Children of Light

Light

 

 

Sunday 07/08/18 

Series: For edification

Message – Children of Light

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Last week we looked at Eph. 5:1-10 at learned that…

  • We talked about applied learning skills…and applied it to Eph. 5:1 which is the shortcut to living out the point of the entire chapter – in fact, the whole letter to the Ephesian believers.
  • We are to be imitators of God AS dear children.
    • That duplication of His character was the goal of the christian life (A.K.A. – Light of the World, Christ in us, Hope of Glory, Fruit bearers…etc.)
    • That such is impossible without realizing our relation to Him as dear children.
      • Be imitators of God AS children who are dearly cherished, loved and doted upon by their Father.
      • Also that OUTSIDE of an intimate relationship with Him all we could hope for are clumsy attempts of mimicking His actions – like unskillful mimes  – when in fact, duplication of His character is what this imitation is aiming for.
    • THERE CAN BE NO SIDE STEPPING INTIMACY
      • SO in these two points we see 1Jn. 4:19 illustrated “We love Him because He first loved us.”
        • We must FIRST be like the early Jewish converts of the Apostle John of whom it is said, “We have known and have believed the love God has for us.”
        • This makes possible our loving response as children who:
          • admire Him
          • Desire His approval
          • Want to be just like Him
          • Find that transformation happening as we receive and give love in our relationship with Him.
  • We learned that we WERE once darkness – not simply those who did dark things – but darkness in itself but that after putting on Christ – we have BECOME LIGHT in the Lord and we will touch a little more on that today.
  • As children of light we are commanded to walk in that light which produces fruit resulting in ALL Goodness, Righteousness and Truth. That is were we ended.

Yesterday, I began the day a little down having suffered a few setbacks this week in terms of intimacy with Him. The trick is to get back up and seek Him NOT for a message – but an encounter. If I meet with Him a message will come out of that union. As I found myself seeking His face and enjoying intimacy, I found a song going on and on in the back of my head and so I decided to give it a listen. It was an old song from one of my favorite and most quoted from artists Michael Card called, Stillness and simplicity. It is a song I hadn’t heard nor thought of it for years. So while I have a rather good memory I figured I’d Googled the lyrics and guess what I found there – a synopsis of much of last week’s message wrapped up in a simple song.

In stillness and simplicity

In the silence of the heart I see – The mystery of eternity

Who lives in side of me

In stillness and simplicity – I hear the Spirit’s silent plea

That You, oh Lord, are close to me

In stillness and simplicity

You’re the Word – Who must be heard – By those who listen quietly

Is the reason we’re not still – To hear You speak because

We don’t believe You will

In stillness and simplicity

I lose myself in finding Thee – Oh Lord, You mean so much to me

In stillness and simplicity

So, seek the One who dwells in you – The kingdom that’s within is true

That innermost reality

In stillness and simplicity

So beginning this week again in verse 7 Paul warns us not to partner with the world in their darkness and thus become darkness again, but because you are IN VERY ESSENCE now light – WALK that way – for the resulting fruit produced by your new nature of being light is EVERY form of Goodness, Righteousness and Truth – and thus discerning was is well pleasing to the Lord.

 

Now let’s unpack this!

(7) Therefore, do not become their partners. (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 light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth– (10) discerning what is pleasing to the Lord

As we learned last week, the completeness of the change a Christian undergoes when they “put off the old man” and “put on the new” is a complete and total metamorphosis!

The change from darkness to light this passage is talking about is absolute. We have become SO possessed and SO penetrated by the LIGHT of TRUTH that we can no longer rightly be described as simply “enlightened” but as ourselves now BEING LIGHT ’in the Lord,’. All the while never losing Him as our source!

I find my mind returning to a book from Malcolm Smith back when he was theologically sound who gave the example of how the Grace (influence) of God upon the Christian heart – transforming them into Christ-likeness is like the making of tea.

The infusion of the characteristics of the tea into the warm, clean 100% pure medium of the water is SO complete that one can no longer rightly call it warm water – but TEA itself. The water has been transformed in character and quality so that if one drinks it – they get the same taste and nutritional benefit of the tea leaf as if they had chewed the leaf and ingested it directly!

The stirring of the tea is key and in fact more important that the warmth! For while cold brewed tea (or coffee which is now all the rage) will produce a similar result – it takes MUCH longer and the infusion is not as complete unless stirred. All of this has obvious spiritual comparisons which point to the stirring up of the virtues of Christ within by our deliberate fellowship with Him – which Paul goes on to say.

So, now that we ARE Light (in the Lord) The natural command therefore is to “Walk”!  

The word “walk” means, “to order one’s behavior, to conduct one’s self.” It is in the Present imperative form making this command a habit of life a continual action that never ceases!

It could be translated this way and still be true in form to what Paul was saying,

Light

Jesus said it this way, “You are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before men that they may witness your good works resulting from your union with Me and so glorify our Father in heaven.”

The word “children” is teknon, “a born one,”. It emphasizes looking upon a child in the light of their birth relationship to their father.

Like father – like son!

There is in this a subtle hint of anticipating similarities due to hereditary traits.

Now verses 9-10 offer the reason WHY we live this way. They say,(9) for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth– (10) discerning what is pleasing to the Lord.”

Remember I told you last week that several of the earliest texts have the word “light” instead of Spirit, which is in keeping with the flow and content of the text.

Nestle, the Westcott and Hort texts have it that way and even Wuest translates it with Light rather than Spirit…it makes sense!

The fruit being mentioned here – which we are to bear – is a product of our new nature which was spoken of in terms of “light”.

If you remember a few weeks ago as we were learning about the difference between Spirit, Soul and Body – I pointed out how in scripture the actions of the body are spoken of in terms of “deeds” or “works” or “doing” – whereas when speaking of the spirit the word “produce” and Fruit” are more often used. Galatians being a great and prime examine. He says, in Gal. 5 “The works of the flesh are obvious which are these….etc.” but the FRUIT of the spirit is ….etc.” As I’ve pointed out many times the writers of the scriptures are often very deliberate in their word choices and this is no exception.

The “Fruit” of the light is also the results of BEING light. The verse says,  “(9) for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth–”

The word discerning is actually the word Proving. So as you live from the inside out – rather than the outside in – you find yourself proving what is good and pleasing to the Lord.

Now this is so good I can hardly stand it!

Do you remember a few weeks ago when I was teaching you from 2 Cor. 13 to Examine yourselves and prove yourselves do you not know yourselves that Christ is in you?” Do you remember this?

Why was Paul asking them this? (Because he was planning a visit and he did not want to be humbled and have to pull out the paddle!)

Some of the Corinthians had continued in unrepentant sin and so he essentially asked them –

“You are Light in the Lord – Do you not know that? Prove whether it is true of you are not – have you indeed passed from darkness to light? Is Christ really in you!?”  

That word “Prove” is the same word Paul uses here!

  • Paul was telling them in 2 Cor. to put themselves to the test and demonstrate whether they were really in Christ by faith or if their faith was merely circumstantial and not real!
  • Here Paul is telling them to live FROM the inward man – their new nature of light and therefore produce fruit born of light – namely everything that is Good, righteous and true…and that AS YOU DO THIS – it will PROVE or DEMONSTRATE what is well pleasing to the Lord!

Now that this is where God has us right now is SO clear to me – it is undeniable.

You have to know that I did not know this same word was here that was used in 2 Cor. 13 NOR that the PRODUCING FRUIT born of our new nature in Christ was here JUST as we had discussed it when talking about the Spirit, Soul & Body in 1 John 3:9.

I did NOT deliberately think of the song I read to you at the beginning of the message today – I FOUND it playing in my head and had to turn my attention to it to even know what song it was.

Then to top it all of (ARE YOU READY FOR THIS) – As I was about to start my cardio-bike ride three days ago, I wanted to

  • listen to an audiobook I was in the beginning of,
  • but felt I needed to listen to a message I taught WAY back in Sept. 2012 in a brief series I taught before church for a while on “Prayer”.
  • NOW – Nearly two weeks ago I had found these messages on my computer and felt like the Lord told me to put them on my phone – so here they were right where I needed them – right when I needed them to be there – when the Lord told me to listen to that instead of my audiobook I was looking forward to.
  • So I listened…. You know what I heard myself say 6 years ago?

That in prayer, we need to pray the perfect will of God – you know – that which fully pleases Him. The tricky bit though is always knowing His will and that I had personally found that sometimes we do not KNOW His will or what pleases Him so much as we FIND OURSELVES LIVING what pleases Him as we simply WALK in union with Him – as Children of light as it were!

I’m telling you – this whole series is beginning to look a lot like a setup!

The word Acceptable literally is nicer than that – it means “well-pleasing.”

In fact the Wuest Translation says it this way: Stop therefore becoming joint-participants with them; for you were at one time darkness, but now light in the Lord. As children of light be habitually conducting yourselves; for the fruit of this light is in the sphere of every beneficence and righteousness and truth, putting to the test and then approving what is well-pleasing to the Lord.

 

 

 
This service had content that is NOT written out here, so I would encourage you to listen to it WHILE you read…Blessings! 

I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. If you do not know Him, please use our ‘Contact Us‘ page and reach out so we may have the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will be mentioned.

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Blessings!

 

Hi I am Pastor Mark...

I have been a pastor for nearly 30 years now (2018), though never quite like I am today. (more on that in a moment)

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As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my best friend, greatest personal support and most valued critic.
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As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught. I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled). Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then,

"If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling."

~ Fredrick Buechner

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As I said, as of 2009 I’ve been a Pastor for nearly 20 years. Earlier in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our church was not in keeping with the New Testament. This was a shock to me and it is was a revelation that did not come all at once but over the course of a few weeks.

We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until about 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We believe the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly and though we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me. I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!