Lesson 15

Paul's Letter to the Ephesians

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

5:8 For you were once darkness, but are now light in the Lord. Walk as children of light, 5:9 for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth, 5:10 proving what is well-pleasing to the Lord. 5:11 Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even reprove them. 5:12 For the things which are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of. 5:13 But all things, when they are reproved, are revealed by the light, for everything that is revealed is light. 5:14 Therefore he says, "Awake, you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."


Today's Lesson

Paul uses this section to increase the contrast between the new life in Christ and the old life of the flesh. The contrasting images that he uses are light and darkness, fruitful and unfruitful, sleeping and waking, life and death.


We were once darkness. We were not only "in" darkness, but darkness was at the very heart of our nature. Now, the old is dead and we are light. Light is at the heart of our nature. We are "in the Lord" and we are light. "Walk as children of light." Not, pretend you are children of light or walk as you think children of light should walk. Our very nature is light. Our faith and our life must live out our nature.


The fruit of the Spirit is what the Spirit grows in our lives. He produces "all goodness and righteousness and truth." The Spirit does not produce in us just enough righteousness to get through the door. He produces all righteousness. Not just a portion of the truth. He produces all truth. Because the Spirit is one with the Lord, the fruit of the Spirit in our lives proves what is pleasing to the Lord.


By contrast, the works of darkness are unfruitful. They produce only death and decay. Nothing and no one can grow from them. They are not meant for us. We are to expose them to the light and reprove them. The works of darkness are shameful and hidden. People hide their shame in the darkest corners of their souls.


But, the light cleanses us from shame and guilt. Exposing our sin to the light of Christ reveals its nature. Christ is the great judge of the world. His nature is the dividing point of all creation. Lost and saved, dead and alive, righteous and unrighteous find their nexus in the person of Jesus Christ. When we allow the secret places of our soul to come under His sway, His righteousness cleanses us from all the evil that is within.


"Awake, you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." When we are buried with Him in His death, we may rise to the new life that He has created for us. By joining Him by faith in His death and life, Christ will shine on us, in us, and through us.


Arise, and Christ will shine on you!


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