In our Friday morning bible Class we studied Ephesians chapter 5 this morning. Verse 8 stood out for me, “For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.”
The bible has numerous passages relating to being in the darkness and in Christ being transferred to the kingdom of light. In other words, without Christ we lived in the culture and environment of darkness under its domination. However, none that I am able to remember say that without Christ you are darkness itself. Of course, this does not accord with prevalent American thinking or even religious thinking in our day which holds that all of us have a little bit of light in us and we need to find the way to ignite it and let it shine. That’s an old heresy going back to the time of Pelagius (400).
St. Paul says “At one time you were darkness.” That’s an astounding commentary on humanity without Christ. However, in Christ, who “gave himself up for us” (5:2) according to God’s plan to unify the whole universe under the direction of Jesus we who once were darkness are not transformed into light. In Christ, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. We already have everything that God has to offer us, including being resurrected with Christ. The Holy Spirit is the guarantee into which we were sealed in Baptism.
Now in Christ, having put on Christ, we are light. So don’t fall back into being darkness by being duped by fine sounding empty words, which may provide a temporary benefit, but will fail to provide in the long run, in the completion of our resurrection in Christ. Now we are light in the Lord, and just as God is light and Jesus is the light that came into the world, live like we belong God. Live like God, “Be imitators of God, as beloved children.” (5:9)
Being light in the Lord, imitators of God as beloved children, culminates in worship, “giving thanks always and forever everything to God the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”