Ephesians 5_ 1-14      Walk as Children of Light

Rev. David Holwick  ZM

First Baptist Church

Ledgewood, New Jersey

November 17, 1991

Ephesians 5:1-14


WALKING AS CHILDREN OF THE LIGHT



  I. Following a hero.

      A. Most kids and many adults look up to some hero.

          1) Baseball cards, autographs.


      B. "Magic" Johnson a hero to many.

          1) Superb basketball player.

              a) Nice, approachable guy, with a wide smile.

          2) Surprisingly, he has contracted the AIDS virus.


      C. Is Magic Johnson a genuine hero?

          1) Debate in Thursday's "Daily Record."

              a) Joe Kofmann - by his promiscuity he brought it on himself.

              b) Lenn Robbins - no one deserves AIDS, and he is a hero

                   for being up-front and agreeing to be a spokesman.

                                                                     #1682

          2) In the end, every human hero will be exposed.


II. God as the ultimate hero.                    5:1

      A. Paul tells us to imitate God, which is what heroes are all about.

          1) Only passage in Bible where we are told to do this (exactly).

          2) God is a tough act to follow.

              a) We can imitate God by following Jesus' example.

              b) In Jesus we see what God is like.


      B. Two sides of the coin:

          1) Positive:  live a life of love.      5:2

              a) True sign of a Christian.

          2) Negative:  stay away from even a hint of evil.      5:3

              a) Especially evil of a sexual nature.

              b) This is at the heart of the Magic Johnson controversy.

                  1> Is his promiscuous lifestyle being underrated?

                  2> Is it possible to be intimate and still safe?

                  3> God's Word says abstinence and faithfulness are the

                       only way.


III. Two reasons we should follow God as our hero:

      A. The certainty of judgment.


      B. Christians should be fundamentally different.

          1) We represent light, and not darkness.


IV. The certainty of judgment.                   5:5

      A. Immoral people don't go to heaven.

          1) God's wrath.     Hard concept.

          2) One of reasons Christians should stay away from immorality.

              a) We can get away with it for a while, but not forever.

              b) Often it catches up in this life.


      B. Danger of over-application.

          1) A single sin doesn't disqualify a Christian from heaven.

              a) Otherwise no one would make it.

              b) Forgiveness is available.

          2) Someone who has given themselves up to sin is in view.

              a) Especially the sexually greedy.


      C. Is judgment a motivation anymore?

          1) Magic Johnson knew all about the dangers of AIDS.

              a) It didn't hit home until he tested positive.

          2) Most won't fear Hell until it's too late to turn back.


      D. If you share in their practices, you share in their doom.    5:7

          1) Don't partner with them.  (not "associate," as in RSV)

              a) Lot and Sodom.

          2) Christians should be very careful about who they bond with.

              a) Marriage, business, even close friendships.

              b) Our environment influences us.


  V. Christians are light and not darkness.       5:8

      A. Christians just don't give off light, they are light.   5:8

          1) We should be fundamentally different.

          2) Genuine Christians should bear up under scrutiny.


      B. Christians should expose darkness.       5:11

          1) Evil has long been associated with the night.

              a) The worst areas of our cities come alive at night.

              b) People who want to get away with something seek the

                    cover of dark.

              c) Robbers like darkness.

          2) Exposing the night.

              a) The high ratings of TV investigative reporting.

                  1> The guilty, but unsuspecting parties hid behind their

                       screen doors.

                  2> (Gary Hart challenges reporters to follow him -

                       they did, and found him with a girlfriend)

                  3> What would a full FBI, congressional, Secret Service

                       investigation of your life live-on-TV reveal?

              b) Christians and exposure of evil.

                  1> William Wilberforce exposed the sin of slavery.


                     He was born into a very wealthy English family over

                        200 years ago.

                     In 1784 he accepted Christ as his personal Savior.

                        One thing he gave up was going to parties.

                     Instead, he went into politics and rose to be prime

                        minister of England.


                     His passion was to expose the evil of slavery and

                        stamp it out.

                     By 1807 this Christian was able to eliminate slavery

                        in England.

                     By 1834 the worldwide trading in slaves from Africa

                        was abolished.


          3) False exposure.    (Getting carried away)

              a) Proctor & Gamble president on "Donahue."

                   Did he claim to be a Satanist?

                 No, he never was on Donahue.

              b) Madeline Murray O'Hara and FCC petition.

                   She never filed one.

                 But millions of protests still arrive each year.

          4) Things exposed by the light become visible.     5:13

              a) Light makes the ugly realities of evil visible.

                  1> Reason all police cars have spotlights and 3-foot

                        flashlights.

              b) Difficult verse:  transformation of darkness into light?

                  1> Jesus can turn sinners into saints.

                  2> He can turn the darkness in your life into light.


VI. Are you walking in the light?



======================================================

     John Stott, "God's New Society"


  I. Sexual sin must not be named among Christians.

      A. "Greed" focuses on sexual coveting.


      B. Christians do not see sex as sin.  (French professor)

          1) Though Victorians came close.


II. We must actively cultivate the Christian life.

      A. We don't just drift into it.


III. More reasons for holiness:

      A. The solemn certainty of judgment.        5:5-7


      B. The fruit of light.                      5:8-14


      C. (The nature of wisdom.)                 (5:15-17)

      D. (The fullness of the Holy Spirit.)      (5:18-21)


IV. The certainty of judgment.           5:5-7

      A. One of reasons Christians should stay away from immorality.

          1) We can get away with it for a while, but not forever.


      B. Danger of over-application.

          1) A single sin doesn't disqualify a Christian from heaven.

              a) Otherwise no one would make it.

              b) Forgiveness is available.

          2) Someone who has given themselves up to sin is in view.

              a) The sexually greedy.


      C. Danger of deception.

          1) False teachers with empty words may try to persuade otherwise.

              a) God is too kind to condemn, they say.

              b) But universalism is a lie.

          2) God says the disobedient will be judged.

      D. Share in their practices, share in their doom.

          1) Don't partner with them.  (not "associate," as in RSV)

              a) Lot and Sodom.

          2) Don't assume you are safe.

              a) Your life shows what your foundation is.


  V. The fruit of light.         5:8-14

      A. Another reason Christians should stay away from immorality.

          1) Not based on the future (judgment) but on the past and present.

          2) They were darkness, now they are light.

              a) Note the lack of "in."

              b) Christ has transformed them.

          3) Their behavior must conform to their new identity.


      B. Practical outcome:  let your lives shine with light.

          1) Possible allusion to a harvest ripening under the sun.

          2) Correlation: Adopt a negative attitude toward darkness.


      C. Instead of practicing, expose them.

          1) Things exposed by the light become visible.

              a) Light makes the ugly realities of evil visible.

          2) Anything that becomes visible is light.

              a) Difficult statement.

              b) Transformation of evil in view?

                  1> Positive power of exposure.

      D. Verse 14 is a natural conclusion.

          1) Source:

              a) Summary of Isaiah 61:1.

              b) Or, extract from an Easter or baptismal hymn.

          2) Christ rescues us from sleep, death and darkness.

              a) Real meaning of conversion.



Copyright 2017 by Rev. David Holwick

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