritually dead. Yet, through the teaching of Paul and other disciples, the mystery of His will was made known to them: they trusted in Christ, ...heard the word of truth, ...believed, ...understood, were enlightened, ...were quickened (made alive), ...in Christ Jesus, and, through baptism into His body, made nigh by the blood of Christ (Eph. 1:9, 12, 13, 18, 2:1 & 13). In their present state, Paul says the Ephesian Christians had been translated from spiritual darkness and now ye are the light in the Lord.

What a wonderful change had taken place with these Ephesian brethren, and what a wonderful example it is for us today, knowing that there is Christ-provided way for the lowest of sinners to find the hope of salvation. This can be done if only we will do as the Ephesians did; that is, turn from their worldly ways, place their trust in Christ, hear the word of truth, believe it, obey it, confess Jesus as the Son of God, and be baptized into His body, the church of Christ. By inspired example, these are the acts of faith that will translate the lowest sinner from the darkness of despair into a Christian saint - a light in the Lord.

In the lesson text, Paul's admonition doesn't end with this spiritual translation from darkness into light. As newborn babes in Christ, Paul told them, as well as all Christian today, that we are to walk as children of light. The same word of God that told them of the hope of eternal salvationfound only in His Son, Jesus Christ, now tells us that the assurance of salvation is available only to those that demonstrate to the world that Jesus Christ is their Savior by an obedient, righteous conduct of life. All Christians do not possess the talents and abilities to become elders, deacons, preachers, classroom teachers, song and prayer leaders, etc. God does not require spiritual works beyond one's capabilities. However, He does require Christians to teach the message of Christ to the world. This we do by the righteous conduct of life we demonstrate before others, when we walk as children of light, proving to the world what is acceptable unto the Lord.

Those of the world, that are in spiritual darkness, will never be brought to Christ by those professing to be children of God, but conducting lives of worldliness, and giving in to the will of Satan. Christians show their approval of God's message of salvation, when they conform to His will through obedience. Christian beliefs are confirmed by Christian actions. The same message, through which Christians find salvation, is to be the same message Christians are to declare to the world around them. This then is the message, which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:5-7). Be Children of Light!