LIVING IN THE LIGHT (2)(Ephesians 5:6-16) by pastor Jimmy Sept. 12, 2021
This is continuing message from last Sunday. Let's review! In v.3, we identified three kinds of people: 1) sexual immoral, 2) unclean, and 3) greedy. Because of the condition of their heart, it comes out to their mouth. What are these? We can read it in v. 4: 1) filthiness, 2) foolish talking, and 3) course joking. Last Sunday, I gave an explanation of all these terms. Obviously, every sinful act has its own personality, language, and behavior. When you meet them, always be careful because every word, actions, and their behavior could influence you. They are not just human being that has weaknesses but their sins are personified demons.
They themselves are not aware of it. In fact, they loved it and even justify all their actions. Why? Simply because they were deceived. They were blinded by Satan. Businessmen have their own language. Pastors have their own language. Instrumentalists have their own language. And so with other group with same interest. They have their own language, culture, and behavior. In the same way, sexual immoral, unclean and greedy people have their own language. Once you are in, you will learn from their language, culture, and behavior. Same with other sins. Each group has the ability to influence other people.
What is now my point? What is the connection of these things with our text today? Let me read for you again v.6, “Let no man deceive you with empty words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience.” Here, Paul gave a warning: let no man deceive you with vain or empty words. Who is this “man” he was referring to that brings deception? And his deception according to Paul are vain words. These are the people in v.3. The sexually immoral, the unclean, and the covetous people. Their language is vain, empty, not true, foolish, meaningless, and demonic. Be careful!
Let us be discerning! Where can we find these people? Everywhere! In the company, at home, and even in the church. Paul continued by saying, “for because of these things comes the wrath of God. What are these things? Sexual immoral, uncleanness, and greed. For this reason, God’s anger comes to the sons of disobedience or the unbelievers or the rebellious.
Don’t be partakers of them (v.7)What are we going to do when we were confronted with these kind of people? Let us follow what Paul advised: “Be not ye therefore partakers with them!” In other words, have no part with such people. Don't have anything to do with anyone like that. Do not be participants with them. Do not become partners with them. Have nothing at all to do with such people. Don’t listen to them or live like them at all. What should be our response? Eph.5:11 has the answer. “Have no part in the things that people in darkness do, which produce nothing good. Instead, tell everyone how wrong those things are.” I will explain more later.
Pauls’ reminders (v.8; 11; 15-16).Paul has some reminders for the Ephesians which is also applicable for us. We can find it in v. 8; 11; 15-16. In v.8 he says, “walk in the Light.” In v.11, “take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness.” In v.15, “look carefully then how you walk.” In v. 16, “Redeem the time.” Among all his reminders, v.16 is the offensive one.
Walk in the Light (v.8)The command here is to walk as children of Light. As believer of Jesus, we were called as children of Light. The question is this. Is it possible for us to be a light? We can never be a light unless we are in union with Christ. See what Paul says, “but now in union with the Lord you are light.” What a privilege to be a light because of what Jesus has done in our lives. Light is the symbol of happiness, knowledge, and holiness. The meaning is, the Ephesians had been enlightened by the Lord to see the evil of these practices, and as expected therefore, to forsake them.
To be a light is one side of the coin. The other side is our responsibility and that is to walk or conduct one’s self as children of Light. This is where many Christians failed. Paul was very specific on his godly thoughts of confronting these evil influence. He gave us four things to remember when confronted. Simply ask, “is there (1) goodness, (2) righteousness, and (3) truth in their conversation (v.9)?” Another question, “is it (4) well pleasing to God (v.10)?” If none or not, then go to v.11 on what to do.
Expose them (v.11)If you notice, in v.7 Paul used “partakers” which describe the person who participated but the action of that sinner is called “fellowship” in v. 11 which means to become a partaker together with others, or to have fellowship with a thing. As a Christian, we have two responsibilities here. What are these? (1) have no company with the works of the darkness and (2) reprove or expose them. Or to tell everyone how wrong those things are. Bring them out to the light.
The problem is instead of exposing it, many Christians took part on it. Expose the works of darkness and not the people doing it because it is unwise and you will be liable. You can be sued with libel. Paul called these sins as “works” of darkness and not “fruits.” In Gal. 5:19 says, “the works of the flesh are immorality and list goes on..” Works because sins are ended in themselves. These sins mentioned by Paul were common sins of Sodom and Gomorrah; it is likened to vines that bear bitter and poisonous grapes (Deu.32:32).
Walk carefully (v.15)Paul encouraged us to walk carefully. How? To walk as a wise Christian. Is it possible that there are Christians who walk without wisdom? A lot! There are two important terms that we should know. One is carefully or circumspectly in KJV and second is wise. Paul said walk circumspectly or carefully. What is circumspectly or carefully means? It means exactly, accurately, and diligently. But how can we do it? By walking wisely! The definition of wise is noteworthy. It means skilled, expert, and cultivated. The author of Greek dictionary suggests us to learn from the skills of Greek Philosophers and orators, Jewish theologians, and Christian teachers.
What are the good qualities common to them? (1) They study hard, (2) they are skilled in writing, (3) they practiced a lot on how to talk in public. And here is another way of explaining, wise men formed the best plans and used the best means for their execution. Based on definition, a wise Christian can walk or conduct one’s self accurately, exactly, and diligently by having the best plans. This is only possible when we based our plans on the Word of God with the leading of the Holy Spirit because He is only the wise God (1 Tim.1:17)! Once you execute the plans, you can get the right and perfect results: walking as wise and not as fool.
Redeem the time (v.16)Paul gave us an example in the next verse, “redeeming the time.” Why? “because the days are evil.” What is redeeming means? To make wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good, so that zeal and well doing are as it were the purchase money by which we make the time our own. Let me simplify it. Time is gold. It is very important to us. Maybe you heard these sentence, “I have no time!” That is true because he or she does not own the time.
But the good news is that we can buy the remaining time we have by our good deeds. As if your good deeds are your money to buy the time. Let us use the remaining time of our lives by doing good. Make use of the time. We should use every opportunity for doing good. Take full advantage of every day as you spend your life for God’s purposes. Practically speaking, to make use of the time left for us is to 1) serve God!, 2) spend time with God, 3) share the Gospel with others, 4) worship God every Sunday, and 5) share your blessings to others who are in need. Let me tell you two of them here.
Serving GodYour labor in the Lord will not be in vain. You made the right decision when you say “yes” to His challenge. Other Christians thought that serving God is a responsibility. That is the reason they were not able to survive. Serving God is a privilege. I have a friend and currently a pastor, but before she became a pastor, she was working as a nurse in Saudi Arabia. Because of her passion to preach the Gospel, she was sent back to the Philippines and lost her job as nurse. The problem is she is the only one working for her family. In short, they suffered financially, but God knows how to sustain them. Not only that, God opens a door of opportunity for her son to work as chief IT in Disneyland. He was receiving more or less 700,000 pesos a month. The point here is that when we serve God without reservations, God will bless us and in His perfect time, He will promote us.
Evangelize!We can redeem the time when we evangelize. I supposed to give my testimony last Sunday because it happened last week. The family of one of our nephews was infected with corona virus. All of the members of the family was infected. That was Monday after the preaching of pastor Gloria. We called his wife and I shared Psalms 23:. It was a glorious night and we prayed for healing. The following day she testified that her father was healed. The following day, we heard that another relative was infected. She was seven months pregnant and was admitted to the hospital, but she was not attended well by her doctor. On the fourth day of her admission, her baby died inside her womb. The following day, she could hardly breath because of infection and that was the time we called her mother.
For the first time I shared the Gospel that I was not in good shape because I was disturbed of what I witnessed. As a parent, I can feel and sympathized with her mother. She was distressed trying to be strong and encouraging her daughter. I was able to lead her to repentance, but I am not sure if she understands me. I don’t know if she listens to me. I don’t know if she follows my prayer because internet is not good and she was struggling to breath. After I prayed for her, my wife and I were crying and kneeling before God asking for a miracle. Three o’clock in the morning, she died. I remembered while I was praying for her, she was pointing her finger and told her mother and husband that she saw a tall man dressed in white standing at the door and was looking at her. I supposed that was an angel ready to take her.
Two days after her death, when my wife opens her messenger, we were surprised of another bad news. Her brother was infected with virus. Unfortunately, he does not tell anyone that he was infected until he could no longer bear the pain. As expected, all the members of the family were infected – his son, and his father who is 92 years old. They were immediately sent to quarantine facility. It was Saturday. That time I was busy, so my wife shared the gospel with them boldly and this is what I observed: even how religious and stubborn a person is; in times of near death experience they open their heart to the Gospel. Every one of them did not refuse and accept Jesus as their Lord and personal savior.
Let me end. Many desperate people are dying nowadays. It is time for us to rise up. Let us walk as wise man, show our light to them and redeem the time by serving God and share the Gospel of Jesus for He is the only hope in this dying world. Amen!