Realizing our Riches | Ephesians 5:8
Ephesians 5:8 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord:….
Paul starts by reminding the Ephesian’s, and us, that we were not always light, but we “Were sometimes darkness.” This reminds us of the time, as Paul said in chapter 2 verse 12, when we “Were 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:” Paul then inserts that heavenly conjunction, “But”, on which the pendulum of Paul’s inspiration swings from what we used to be to what we are now, “Ye are light.” This is the exact same thing he done in Chapter 2 verse 13, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off have been made nigh by the blood of Christ” These reminders of who we used to be and who we are now are proof that we should never forget were God brought us from. The only caution I would issue is that we make sure we are being reminded of the shift that took place and not all the terrible things that happen when we were darkness. We shouldn’t dwell on the old sins we participated in near as much as we should dwell on the shift that took place. In these verses and in Chapter 2 the old was mention with the new, and that is how we should see our “sometimes”, in light of our “now.” Be assured if you single out the past and don’t view it in the light of who you are now in Christ, nothing good will come of it. Either your flesh will begin to long for the things that you once partook in, or your heart will begin to condemn you. But when I view “Ye were sometimes” in the light of “Now are ye”, I am encouraged by God’s work in my life and the evident change that He has wrought in me. In this light my sins are conquered, my life is redeemed, and darkness has given way to the light. The best pictures and paintings are ones that contrast light and darkness, artist and photographers both pay special attention to light. They are looking for a contrast of light and dark, that’s why you take pictures at night or midday. Night would be totally dark and midday is totally light. This contrast of light and dark is also what makes the night sky so beautiful, when the skies are clear and you look up into the sky and see a million beaming lights against the black canvas of the God’s vast universe, is there anything more awe inspiring and beautiful? So is this view of our “Now” against the backdrop of our “Sometimes.” Some of God’s brightest stars have emerged from the darkest backdrops of a life totally darken by sin and shame. Thank God he has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light! The question I would ask is has there been a “Now” or are you still living in darkness? Is there a contrast in your life? Can you look at your now against the backdrop of your sometimes and see even a sparkle of change? I’ll admit that some stars are brighter than others, and some Christians shine brighter than others. Paul’s redeemed life, against the backdrop of his self-righteous, murderous past, shines like the North star on a clear night and by the light of his changed life many Christian’s have been guided and lead. Then there are those smaller stars that we don’t know the name of, yet they have their eternal purpose and place in God’s universe. Saints we have never heard of or known are shining in their place like those small unknown stars are in their place shining for God’s purpose. Whether you’re a Paul like character or an unknown saint shining in a unknown place God has called you out of the darkness to shine. So shine against the backdrop of your sinful past and let the light of God guide or cheer some passerby. It may be that by your light some other person is called from darkness into his marvelous light.
Paul says that we were darkness and are now light. Not even that we were in darkness but were darkness and not that we are now in the light but we are the light. This statement is true of what Jesus said “Ye are the light of the world.” It is no accident or mistranslation, but Paul was lead of the Spirit to pen this down. We were darkness and we are now light. After all, we are in Christ and He is the light of the world and our verse states that we are light “In the Lord”, it would be quite impossible to be in the light of the world and not be light. Christ is the source of this light and the absence of light is darkness, which is who we were before. The absence of Christ is darkness, and the presence of Christ is light. He is the light in heaven, there is no sun there because he is the light, there is no need for candles or other lights there, because he is the light. When we pass from the “Sometimes” into the glorious light of “Now” we are transformed from darkness to light. It reminds me of a cold dark torch that was made for the intention of lighting some dark corner a large room, but has yet to be lit. So long as the torch remains unlit it bears no light and remains in darkness until someone comes and lights it. Afterward it is the light, it bears light and warmth to everyone around it and by it other torches can be lit. I remember when I was a cold, dark, lifeless being, made for the intention of bearing light but had yet to be lit. I lived in darkness and coldness unable to light myself. Until the day a man came and delivered the glorious light of the gospel to me and I was made light by the light of the gospel, and like the fire that burned in the bush on mount Horeb, the fire of the gospel still burns in my chest today. The light that burns in me is the light of Christ, He lit the torch of His Apostles and countless other thousands, and the light that was delivered unto them has been deliver through the ages to us. Like the grandest of all relay races the torch has lit the runners of this race down through the ages and I hope that the same Gospel fire that made me light will be delivered unto others. “Let your light so shine before men” “Ye are the light of the world”, both things that Jesus said. God help me to deliver the Gospel fire that lit my heart all those years ago to others who have yet to be engulfed in His consuming flame. God help us to light the cold dark corners of this earth with your marvelous life-giving light!
Send the Light, The Blessed Gospel Light!!