WALK AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT
By John C. Carpenter
The apostle Paul wrote believers in Ephesus, Be ye therefore followers of
God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to
God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh
saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know,
that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of
God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord (Eph 5:1-10).
What does it mean to “walk as children of light?”
In verse 8, the word “walk” is translated from the Greek word “peripateo,”
which mean to “go, be occupied with, follow as a companion, or, figuratively, to live.” The word “children” is translated from the
Greek word “teknon,” which means “a reproduced child, daughter, or son.” The word “light” is translated from the Greek word “phos,”
which means “to shine, to make manifest, or to light.” To walk refers to how we believers live and behave. To be a child of something
or someone is to be an offspring, the result of something or someone. Light is a reference to the manifestation or revelation of the
gospel of Christ. To walk as children of light means to maintain a lifestyle, to live and behave as an individual who has been exposed
to, has been born as a result of, and is the offspring of the manifestation and revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. To “walk
as children of light” simply means that believers in Christ are to live according to the expectations and requirements of the gospel
of Christ; expectations and requirements for righteousness and holiness. What are these expectations and requirements?
WALK NOT AS OTHER GENTILES WALK
Paul outlined several expectations and requirements to the Gentile believers in Ephesus. Paul
instructed the Ephesians, ...henceforth walk [behave and live] not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity [ineffective, worthlessness]of their mind [current understanding], Having the understanding darkened [obscure, i.e., ignorant], being alienated from the life
of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves
over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard
him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which
is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind [thoughts and understanding]; And that ye put
on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Eph 4:17-24).
Paul instructed them to stop lying,
and to speak the truth with their neighbors (Eph 4:25-26), and that is was alright to become angry, but not let their anger entice
them to sin (Eph 4:26). Paul gave them instructions regarding stealing rather than working, as well as to what they should say and
not say: Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may
have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying,
that it may minister grace unto the hearers (Eph 4:28-29). Paul dealt with such subjects as the Holy Spirit, anger and malice, and
forgiveness. He wrote, ...grieve [to make sad or sorry] not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one
to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you (Eph 4:30-32).
the Ephesians to walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us (Eph 5:2). Because he knew the Ephesian
believers had comitted terrible sins, Paul gave specifics: But fornication [to engage in unlawful lust, including adultery and incest],
and all uncleanness [physical or moral impurity], or covetousness [fraudulency, extortion, greediness], let it not be once named among
you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness [shamefulness, obscenity], nor foolish [stupid, dull] talking, nor jesting [witty vulgarity],
which are not convenient [proper, fit]: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger [male prostitute, one who
is unrestrained], nor unclean [morally lewd] person, nor covetous [using deception to fulfill a lust for gain] man, who is an idolater,
hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh
the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them (Eph 5:3-7).
Paul also instructed
them to live diligently and wisely by understanding and responding to the will of the Lord (Eph 5:15-17), and to be not drunk with
wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and
making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus
Christ (Eph 5:18-20).
Paul also addressed the behaviors of husband and wives, their attitudes and relationships, instructing
them to submit to each other in the fear of the Lord (Eph 5:21). To wives, he wrote, Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands,
as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the
body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing (Eph 5:22-24). To husbands,
Paul wrote, Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse
it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any
such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his
wife loveth himself (Eph 5:25-28). Paul summarized and simplified his thoughts: Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so
love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband (Eph 5:33).
BE STRONG IN THE LORD, AND IN THE
POWER OF HIS MIGHT
The apostle Paul went on to provide guidance in righteousness and holiness for children, fathers, servants,
masters, and even his fellow believers in Christ. Paul instructed children, ...obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour
thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the
earth (Eph 6:1-3), and fathers, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of
the Lord (Eph 6:4). Paul instructed servants, Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear
and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing
the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men (Eph 6:5-7). Paul had advice for masters,
as well: And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither
is there respect of persons with him (Eph 6:9). Paul instructed fellow brethren in Christ, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the
Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this
world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand
in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Eph 6:10-13).
THE PRAISE OF THE GLORY OF HIS GRACE
It is clear from Scriptures
that the Lord wants and expects believers in Christ to lead sanctified, holy lives. But, why is this the case? Paul tell us in his
letter to the Ephesus believers: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed [to make good] us with all
spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen [selected] us in him before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated [predetermined] us unto the adoption of children [to
be adopted as sons and daughters] by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory[dignity, honor, worth of worship] of his grace [favor, gift], wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved (Eph 1:3-6). God the
Father hopes for and expects personal holiness because He has blessed believers in Christ with all spiritual blessings in heavenly
places, has chosen and predestined believers before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before Him, and has predestined
believers to be adopted as children unto Himself, to become a part of His heavenly and eternal family. God the Father has done all
these things because it is His will to do these things, because doing these things brings Him great pleasure, and because all these
things bring praise of the glory of His grace. AMEN.