Walk as Children of Light (Eph. 5:8-11)

The Bible sometimes uses the word “walk” to refer to our lifestyle/conduct. After giving instruction about putting off the old man and putting on the new one (Ephesians 4:17-32), Paul exhorted the saints in Ephesus to walk in love (5:2), walk circumspectly (5:15), and walk as children of light (5:8). We want to focus on that last one: walking “as children of light.”

As children of light, we imitate our Father: “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children” (5:1). God is light (1 John 1:5), and His children are “light in the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8). Those who observe us ought to see a life of purity, a display of wholesome, attractive behavior.

As children of light, we remember our dark past. “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (5:8). We do not live in the past, nor do we dwell on the past, but we dare not forget that in our pre- conversion days, we were darkness. At that time, we were sons of disobedience (5:6) and had no hope of inheriting the kingdom (5:3-5). Our commitment must be: “I am not going back to that old lifestyle!”

As children of light, we put a premium on the right things and pursue them. “(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord” (5:9,10). A life that is devoted to goodness, righteousness, and truth is a thing of beauty. How can we know what the Lord accepts? By understanding His revealed will (5:17). When God identifies something as good or evil, that settles it. Remember: we cannot walk with the Lord if we stumble in darkness (1 John 1:6,7).

As children of light, we deal properly with the unfruitful works of darkness, as it is written, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (5:11). First, we must be able to identify the works of darkness. Such would include immoral matters (5:3-5). Renaming something does not change what it is in God’s sight! False teaching is evil, too (Deuteronomy 13:5), as are unauthorized practices (Colossians 3:17).

After we identify the works of darkness, what is next? We must choose to abstain from them (5:11). That takes courage and will power. Finally, we must expose darkness — there is a need for correction. Staying quiet may feel more comfortable, but that is not what the Christ did or calls on us to do.

As we strive to “shine as lights in the world,” let us remain committed to “holding fast the word of life” (Philippians 2:15,16). That is what Christians do!

Roger D. Campbell