Eph 5:14- 'Therefore He says:
" Awake you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light." '
There are no promises in scripture that do not include some condition. This verse promises that Christ will give us light. Yet to receive this light, we must change. We must awaken ourselves, we must remove ourselves from our dead state. The promise sounds great to me. If Christ offers this light, I certainly want all that Christ can give me. Yet what is this light? What is this state of sleep, this deadness we are to cast off?
Ephesians 5: 8-11 reminds those of us who are believers in Jesus Christ that we were once "darkness", but now we are "children of light." Contrary to popular belief, being a child of light is not a passive state. Because we are children of light, we must walk as children of light. We must fulfill the role of a family member as we have been adopted into God's family. When I was a child, I witnessed the way other families behaved. Much, if not most, of the bad behavior I saw did not rub off on me because deep-down, I knew that in the Guthrie family, such things were not done. The same principle applies to my new family, the family of God. Because I belong to this family, I behave according to the familiy's standards. As a family member, I am expected not to behave as those outside the family would. We should not be fornicators, unclean, or covetous. We should not engage in filthiness, foolish talking, or course jesting. (Eph 5: 3-4) Those who engage in such things are in the state of sleep Paul is refering to. To do these things is to be dead in sins. This is the death we are to arise from.
But what is this light? Ephesians 5:13 defines light this way: "But all things that are exposed are made manifest in the light, for whatever makes manifest is light." A manifestation is a revelation of what was previously hidden. It is an exposure. The light is that which exposes sin, it is the Holy Spirit which exposes anything in our lives that displeases the Father, even those things we do not recognize as sin. Once the Spirit reveals these things in our lives, we cast them aside. Then we replace them with behaviors that cement our family relationship. (Eph. 5: 15-21) We must receive this light, which is promised to all God's children, if we are to live as members of His family. That is why we must cast off all behavior that dulls our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit's dealing with us. For us to receive this promise, we must be willing to have our deeds brought to the light. We need to be as David, who when his sin was exposed, had his confession sung in the temple. (Psalm 51) He was proclaiming to the world "This is who I am when I fall away from God! But when I cast off my sin, I was restored and made new." Walking in the light is not easy. But it allows us to be children of the Father. Are you willing to live in this promised light? (All scripture quotations are from the NKJV.)