Authenticating the Message by Characterization Through Reflection
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. (Matt. 5:14-15)
The Light's Source: Jesus came as the light of the world. (See John 1:1-9; 3:19-21; 8:12; 12:46.)
"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light." (Eph. 5:8)
The Light's Effect: Our light points others to the Lord.
"... let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matt. 5:16)
The Light's Character: Living as "children of light" means that we will reflect Him to others in not only what we say to them but also in how we live.
The context surrounding Ephesians 5:8, where we are told to "live as children of light," gives some clues as to the light's character.
Love (Eph. 5:2a)
Incarnational (Eph. 5:2b)
Goodness (Eph. 5:9)
Honesty (Eph. 5:9)
Testimonial (Eph. 5:11, 14)
The Outreach Ministry Manual includes this content and also expounds on each of the above characteristics of being a light along with some questions for further reflection.
The Conclusion to all of this is in verses 15-16:
- Be careful to live wisely.
- Make the most of every opportunity.
The "how-to" comes with the "therefore" with which verse 17 begins:
- understand what the Lord's will is (which we learn from His Word)
- be filled with the Spirit (which lets us know we are not able to be this way by our own power)
- live in community (which yields a far greater impact than an isolated light)
The remainder of Ephesians goes on to speak of what this will look like in different kinds of relationships (marriage, family, workplace) because it is in these contexts that the real essence of our being is manifest.
So, be a light
wherever you are,
with whomever you are with,
and in whatever you say and do.
And then Ephesians concludes with an admonition to put on spiritual armor because living as children of light will meet with opposition from the enemy who does not want you to "let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
Click below to read more on being a light:
- If We Are Salt & Light, Let's Live Like It
- We are the Light of the World - Let's Live Like It
- Your Life: A Picture Worth a Thousand Words