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Date: 11 October, 2018
Text: Ephesians 5:1-21
Title: Walk as Children of Light
Have you ever read a Rags to riches story?
ill. Roman Abramovich - Russian business tycoon and Chelsea Football Club owner -
Abramovich was born in southern Russia, into poverty. After being orphaned at age 2, he was raised by an uncle and his family in a subarctic region of northern Russia. While a student at the Moscow Auto Transport Institute in 1987, he started a small company producing plastic toys, which helped him eventually found an oil business and make a name for himself within the oil industry. Later, as sole leader of the Sibneft company, he completed a merger that made it the fourth biggest oil company in the world. The company was sold to state-run gas titan Gazprom in 2005 for $13 billion.
He acquired the Chelsea Football Club in 2003 and owns the world's largest yacht, which cost him almost $400 million in 2010.
ill. Mohed Altrad, Montpellier rugby club president and Entrepreneur of the year.
Born into a nomadic tribe in the Syrian desert to a poor mother who was raped by his father and died when he was young, Altrad was raised by his grandmother, who banned him from attending school, in Raqqa, the city that is now capital of ISIS.
Altrad attended school anyway, and when he moved to France to attend university, he knew no French and lived off of one meal a day. Still, he earned a PhD in computer science, worked for some leading French companies, and eventually bought a failing scaffolding company, which he transformed into one of the world's leading manufacturers of scaffolding and cement mixers, Altrad Group.
He has previously been named French Entrepreneur of the Year and World Entrepreneur of the Year.
exp. It is great to read these stories and to think - how different their life is now - from when they were born.
note: It would be very odd to read a story like this and to find out that they still lived as if they did when they didn't have money. You expect a life change because they have been empowered by their wealth to do so.
note: Anytime somebody is adopted into God's family by faith in Jesus - their life is taken from SPIRITUAL POVERTY TO SPIRITUAL WEALTH. It is a spiritual rags to riches story. They are now members of the richest of spiritual families.
Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
exp. About that name - FATHER OF LIGHTS
- Before we got saved we walked in darkness.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
- God is PURE LIGHT.
1Jn 1:5 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.
- The light bring men to salvation.
Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
- We are to be the light of God to a dark world.
Mat 5:14 Ye are the light of the world.
Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Because we are children of the Father of lights - we ought to walk as children of light!
(It would be very odd for us to walk like spiritual beggars when we are spiritually rich!) Has your life been changed from rags to riches since you got saved? Are you walking as children of Light?
We need to walk as children of Light.
I. Walk as children of Light - Follow God.
A. As good children.
1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
exp. Are you a dear child of God - or just a child of God?
question: Does what a child does reflect on his family? Of course it does - that is why parents say, "Remember you represent our family." "Don't do that as it will hurt the testimony OF OUR FAMILY."
note: What you do as a child of God - reflects upon your family.
I Peter 1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
app. Are you following God as a good child should?
B. After the example of the only begotten Son of God.
2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
exp. Jesus held nothing back. He laid down his PURE LIFE for us on a cross of shame. He loved us that much.
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
exp. Is that too much for us to do - risk our lives in obedience to God to take the Gospel to the world?
ill. Epaphroditus followed that example of Jesus.
Php 2:30 Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.
ill. Barnabus and Saul hazarded their lives.
Acts 15:26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
app. Children of God put a holy life on the altar and follow God!
II. Walk as children of Light - Guard your testimony.
3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
exp. "as becometh saints."
def. Something that is sacred/ consecrated
note: The catholic church and other churches have misused the term saint to mean someone exceptional - a saint is you - if you are saved. It is someone born again and therefor set apart as sacred because it is God's possession.
ill. Like the temple in Jesus day - was a hallowed place. When we got saved - our body became a hallowed place to God.
1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
question: How do we guard God's temple - by guarding our testimony. "Let it not be once named among you as becometh saints!"
A. Be pure.
3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, ... let it not be once named among you....
def. Fornication - Sex outside of marriage, breaking the bonds of marriage (adultery), or incest.
def. uncleaness - all impurity (It more clearly emphasises the need to be pure not just in what you do but in what you see, think, etc.)
ill. Ephesus was an idolatrous nation. Fornication was part of the idolatrous practice out of which the Ephesians were saved. Now that they were saved - their life was not to go back to that fornication.
exp. Paul and the early church leaders were led of God to make very clear declarations against fornication.
ill. The church at Jerusalem instructing Gentile believers to be sexually pure.
Acts 15: 19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: 20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
exp. Paul's letter to Corinth
1Co 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
exp. Paul's letter to Thessalonica
1Th 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
app. We live in a very sexually impure world. Abstain from fornication. Be pure!
B. Be content
or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
exp. Covetousness can lead to fornication, stealing, materialism, jealousy, adultery, bitterness...
Heb 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
1Ti 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
app. Are you happy with what God has given you? Are you content to let him provide for you? Are you fretting against the generosity of God?
C. Be careful.
4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
exp. Be careful what comes out of your mouth.
def. filthiness - obscene or indecent conversaion. (Literally - shameful or deformed.)
def. foolish talking - insipid, senseless, stupid, foolish, which is not suited to instruct, edify, profit. - The idle "chitchat" which is so common in the world."
exp. There is conversation that is just wasted breath. It does not edify. It does not encourage. It just wastes time. God would have us stay away from that.
def. jesting - "This word occurs also nowhere else in the New Testament. It properly means, that which is "well-turned" - and then that which is sportive, refined, courteous; and then urbanity, humor, wit; and then jesting, levity - which is evidently the meaning here. The apostle would not forbid courteousness, or refinement of manners, and the reference, thefore, but be to that which is light and trifling in conversation; to that which is known among us as jesting.
ill. It's not that we can never smile or use humor. However, there is to be a soberness associated with a believer.
1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
quote: Barnes notes - Think not a smile sinful; but think not levity and jesting harmless. But rather giving of thanks - Thanks to God, or praises are more becoming Christians than jesting. The idea here seems to be, that such employment would be far more appropriate to the character of Christians, than idle, trifling, and indelicate conversation. Instead, therefore, of meeting together for low wit and jesting; for singing songs, and for the common discourse which often attends such "gatherings" of friends, Paul would have them come together for the purpose of praising God, and engaging in his service. Human beings are social in their nature; and it they do not assemble for good purposes, they will for bad ones. It is much more appropriate to the character of Christians to come together to sing praises to God, than to sing songs; to pray than to jest; to converse of the things of redemption than to tell anecdotes, and to devote the time to a contemplation of the world to come, than to trifles and nonsense.
app. Walk as children of light - GUARD YOUR TESTIMONY - be pure - be content - be careful in your speech.
III. Walk as children of Light - Be separated from the world.
A. God will not allow the ungodly into His kingdom.
5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
exp. If someone is an unclean covetous fornicator, an idolater - He is not saved. He is on his way to hell not heaven. Notice - he does not have one bit of interest in God's kingdom.
saying: "Avoid it like the plague." - Stay away from it as if your very life depended upon it.
app. Do you think you ought to be around people for social purposes (joining with them in their revelry) who are so angering the God of Heaven that THEY HAVE NO PLACE IN HIS KINGDOM? (There are times to go among those people for Gospel purposes.)
B. The ungodly are not safe from God's wrath.
6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
exp. This wicked lifestyle is why GOD IS ANGRY AT THE WICKED!
saying: Don't play with fire! Why? Because those who play with fire - get burned!
Pro 6:27 Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?
app. Don't think to yourself - well, I have a higher fire retardency than most - I can exist here and be fine! - God says you are decieved by vain words - AND SO IF REASON IS NOT ENOUGH - GOD COMMANDS YOU TO GET AWAY FROM THE UNGODLY WHO ARE SINNING.
C. God commands separation.
7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
ill. If you disobey God's command as a believer and live like the world - God says we are to separate from you.
I Corinthians 5:
9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
app. Children of Light do not sit down with the ungodly and eat with them the filth of this world. Walk as children of light - be separated from the world.
IV. Walk as children of Light - Bring forth good fruit.
ill. fruit trees only bright forth one kind of fruit. We know what kind of tree it is - based on what type of fruit is growing on it.
Mat 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
app. Children of light have....
A. Fruit of the Light.
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
exp. Don't say - I'm a believer because I have trusted in Jesus. Show you are a believer who has trusted in Jesus.
Jas 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
app. A profession without fruit is empty. Don't say you are an apple tree - produce some apples.
B. Fruit of the Spirit.
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
ill. You pick - tomatoes, pumpkins, apples - fun! You are always showing someone else the fruit in your basket and bragging about - the huge tamatoe, beautiful apples, etc.
app. What is in your basket? Do you have a good harvest for the Lord?
C. Fruit that passes the test. (Of what does God approve?)
10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
ill. A kid can get pretty excited about fruit - but not see the worm hole in the apple. A parent will get that fruit out of his basket and help him find good fruit.
app. If God examined your fruit with you just now, would he discard anything? There is a lot of things you may be well pleased with - BUT GOD IS NOT. The test is not - do I approve of this - but does God approve? WALK AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT - BRING FORTH GOOD FRUIT.
V. Walk as children of Light - stand up against ungodliness.
exp. Being the light is not just doing what is right. It is telling others to get right.
ill. Jesus brothers - Joh 7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
app. We are not to hide the light - we are to shine the light!
A. Don't try to mingle light with darkness.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,
question: What is the only way light can fellowship with darkness? (By turning off the light or by dispelling the darkness with the light?) LIGHT AND DARKNESS CAN NOT EXIST TOGETHER.
app. If you are with the ungodly - and you aren't shining the light - you have turned off your light. GOD COMMANDS YOU NOT TO DO THAT!
B. Turn the light on to expose their darkness.
but rather reprove them.
12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
Exp. It is shameful to tell what they do - let alone for them to do those wicked deeds against God and man.
13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
question: If you do that - do you think that you are going to be loved by those who love their sin?
ill. John the Baptist -
Mark 6:17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her.
18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.
Question. Why do you think John Knox was hated by Bloody Mary, Queen of Scots? Why was John Bunyan imprisoned? Why was JESUS CRUCIFIED?
app. God knows it will cost you to be the light - HE KNOWS THE PRICE BECAUSE HE PAID IT WITH HIS SON. Walk as children of light - stand up against ungodliness!
VI. Walk as children of Light - be wise.
A. Be wise - Wake up.
14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
question: Do you want to get on God's side this morning? Wake up to what has been shared in this text - GOD WILL LET YOU BE A LIGHT BEARER! HE WANTS TO EQUIP YOU WITH LIGHT!
B. Be wise - guard your steps in the Light.
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
question: Do you think that the world is really not that bad? Not that against God? Think again - you can't go through this world without an abundance of caution.
Pro 27:12 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.
Ill. Seeing the olympic torch - continuous flame - guard it (as people tried to extenquish it.)
ill. The light of the Gospel has been passed on from the Apostles - it will never be extinquished - however - your light can get blown out! (Get it relit - and guard it - BE WISE!)
app. If you neglect what Paul has just told us - YOU WILL NOT BE THE LIGHT!
C. Be wise - turn back the clock.
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
question: Have you wasted some time - by not being the light?
ill. God can restore those wasted years - if you will get up and be the light!
Joe 2:25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.
D. Be wise - find God's will.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
app. God's will Christian is FOUND BY WALKING IN THE LIGHT! WALK AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT - BE WISE!
VII. Walk as children of Light - be filled with God's Spirit.
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Exp. Paul is not saying it is ok to drink but not be drunk. He is saying that in the same way an intoxicated person is controlled by drink - so you are to be controlled by the Spirit of God.
Pro 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
Pro 23:31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
app. Believer - are you intoxicated with God's Spirit - IS THERE ANY EVIDENCE AS A CHILD OF LIGHT THAT GOD'S SPIRIT IS CONTROLLING YOU?
A. Sprit filled singing.
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
exp. Do you have a spiritual song in your heart? Do you find yourself being refreshed by a hymn?
ill. When we were praying about buying a house - "I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold, I'd rather be His than have riches untold....
app. How often God's Spirit will refresh us with words from a hymn - how we ought to worship God with Spirit filled singing - Joh 4:23-24 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
B. Spirit filled gratitude.
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
exp. A Spirit filled person has an attitude of gratitude to God.
ill. Su Olmstead - such a sweet spirit. So thankful to come to the wedding and just disappear and help.
app. Children of light - have a thankful spirit!
C. Spirit filled unity.
21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
exp. When God is there - it isn't me before others - but you before me. It is gracious submission to authority.
app. Are you filled with God's Spirit - submitted and submitting, thankful to God, having a song in your heart?
conclusion: It would be very odd - to read a rags to riches story - of a billionaire who lives as if he is still a pauper.
If you are saved - you are born again into God's family. It is a spiritual rags to riches story?
You are a child of light? Are you walking as children of light? Has your life changed?
Are you following God as a good child?
Are you guarding your testimony? purity, speech, gratitude
Are you seperate from the world? God commands it.
Are you bringing forth good fruit? What is in your bucket? (what pleases God?)
Are you standing up against ungodliness? (or hiding your light?)
Are you wise? (Guarding the light, redeeming the wasted years)
Are you spirit filled? (Song in your heart, thankful, united and submitted?)
Friend - you can have this spiritual wealth - God invited you to join His family through Jesus!