28. Living as people of light
Ephesians 5:8-9. “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.” (NLT) ESV: verse 8, “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.”
Paul has described the change in his readers from “old nature” to “new nature” in chapter 4 and now he views this internal change from a different angle, from “dark” to “light.” It’s interesting to me that he does not say I was in the darkness, although I was, but that I was dark, (which is more obvious in the ESV translation) and now I am light. This is not just a matter of changing my environment; it’s a matter of changing my identity. Paul is again emphasizing the supernatural change that occurs when Christ lives within us. I would love to exude goodness and righteousness and truth naturally, but I know that is not going to happen by my effort. I need to be changed by supernatural power, not by my willpower.
As an aside, this contrast between being darkness and being light reminds me that the “world” has so trained us that the most interesting things in life are those that involve darkness. For instance, the most popular movies, programs on TV, or news broadcasts are about murder, sexual sins, robberies, political misdeeds, etc. There is very little that would fall under the heading of what is good, right, or true. Those good stories would not sound particularly interesting or appealing. However, it is true that since the pandemic started, I have seen many more news broadcasts about people helping each other. Many of these positive acts of “light” have been performed by followers of Christ, but there are also many nonbelievers who have shown compassion and sacrifice for others. Perhaps this is an indication of the image of God in all whom He has created.
What would a light-filled life and interactions really look like? Paul is going to explain this more thoroughly in the next 5 verses.
Father, as Your daughter I now have light from You that gives light to my life. Christ in me is full of goodness, righteousness, and truth. Please help me to live according to my identity in Christ so that others may see Him in me. Amen
From the personal devotional notes of Peggy McKechnie, certified life coach and follower after God’s own heart. You are invited to contact Peggy through ChurchHealthMinistries.com.