Major Doctrines and Topics in Part 2
- Doctrine of Darkness, vs. 8.
- Doctrine of Light, vs. 8.
- Principles on the Goodness of God, vs. 9.
- Doctrine of Divine Good Production, vs. 9.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
In this section, we will note that to be imitators of God, we must also walk in His light. This means we must walk in fellowship with God, as will be brought out also in vs. 18. That means we must operate inside of God’s power system of His Word resident within our souls and being filled with God the Holy Spirit. When we have these two power options working in our lives, we are walking in the light of God, just as we have been created as children of light.
Vs. 8, The contrast between our former life as an unbeliever and our present life as a believer.
Eph 5:8, “For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light.”
“For you were formerly,” is the postpositive Conjunction GAR, γάρ meaning, “for” that is used for continuation of the previous topic of the sinful lifestyle, as well as giving us the reason, cause, or grounds for why we should walk in our new nature and be “imitators of God.”
With this is the Imperfect, Active, Indicative of EIMI, εἰμί that means, “you were.” It is a stative customary Imperfect for the state of being an unbeliever in the past who continually operated in sin or under the control of the Old Sin Nature. This is emphasized with the Indefinite Adverb Particle POTE, ποτέ that means, “at some time or another, once upon a time, or formerly.” Here it asks the believer to recall what he was like as an unbeliever. This and the Active Voice with the Indicative Mood of EIMI, tells us that these believers, as all believers, used to walk outside of God’s Plan, when they were unbelievers inside of Satan’s cosmic kingdom, termed here as “darkness,” SKOTOS, σκότος meaning, “dark, darkness, or gloom.” It reminds us of Eph 4:18, “darkened in their understanding.”
SKOTOS, “darkness,” is used over 30 times in the NT. It is used here and in vs. 11, as well as elsewhere in Scripture. Here it is in the Predicate Nominative, Neuter, Singular. It addresses evil and death by a lesser term, “darkness.” In classical Greek writings, darkness typically implied the inability to see and thus the inability to know how to walk, John 12:35. From this, “darkness” implied a sense of anxiety or apprehension of what lay ahead. Therefore, darkness and its ominous character became linked to the ultimate anxiety; death. Therefore, we see the unbeliever who walks in their spiritually dead state, living in sin.
In addition, metaphorically “darkness” denotes “ignorance or obscurity,” and it has come to describe the human condition or behavior that is absent of God and His Word. Therefore, we see darkness representing being ignorant of God’s Word, and light meaning having the awareness of God’s Word, (i.e., being “awake,” vs. 14).
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Doctrine of Darkness
- It depicts evil as a reality that has power, Luke 22:53.
- The contrast between darkness and light is first noted in the restoration of planet earth, Gen 1:2-5, which represents the separation of evil, Satan, and his followers from God and holiness and righteousness.
- All men are being influenced by the principalities, authorities, and rulers of “darkness,” (Satan’s demonic forces that rule his cosmic system), Eph 6:12
- The world and its ways are darkness, but Jesus is the light, John 1:5; 8:12; 12:35.
John 8:12, “Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life’.”
- When we are morally or spiritually ignorant of God’s Word, it is called darkness, Rom 2:19. Cf. Luke 1:79; 11:35; John 3:19; Acts 26:18; 2 Cor 6:14; Col 1:13; 1 Thes 5:4-5; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 John 1:6.
- Jesus taught that the “sound eye” permits light’s entrance, but the “evil eye” makes the whole body “darkness,” Mat 6:22ff. Here darkness is evil and “sound” is light and good.
- It depicts those who are spiritually dead and devoid of God’s Word in contrast to those who “are light,” i.e., spiritually alive, born again, and have Bible doctrine in their souls, Eph 5:8. Other passages referring to the unbeliever in a state of darkness include, 1 Sam 2:9; Isa 42:7; 49:9; John 8:12; 13:30; Rom 1:21; Col 1:13.
John 13:30, “it kept on being night”, symbolically signifies the darkness of Judas Iscariot’s heart, his soul was black as night. This then was the hour for the power of darkness to perform, cf. Luke 22:53. Therefore, we are warned to not let the power of darkness overtake our souls.
Luke 22:53, “While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of darkness are yours.”
- Evil and degeneracy start with a thought. Therefore, darkness exists in the thought pattern of the soul, Mat 6:23; 15:18-19.
Mat 6:23, “But if your eye is evil, the entire body is full of darkness (cosmic involvement).”
- Evil loves the darkness and hates the light; Job 24:13; John 1:5; 3:16-21; 8:12; 12:35, 46.
Job 24:13, “They have been with those who rebel against the light; They do not want to know its ways, nor abide in its paths.”
- Going from darkness to light begins by faith in Jesus Christ, and is the work of God, Isa 9:2; Mat 4:16; Acts 26:18; Col 1:13.
Mat 4:16, that quotes Isa 9:2 says, “THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING (living) IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND TO THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.”
Acts 26:18, “To open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”
Col 1:13, “For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.”
- Bible Doctrine resident in the Soul protects the believer from the evils of darkness, 2 Sam 22:29; Psa 18:28; Prov 2:10-15; 2 Cor 4:6.
2 Sam 22:29 and Psa 18:28, “For You are my lamp, O LORD; and the LORD illumines my darkness.”
2 Cor 4:6, “For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”
- Having been removed from the domain of darkness, we are to be heralds of God and our Lord, 1 Peter 2:9.
1 Peter 2:9, “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
- Those in the light have nothing in common with those living in darkness, 2 Cor 6:14; Eph 5:11; 1 Thes 5:4.
- Judgement is related to darkness, Deut 28:29; 1 Sam 2:9; Prov 20:20; Isa 5:20; Mat 8:12; 22:13; 25:30, (the outer darkness); 2 Peter 2:4, 17; Jude 1:6, 13.
Isa 5:20, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”
- Ultimately, darkness will be the punishment of the wicked, that is, separation from God, 2 Peter 2:17; Jude 13, and in that place of punishment there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” Mat 8:12.
- Those whose names are written in the Book of Life will live where there is no darkness, i.e., “night,” Rev 21:25; 22:5.
- There the influences and effects of “darkness” are forever conquered by the Lamb who is the “light” of the city, Rev 21:23, and His glory will shine over His redeemed, Rev 22:5.
Now that the soul is saved, the condition of the unbeliever’s soul should no longer exist. As unbelievers, we were in darkness, yet now our soul is saved as of the moment we believe in Jesus Christ; therefore, light ought to characterize the soul. As we will see, light refers to Bible doctrine in the soul. If the believer lives a normal Christian life and functions in a normal, progressive, growing way, then he will have the light of God in the soul.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Next, we have, “but now you are light in the Lord.” This is our position in Christ; our positional sanctification, being in Union with Jesus Christ that is meant to encourage us to walk, “as children of light,” which is our experiential sanctification.
It begins with “but now,” DE NUN which contrasts the first half of this verse, the former life of the believer as an unbeliever in “darkness,” with what is about to follow, the current and future life of the believer being “light.” So, it is a contrast between being an unbeliever in the past and a believer in the present on into the future.
“You are light,” is simply the Predicate Nominative Noun PHOS, φῶς that means, “light or sometimes source of light.” Here it is telling of our new position in Christ being made a “new man” with the analogy of being “light.”
Figuratively, in poetic writings especially, light stands for the “life” of man. It also represents intellectual “illumination.” Light illumines; thus, it represents knowledge, insight, and understanding. Metaphorically, it denotes “victory, deliverance,” and thus “happiness.” Used in literature and Scripture, light denotes good in contrast to “dark or darkness” that represented evil, as well as life versus death, as we noted above in this verse. All are in view in regards to the believer in Jesus Christ; his position and his spiritual life, as we are also commanded to “walk as children of light,” PERIPATEO HOS TEKNON PHOS.
PERIPATEO is in the Present, Active, Imperative as a command for the believer to habitually or customarily live today and every day inside of God’s Power System, GPS. We are live in the position in which we have been created by God. We are “light in the Lord” and we need to live in the light of God each day.
As such, having been given the position and power of being “light in the Lord,” we are commanded to “walk as children of light,” which means we are command to achieve experiential sanctification throughout our spiritual lives here on earth.
“Walk” actually comes at the end of the Greek sentence. It is PERIPATEO once again, which we have seen and noted in Eph 2:2, 10; 4:1, 17; and 5:2.
As imitators of God, in Eph 5:2 we were commanded to walk in AGAPE Love, now we are command to walk “as children of light,” HOS TEKNON PHOS, which means experiential sanctification.
Likewise, in Eph 5:1 we are called the “beloved children,” of God, here we are called “children of light,” where TEKNON, τέκνον is used in both passages. As we noted in vs. 1, TEKNON has the connotation of not just “children,” but also a “student” in the analogy of a teacher and a student. The teacher trains the student so that the student will have the same knowledge as the teacher does, so that the student can apply that knowledge to life. That is what God desires for all of His TEKNON. He desires that we learn the knowledge He has given to us in His Word, so that we can apply it to life. When we do, we are not just light positionally, but we are also walking in light experientially.
Being light “in the Lord” EN KURIOS, is based upon Jesus’ statement about Himself in John 8:12, and His followers, Mat 5:14, being the “light of the world.”
John 8:12, “Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life’.”
Mat 5:14, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Therefore, having been given the position of being “light in the Lord,” we are also commanded to “walk as children of light,” that is to live in the light of God and Jesus Christ every day. That means with our positional sanctification, we must have experiential sanctification.
To the lost generation of Israel, Jesus said in John 12:36, “’While you have the light, believe in the light, in order that you may become sons of light’…”
Paul commanded in Rom 13:12, “The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”
Just as our Lord commanded the believer in Mat 5:16, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
Therefore, when we learn the mind of our Lord Jesus Christ and apply it to life, we are walking in His light as God’s beloved children/students.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Doctrine of Light
Light is used in its literal sense in Scripture, but we also see the many analogies of light in Scripture that represents God the Father, Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit. It is also used to represent the Gospel message, Scripture itself, angels, the unique spiritual life of the believer, the Super-grace life of the believer, etc. As Darkness is the universal symbol and condition of sin and death; light is the symbol and expression of holiness and life. Below are some of the representations of light in regards to the spiritual life of the Church Age believer.
- Light illustrates the essence of God, 1 John 1:5, God is light. Light is an attribute of holiness, and thus a personal quality of God. It is the outshining of Deity. Light demonstrates both the essence and personalities of the Godhead.
A fascinating analogy of the Trinity is found in light, which is a single phenomenon with three distinct properties:
a.) Actinic or radiating energy, especially in the ultraviolet spectrum. This speaks to the Father who is neither seen nor felt.
b.) Luminiferous or illuminating. This speaks to the Son who is seen and felt.
c.) Calorific or heat producing. This speaks to the Holy Spirit who is felt but not seen.
All three members of the Trinity have their separate and distinct role, yet are one in essence. This is just one simple example of literal light, as we understand it, that represents God: three in one.
- The literal use of light is necessary for man’s existence on the earth. This literal light is found in Gen 1:3; Ecc 11:7; Jer 31:35.
- The Divine guidance of Israel was provided by God through light. Therefore, light signifies God’s provisions and leading, as well as signifying His protection, preservation, and blessings, Ex 10:23; 13:21; 14:20; Psa 78:14; Isa 42:16; Rom 13:12.
Ex 10:23, “They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings.”
Ex 13:21, “And the LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.”
Ex 14:20, “So it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud along with the darkness, yet it gave light at night. Thus the one did not come near the other all night.”
Isa 42:16, “And I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, in paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them and rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, and I will not leave them undone.”
Rom 13:12, “The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”
- God’s eternal promise is depicted by light, Isa 60:19-20; Zech 14:6-7; Col 1:12; Rev 21:24; 22:5.
Isa 60:19-20, “No longer will you have the sun for light by day, nor for brightness will the moon give you light; but you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, and your God for your glory. 20Your sun will set no more, neither will your moon wane; for you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, and the days of your mourning will be finished.”
- Light depicts God’s warning, discipline, and judgment, Isa 10:17; 13:10-11; 30:26; 50:11; Jer 25:10-11; 1 Cor 4:5; 2 Cor 6:14; 11:14; (warning), Rev 18:11.
- The Justice of God is called light, Isa 51:4-5.
Isa 51:4-5, “Pay attention to Me, O My people; and give ear to Me, O My nation; for a law will go forth from Me, and I will set My justice for a light of the peoples. 5My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth, and My arms will judge the peoples; the coastlands will wait for Me, and for My arm they will wait expectantly.”
- Jesus Christ, as the manifest Person of the Godhead, is light, John 8:12; 1 Tim 6:16.
- The gospel is called light, 2 Cor 4:3-4; 2 Tim 1:10. Therefore, light also means “salvation,” especially for those living in darkness, often the Gentiles, e.g., Mat 4:16; Acts 13:47; 26:17, 18; Eph 5:8; 1 Peter 2:9; but cf. John 3:19 of all men who love darkness; Acts 26:23 of both Israel and the Gentiles. The “light of the . . . gospel,” 2 Cor 4:4, penetrates our hearts and grants us insight or “knowledge” for salvation, 2 Cor 4:6.
- Being saved by faith in Jesus Christ brings the believer out of darkness into light, just as the planet earth was brought out of darkness into light by God, Luke 1:79; Eph 5:8; 1 Peter 2:9.
Luke 1:78-79, “Because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high shall visit us, 79TO SHINE UPON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH, (Isa 9:2), to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
- To have fellowship with God we must walk in the Light, 1 John 1:5-7; 2:8-10; 1 Thes 5:5-9, cf. Isa 59:17; Eph 3:9; 5:8-13; 6:14, 17.
- Bible doctrine in the soul through the function of GAP is portrayed by light, Psa 18:28; 119:105, 130: Prov 6:23.
Psa 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.”
Psa 119:130, “The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”
Prov 6:23, “For the commandment is a lamp, and the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life.
- The Edification Complex of the Soul is constructed from the light of Bible doctrine entering and residing in the soul of the believer, Psa 43:3; 119:130; Rom 13:12; Eph 5:8; 1 John 2:8. Therefore, light is synonymous with the spiritual life, Mat 5:16, and believers can be the source of this life for the rest of the world, Mat 5:14.
Mat 5:16, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
- Existence in the light has ethical consequences. In order to remain in the light, your conduct must reflect a vibrant relationship with the Light. Rom 13:12, “Put on the armor of light,” is synonymous with Rom 13:14, “Put on the Lord Jesus,” as with Eph 6:11, “Put on the full armor of God.”
All three of these signify an ethical response, cf. 2 Cor 6:14; Eph 5:9, “For the fruit of light, consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth.” Cf. 1 John 1:7; 2:10, as noted above regarding fellowship and purity.
- Light depicts the believer’s entrance into the Supergrace life, 2 Cor 4:6; Eph 5:14-21, at which time the believer reflects the light of Bible doctrine.
2 Cor 4:6, “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”
- God is seen in terms of the relationship between light and life. The Light, i.e., Jesus, was the life of men, John 1:4; cf. 8:12. As the Light himself, Jesus entered the world to bring life to those living in darkness, John 3:19; 8:12. God is light, 1 John 1:5; cf. James 1:17; if we live and believe in Him, in the light, we have life, John 8:12; cf. 11:10; 12:35, 36, 46, and we are children of light, John 12:36; Eph 5:8; cf. Mat 5:14; 1 Thes 5:5.
1 Thes 5:5, “For you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness.”
- You should never be ashamed or embarrassed about the light. You should show it to the entire world, Mat 5:15; Luke 8:16.
Luke 8:16, “Now no one after lighting a lamp covers it over with a container, or puts it under a bed; but he puts it on a lampstand, in order that those who come in may see the light.”
- Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, 2 Cor 11:14-15; cf. 2 Cor 4:4.
2 Cor 4:2-7, “But we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves.”
As our passage, Eph 5:8, tells us, we are not light on our own, but we are light because we are in union with Jesus Christ, we are light, “in the Lord,” EN KURIOS, which signifies the sovereignty and authority of Jesus Christ over our lives. He is our Lord and master. Through the saving work of Jesus Christ on the Cross, we have been removed from darkness, (sin and death), and entered into light, (holiness, righteousness, and life). Through His Word we are transformed from ignorance to that of cognizance of His plan, will, power, and strength.
This is the secret of all holiness. In our humanity, we are not the light and we are not expected to have light in our persons. But we have Jesus and show Him to the world. He is the light that shines from our eyes, our manners, and our tones. We are mere candlesticks to permit others to see Him. We do not stand before the people of the world and tell them we are strong. We tell them that Christ is strong and that we use His strength. We do not tell them that we are wise. We tell them that Christ is wise and we simply use His wisdom. We do not have faith, but we have Christ’s faith, and we draw from it moment by moment to glorify Him and not ourselves.
And remember the contrast. We are not to be “deceived with empty words,” as we were in our former unbelieving life. That deception and the one trying to deceive us as believers is the father of deception, Satan himself, as he disguises himself as an Angel of Light, 2 Cor 11:14-15.
Prov 13:9, “The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked goes out.” Cf. Job 18:5-6.
Ecc 2:13, “And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Eph 5:9, “For the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth.”
First off, there is no verb in this sentence in the Greek, which is fairly common. So, to translate it into English we need to add one. “Consists” is the added verb in the NASB. The KJV uses “is.”
Also, this brings us back to Eph 4:24, where the New Man is to be “put on,” that is we are to walk in the New Man, (i.e., Divine Good Production (DGP), the “Fruit of the Light”).
Eph 4:24, “And put on the new man, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”
Notice that the New Man was created in “righteousness, holiness, and truth.” As such he is to walk in the same. And “holiness,” HOSIOTES meaning, “piety, holiness, devoutness, or humbly observing,” is replaced in our Eph 5:9, with “goodness,” AGATHOSUNE meaning, “goodness, or the zeal for goodness.” To be holy, means to be good too.
This verse begins with HO GAR, where GAR, “for,” always comes second in Greek but first in English. It is used here to indicate a parenthetical concept regarding “the fruit,” KARPOS “of the Light,” HO PHOS. It also tells us that the sentence which was begun in vs. 8, will be concluded in vs. 10, as this parenthetical concept interrupts.
KARPOS, καρπός can be used for literal, “fruit or produce,” but also means, “production, results, or outcome.” Sometimes it is used for offspring. Here it means Divine Good Production, and is synonymous with “the fruit of the Spirit,” Gal 5:22, which is how some ancient Greek texts read, which led the KJV to use that phrase. But a vast majority of ancient texts use PHOS and not PNEUMA, therefore we have, HO KARPOS PHOS, for “the fruit of the light.” Regardless of the translation, it means the same thing regarding man, but its emphasis in our text remains on “light” and not the Holy Spirit. That comes later in vs. 18. Therefore, in this passage we are talking about Divine Good Production as a result of having “light” in your spiritual walk. It means Divine Good Production from the source, “the Light”, which is Jesus Christ. Having God’s Word, being filled with the Spirit and living in holiness and righteous is what is in view, as stated in the last part of this passage.
“Consists in” is simply the Dative Preposition EN in the Dative of Rule or Standard. As such, EN can be translated “according to the standard of.” In that “standard,” we have the production of light stated not in detail, but in three generalities which become principles of Divine Good Production (DGP), rather than the eliciting of production categorically. In other words, these three things categorize DGP rather than stating the means of DGP. Production is always a result, it is never the means, as we also see in, Gal 5:22.
Gal 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
This is the production resulting from Bible doctrine in the soul, the production of the ECS, the production of the super-grace life. It is a reference to production from experiential sanctification and/or progress in the Christian way of life.
The three general categorizations are each emphasized by the word, “all”, PAS meaning “all or every,” which encompasses the entirety of the action of producing Divine Good along with its results, but more importantly tells us of the perfection of Divine Good Production in three descriptive terms. Each one of these represents some facet of the principle of the production/fruit of light; not actual cases of production, but the principles.
The three categorizations are “goodness and righteousness and truth,” which are the Dative case of the nouns AGATHOSUNE, DIKAISOSUNE, and ALETHEIA, with the correlating or coordinating Conjunction KAI for “and,” in between.
“Goodness,” AGATHOSUNE, ἀγαθωσύνη means, “goodness or the zeal for goodness.” It is used in Rom 15:14; Gal 5:22; Eph 5:9; 2 Thes 1:11. It first appears in Greek literature in the Septuagint. The word is formed from the Adjective AGATHOS, which means intrinsic good, plus the suffix SUNE, which denotes quality. It is a quality properly belonging to believers, Rom 15:14, but it comes from having a relationship with God, 2 Thes 1:11. It may also imply generosity. Therefore, it is the principle of intrinsic goodness, a goodness that is always good that is the principle of Divine Good. In other words, it is good based upon Bible doctrine.
It is why we have been made a new creature in Christ, Eph 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
God did not give us salvation for salvation’s sake only. No! We are saved to also produce for God. In addition, while salvation is entirely of God, so are the good works that follow salvation. God has ordained the entire process and placed them in His Decree for mankind. God is behind the entirety of our salvation and our spiritual life from start to finish. As such, He gets all the glory.
When you walk by faith, God has prepared a path of good works for you which He performs in and through you. This does not mean doing a work for God; instead, it is God performing His work in and through the believer, Phil 2:13, “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”
Walking in these good works which God has prepared for you implies a consistent and lifelong process. Once you are saved, the direction of your life should be to walk on the path of obedience to God in everything. When you do, it is “all goodness.”
To better understand the “goodness” we can produce, we need to better understand the “goodness” that is God. In relation to God, goodness can be defined as His benevolent concern for His creatures, Mat 5:45; Acts 14:17. It also includes that which is within God, His holiness, and that which proceeds from God, His love. The specific terms employed in setting forth the goodness of God are:
Benevolence, (kind intention, good pleasure – EUDOKIA; kindness – CHRESTOTES), is goodness in its generic sense as embracing all His creatures and securing their welfare, Eph 1:5, 9; Phil 2:13; Titus 3:4.
Mercy, is God’s goodness exercised on behalf of the need of His creatures. Mercy is everything that God has done for the sinner, Rom 11:30. God’s mercy alone goes out to every living creature.
Rom 11:30, “For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience.”
Grace, is God’s free action on behalf of those who are meritless; the freedom to act that has been secured through the death of Christ. It is that in God which acts freely to save because all the demands of holiness have been satisfied. It is all that God does for the believer, Isa 30:18; Eph 2:8-9.
Isa 30:18, “Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; how blessed are all those who long for Him.”
Love, it is that in God which existed before He would care to exercise mercy or grace. It is God’s motivation to save the sinner by providing a Savior, and to provide all logistical grace blessings to the believer for production of the light, cf. Eph 5:1, 8.
The terms, mercy, grace, and love appear in the context of Eph 2:4-5, cf. Ex 33:19.
Eph 2:4-5, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ, (by grace you have been saved).”
Ex 33:19, “And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion”.”
All combined, they represent God’s goodness towards man, which is also called His “lovingkindness,” 2 Sam 2:6; Psa 118:1-29; 136:1-26.
2 Sam 2:6, “Now may the LORD show lovingkindness (CHESED) and truth to you; and I also will show this goodness (TOBAH) to you, because you have done this thing.”
Psa 118:1-4, “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good (TOB); for His lovingkindness (CHESED) is everlasting.
2Oh let Israel say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
3Oh let the house of Aaron say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
4Oh let those who fear the LORD say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting”,”
To live the spiritual life, we too must be full of the goodness, (AGATHOSUNE), of God and exercise it daily. That means we must show benevolence, mercy, grace, and love towards our fellow man, both believers and unbelievers. When we do we produce the fruit of the light, Rom 15:14; Gal 5:22; Eph 5:9; 6:7; Phil 2:13; 2 Thes 1:11; Philemon 1:14.
Rom 15:14, “And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able also to admonish one another.”
2 Thes 1:11-12, “To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness (AGATHOSUNE) and the work of faith with power, 12so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Philemon 1:14, “But without your consent I did not want to do anything, that your goodness should not be as it were by compulsion, but of your own free will.”
Next, we have, “Righteousness,” DIKAIOSUNE, δικαιοσύνη that means, “righteousness, equity, or justice.” The concept of DIKAIOSUNE involves two basic meanings: First, “righteousness” is seen from a legal/political standpoint. Second, it is viewed from the religious/ethical/moral perspective. As such, it has the powerful connotation of virtue. It basically means to do that which is right. As such, the light of God should cause believers to treat other people fairly or with justice. This righteousness stems from our union with the light, being “in Christ,” and has a practical sense of everyday living and conduct.
In regard to God’s righteousness, righteousness is the principle of Divine integrity, while justice is the function of Divine integrity. Therefore, what the righteousness of God demands His justice satisfies. God’s righteousness is the guardian of God’s justice. Justice guards the rest of the essence of God including His holiness. Therefore, God’s holiness is absolutely maintained by His righteousness in all that He thinks and does; as it should for us too. When His righteousness combines with His love, it results in grace. When God makes a decision, says something, or performs an act, it is harmonized with His righteousness and justice and therefore is absolutely holy in character and nature.
In the application of righteousness in the believer’s life, we too must function with integrity where God’s righteousness demands that we avoid sin and walk in love, light, and wisdom, being gracious towards others, and treating people fairly and with justice. When we do, it also guards our souls as we walk in holiness.
In addition, the righteousness of God is defined as perfect goodness, sinless in character and person; therefore, to produce Divine righteousness, we need to walk absent of sin and apply AGAPE Love towards are fellow man.
The righteousness of God is available to anyone who believes in Christ, Rom 3:22. It is imputed to believers at the moment of salvation; it is a Divine judicial imputation. Therefore, positionally we stand in God’s righteousness daily.
Rom 3:22, “Even the righteous-ness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe; for there is no distinction, (between Jew and Gentile),”
Positionally, righteousness is not attainable through man’s efforts; it is a gift of God. It is solely experienced because of God’s sovereign act, His judicial imputation, His gracious, and His decisive intervention for man in Christ, 1 Cor 1:30.
1 Cor 1:30, “But by His (God the Father’s) doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”
Likewise, our experiential righteousness is not attainable through human power and efforts, but only through the power of God, (the Light), working inside of us through faith. As such, experiential righteousness is expressed by our actions as we confirm our relationship with God through them, Rom 6:13, 16ff.; 2 Cor 6:7; 9:10; Phil 1:11; 2 Tim 3:16; cf. James 2:19-20.
Rom 6:12-13, “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, 13and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”
2 Cor 9:10, “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.”
James 2:19-20, “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless/dead?”
Therefore, both our positional and experiential righteousness comes only through faith in God and by the power of God working in and through us, Rom 1:17; 3:22, 26; 4:3f.; 9:30; 10:4, 6, 10; Phil 3:9.
Phil 3:9, “And may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.”
The imputation of God’s righteousness at salvation is our positional sanctification, while living in the righteous of God is our experiential sanctification. From our imputed righteousness, we can experience righteousness in the production of Divine Good, “the fruit of the light.” We also see this in the phrase “practices righteousness” in 1 John 3:7.
1 John 3:7, “Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, (experientially), just as He is righteous, (positionally).”
It is the Word of God that trains the believer to live in the righteousness of God, since it is the mind and thinking of Jesus Christ Himself, 2 Tim 3:16-17; Eph 2:8-10; cf. John 1:1.
2 Tim 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
Eph 2:8-10, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
The product of Divine wisdom is righteousness. Righteousness is the crop which is reaped as a result of walking in the Light of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor 9:10; Phil 1:11; James 3:18.
James 3:17-18, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
Phil 1:11, “Having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
In a real sense, God is working in believers to make them more and more like the Lord Jesus Christ. When a person becomes a Christian and chooses to follow Jesus, that person accepts the righteousness of Christ as the only righteousness sufficient to satisfy and please God, Eph 5:10. It is the Holy Spirit who imparts the righteousness of Christ to the believer through GAP throughout his entire lifetime. In addition, the regenerate Human Spirit of the New Man provides the believer the means by which the Holy Spirit can reproduce the righteousness of God experientially in the soul and body of the believer who is obedient to the Word of righteousness, 1 Cor 2:12-14; cf. Gal 5:22-23.
Our new Christ like nature provides us with the capacity to practice the righteousness of God, which is manifested by obeying the Lord Jesus Christ’s command to love one another as He has loved the believer, 1 John 3:11, 16, 18.
With that said, righteousness is not passive; it is to be pursued by the believer in the appropriation of God’s grace towards us, cf. 1 Tim 6:11; 2 Tim 2:22.
1 Tim 6:11, “But flee from these things, you man of God; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.”
2 Tim 2:22, “Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
Righteousness is the mark of the believer, and without active “pursuing” there is no real relationship, (i.e., righteousness), with God, 1 John 2:29; 3:7, 10; cf. James 2:17.
1 John 2:29, “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.”
1 John 3:10, “By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.
Therefore, if we are living the life that God has given to us, we will avoid sin within our lives. We have the perfect righteousness of God inside of our new perfect nature. With that, plus the righteousness from the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit, and the righteousness of the Mind of Christ, (Bible Doctrine), in our souls, we should be living unto God, abiding in Christ, living in the righteousness of God, and daily producing the “fruit of the Light.”
When we do, we also have the Happiness of God, +H, in our soul. God’s +H is derived from His perfect attributes that make up His sensibility including His righteousness. True happiness cannot be separated from true integrity; the righteousness and justice of God. In the happiness of God, the principle of integrity is the issue. God’s perfect happiness includes the following characteristics that the believer can also enjoy.
- Tranquility in every circumstance of life, Rom 8:28.
- Contentment in every circumstance of life, Phil 4:13.
- Capacity for life, love, and happiness, giving life meaning, purpose, and definition.
Finally, we have the third categorization of Divine Good Production, “Truth,” ALETHEIA, ἀλήθεια that means, “truth, dependability, freedom from error, or integrity.” It normally is defined as “that which conforms to reality, that which is true and correct, that which is certain and on which one can depend, that which is pure and genuine.” BDAG defines it, especially for our verse as, “the quality of being in accord with what is true, truthfulness, dependability, and uprightness.” So, we see the tie in with righteousness.
In Greek philosophy, the word often carried the sense of that which really exists, “the reality behind all apparent reality.” Of course, the problem is determining what is reality. The Bible makes it clear that Christ is the personification of truth, John 1:17; 14:6; Rev 6:10, 19:11, and the Bible is the written expression of that truth, John 17:17. Therefore, God and His Word are absolute truth, the reality behind all apparent reality, Psa 31:5; Isa 65:16, Gal 2:5; 5:7.
In general, truth stands for the consistency of God’s nature and guarantees His full response in all the relations of a universe of which He is the Maker, Preserver, and End. This is also what we call “the veracity of God,” which is one of His Divine attributes, Deut 32:4; Isa 65:16; John 14:6.
Deut 32:4, (NKJ) “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.”
John 14:6, “Jesus said* to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me”.”
The Hebrew’s took the concept of truth, EMETH, even further, and point to that which is sure and reliable as the “truth.” It means stability, certainty, and trustworthiness. It means that which produces faithfulness, stability and security; therefore, truth is firmness, security and integrity of mind, which too is what God and the Bible are. In both the Greek and Hebrew, the word decisively expressed truth as over against falsehood and deceit.
The N. T. further presents “truth” as the Divine will of God and as the proper response of humanity in fellowship with God. Thus, truth and ethics become inseparable. As such, it is through God’s Word, (the Gospel), that we are able to come to salvation; and it is through the rest of God’s Word that we are able to produce Divine Good, which is the context of our verse.
Most important in the N.T. is that ALETHEIA expresses the revelation of the truth of God in Jesus Christ. Through the Incarnation, the truth of God became flesh; in the “good news” of Jesus Christ this truth is now proclaimed to the world, 2 Cor 4:2. Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, John 1:17, who is Himself the Way, the Truth, and the Life, John 14:6. As such salvation is tantamount to coming to the knowledge of the truth, 1 Tim 2:4.
Truth also means, Bible Doctrine or God’s Word, as the setting forth of God’s truth is in the Bible. It, being the Word of God, is true in all its parts. There is a vast array of truth, themes, and subjects about which man could not know by himself. The Bible supplies this dependable information, Psa 12:6.
Psa 12:6, “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.”
Psa 119:160, “The sum of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.”
2 Tim 2:15, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.”
Col 1:5, “Because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel.”
James 1:18, “In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures.”
Eph 1:13 (NKJV), “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”
How do you know if you are learning or receiving “truth”? You will know because, “truth” will cause you to be stable, certain, and sure. If you lack faithfulness, stability, and security, it is usually because you lack “truth,” (i.e., Bible Doctrine in your soul).
Pro 23:23, “Buy truth, and do not sell it, also buy wisdom and instruction and understanding.”
Psa 25:5, “Lead me in Your Truth and teach me: for You are the God of my deliverance.”
John 8:31-32, “If you continue in My Word then you are truly My disciples; and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.”
The mature believer is established in the truth, 2 Peter 1:12, and the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth, 1 Tim 3:15.
1 Tim 3:15, “But in case I am delayed, I write so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.”
Truth must be taught! This is why fathers are told in Isa 38:19, to make truth known to their children, and in Mat 22:16, our Lord taught the way of God in truth. This is why the apostle Paul tells us in 1 Tim 2:4, that God’s will for all mankind is to “be saved and then to come to the knowledge of the Truth.” Cf. 2 Thes 2:10.
God desires truth to be within us, see scriptures above, which led Paul to state in 2 Cor 11:10, “As the truth of Christ is in me….” Truth in man is his response to truth in God. And the acquisition of the truth is a gift from God. This gift comes by way of teaching from our right Pastor/Teacher and by way of the working of the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit, i.e. the GAP.
Without truth, it is impossible to worship God properly, John 4:23-24, “Worship in spirit and truth.”
This is why if a pastor really loves and worships the Lord, he will, 2 Tim 2:15, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”
And He will feed the flock of God. John 21:15-17, “If you love Me, feed My sheep, … lambs…” Feed them what? Truth.
Lord brought truth with Him when He came down from heaven, John 1:17; 18:37. It is only as He brings us to a knowledge of the truth that He can deliver us completely from our three enemies; ourselves (OSN), the cosmic system, and Satan.
Psa 40:11, “You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.”
Psa 91:4, “He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His truth is a shield and bulwark.”
Truth is always accompanied by God’s grace and mercy, Psa 26:3; 85:10-11; John 1:14.
Psa 85:10-11, “Lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. 11Truth springs from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven.”
God’s righteousness loves to see His Truth in action, especially in you! When it is, you will produce the Fruit of the Light.
Paul warns us that in the last days, Truth will be rejected and deception accepted, 2 Thes 2:10-11; 2 Tim 3:5-8; 4:1-4.
Principles of Vs. 9.
- The production of the light includes the filling of, or walking in, the Spirit, Gal 5:16; Eph 5:18.
- It includes the consistent intake of Bible doctrine, i.e. the daily function of GAP, Eph 5:15; 3 John 3.
- It emphasizes the production of Divine good from the combination of these two things, Eph 2:10; Col 1:10.
- It includes the erection of the ECS and the entrance into the super-grace life where we have maximum effectiveness in the function of our priesthood, Rom 6:4; Eph 4:11; 5:8; Col 1:10.
- Divine Good Production in your life is categorized as Goodness, Righteousness, and Truth.
Phil 1:6, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Doctrine of Divine Good Production
- There is a system of good that can be performed by the believer which is acceptable to God. A system of good which is based on spiritual gifts, the filling of the Holy Spirit, spiritual growth, becoming spiritually self-sustaining, etc. Divine good includes every function of the believer that results in fruit-bearing, John 15:1-11. This includes the attainment of the three stages of spiritual adulthood, which becomes the greatest motivation for good deeds in Christian service, identified by the terms, “fruit, more fruit, and much fruit.”
- Every good word and good deed starts in the heart / mentality of your soul / your right lobe. Therefore, Divine Good is mental, verbal, and overt. In addition, every time you produce Divine good, whether mentally, verbally, or overtly, your right lobe / heart is strengthened, 2 Thes 2:16-17.
2 Thes 2:16-17, “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, 17comfort and strengthen your hearts (right lobe) in every good work and word.”
- There are three spheres of the believer’s walk that are necessary in order to produce Divine Good.
a.) In the sphere of Faith, 2 Cor 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
b.) In the sphere of the Holy Spirit, Gal 5:16, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” Cf. Rom 8:4 w/ Eph 5:18.
Eph 5:18, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.”
We are filled with the Spirit through the confession of our sins to God the Father, 1 John 1:5-9, (Rebound), at which point we are able to produce Divine Good, 2 Tim 2:21, “Therefore, if a man cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.” Therefore, the production of Divine Good is related to the believer’s honor.
c.) In the sphere of His Word / Bible doctrine, Eph 5:9; 3 John 3. The mechanics include Bible Doctrine residing in the human spirit cycled into the right lobe, whereby Divine good is produced through that doctrine.
3 John 3, “For I was very glad when brethren came and bore witness to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth.”
- The Grace Apparatus for Perception, GAP, (the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit to the believer), is the means for the production of Divine good, Col 1:9-10; 2 Tim 3:17; Titus 2:7.
- Therefore, the production of Divine Good comes from the source of God directly, and mechanically it is produced by the Balance of Residency, which is the Filling of the Holy Spirit and Bible Doctrine applied from the soul, which can only be produced through non-meritorious faith in God and His Word. This is also called operating inside of God’s Power System, (GPS), Heb 13:10, 15-16.
- The production of Divine good is related to victory in the Angelic Conflict.
Rom 12:21, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with the production of Divine good.”
- The believer in phase two is the recipient of grace in time for the production of Divine good as a manifestation of tactical victories inside the Angelic Conflict. The “New Man,” (new spiritual species), is created to utilize God’s grace provision for the production of Divine good, 1 Cor 15:10; 2 Cor 9:8; Eph 2:10.
1 Cor 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.”
2 Cor 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.”
- Divine good will be rewarded in the eternal state, 1 Cor 3:10-15; 2 Cor 5:10.
- Principles of Divine good.
a.) The good of mankind is relative; the good of God is absolute.
b.) Divine good lasts forever, while human good may last a day, a month, a year, or even more.
c.) Divine good is absolute and eternal, while human good is relative and temporal.
d.) Human good can be performed in the energy of the flesh, since human good is both the function of the carnal believer and unbeliever related to the Laws of Divine Establishment.
e.) The believer’s production of Divine good is rewardable both in time and eternity.
The believer’s production in the status of carnality or Christian degeneracy is classified as dead works, Heb 6:1; 9:14; cf. James 2:17, 26.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The sentence which began in vs. 8 is now concluded in vs. 10.
Eph 5:10, “Trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.”
The beginning of this passage is a little soft in the NASB. It begins in the Greek with the Verb DOKIMAZO, δοκιμάζω in the Present, Active, Participle in the Nominative, Masculine, Plural. The Participle here is in the imperative sense for a command. DOKIMAZO means, “To try, prove, discern, scrutinize, test, examine, distinguish, or approve.”
In classical Greek, the term was used for “testing” the genuineness of metals and coins to determine their value. The intent of DOKIMAZO was primarily to eliminate the dross and recover the valuable or genuine remains. That which has endured this process or trial was then “accepted” or “approved.”
It was also used of persons who could be “put to the test” or “scrutinized.” If the tested person were “approved,” DOKIMAZŌ was used to describe their state of acceptance. In regard to our passage this all applies to our Divine Good Production, “the Fruit of the Light.”
As such, in the NT, it is used as the “testing process” which salvages the good and discards the useless, whereas another Greek word, PEIRAZO, often means, “to try.” The opposite is ADOKIMOS that means, “to castaway, or disqualify.”
2 Cor 13:5, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you– unless indeed you fail the test?”
1 Cor 11:28, “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.”
Rom 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Phil 1:10, “So that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ.”
As we noted in vs. 9, our DGP will be examined at the final judgment to determine whether the believer’s work and service pass the test, 1 Cor 3:13. 1 Cor 3:13, “Each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.”
Therefore, the context here is not simply to “try” something in the sense of to make an effort, but instead “prove” how the light of God works in your life to produce Divine Good, so that you will be approved at the BEMA seat of Jesus Christ.
This is noted in the last part of our passage, “what is pleasing to the Lord,” TIS EIMI EUARESTOS HO KURIOS.
EUARESTOS, εὐάρεστος is an Adjective from EU that means, “well,” and ARESKO, “to please,” that means, “pleasing, well-pleasing, or acceptable,” typically not used as an evaluation but as a goal of the Christian life.
BDAB notes, “In the Greek world it was used commonly of things and especially of persons noted for their civic-minded generosity and who endeavor to do things that are pleasing.”
It is also used in Rom 12:1-2; 14:18; 2 Cor 5:9; Col 3:20; Heb 13:21. These passages tell us of that which is acceptable to God, whether it is the believer’s body (our conduct), Rom 12:1, labor / works, 2 Cor 5:9, sacrifices, Phil 4:18, or general obedience to God and His Word.
Rom 14:18, “For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.”
2 Cor 5:9, “Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.”
In addition, Heb 13:21, tells us that the believer’s good works through Jesus Christ, (the Light), are “well-pleasing” to God, i.e., our “Fruit of the Light.”
Heb 13:20-21, “Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21Equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Therefore, before we say or do anything, we should always ask ourselves this question, “does it please God?” If the answer is “yes,” then do it. If the answer is “no,” or “I’m not sure,” then we should not say or do that thing. We should always be proving in our lives “what is acceptable to the Lord,” versus what is characteristic of a life that is practicing sin. The basis for our yes or no is always the Word of God.
If you have Bible doctrine in your soul, you have the ability to test everything in life. You can tell what pleases the Lord and what does not, if you have doctrine in your soul. Bible Doctrine is the norm or standard whereby you determine these things. Therefore, the basis for our yes or no is always the Word of God, and the object of our approval is the Lord, the one in whose interest the act of testing is performed. The more things you can test in your life, the more you will be victorious inside the Angelic Conflict, and the more you will glorify God in both time and eternity.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Eph 5:11, “And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them.”
This begins with the connective Conjunction KAI, “and,” to emphasize how to produce Divine Good by avoiding sinful acts of Satan’s cosmic system.
“Do not” is the negative Particle ME that goes with the following Imperative mood as an imperative of prohibition.
“Participate,” is the Verb SUNKOINONEO, συγκοινωνέω in the Present, Active, Imperative for a command. It means “to participate or to share; to be associated with someone in some activity in the sense of actually taking part, or to be connected.” It comes from the prefix SUN, “with,” and the Verb KOINOO that means, “to share, make common, defile, consider defiled or ceremonially unclean, or to pollute.”
SUNKOINONEO is also used in Phil 4:14, in a righteous sense as sharing in Paul’s sufferings by sending him a contribution for his needs, and in Rev 18:4, as a warning to not participate in Satan’s cosmic system. In our passage, we are warned to not participate, be a partner with, or be involved in the things of this world, (Satan’s cosmic system), that do not produce Divine Good. So, Paul is urging the Church to stop being involved in “works or deeds,” ERGON, which are “unfruitful,” AKAROPOS, and come from “darkness,” SKOTOS, which reminds us of Eph 4:17-19 and the black out of the soul of reversionism. This is the activity of the Old Sin Nature in the sphere of sins, lust pattern, and human good. Therefore, God expects believers to avoid both participating in and associating with people who do ungodly things, and to not participate in those unfruitful deeds of darkness.
Next, we have a triple emphasis. “But instead even,” which is the contrasting or adversative Conjunction, DE, “but,” with the Adverb of comparison MALLON that means, “more than, much, rather, on the contrary, instead of, etc.,” which is a marker of an alternative to something; “rather,” in the sense “instead of something.” With this is the Ascensive Conjunction KAI used here as “even,” to express the final addition to the point of focus. Therefore, instead of participating in sinful deeds that are unfruitful, we should “expose them,” which is the Verb ELENCHO, ἐλέγχω in the Present, Active, Imperative, which once again is a command to “refute, convict, or reprove,” sinful and unfruitful deeds in the moment. In other words, exposing sin for the evil it is.
In classical Greek, ELENCHO especially denoted, “to disgrace or to put someone to shame.” It referred to “cross-examining or questioning someone for the purpose of disproving or reproving, to censure, or accuse.” Later it generally denoted, “to examine or to investigate.” With these definitions in mind, the NT has as its goal a restoring or an establishing of a relationship, whether that relationship is between persons, Mat 18:15; 1 Tim 5:20; 2 Tim 4:2; Titus 1:13; 2:15; cf. John 8:46, or a person and God, John 16:8; Heb 12:5.
Mat 18:15, “And if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.”
1 Tim 5:20, “Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also may be fearful of sinning.”
2 Tim 4:2, “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.”
But the sense of “to expose” should not be overlooked, as reproof “exposes” sin for examination, John 3:20.
John 3:20, “For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”
The correct function of a Royal Priest in phase two is to expose human viewpoint, to expose satanic doctrine. That means the exposure of socialism, the exposure of the social gospel, the exposure of religion and revolution, and anything that is anti-establishment, in addition to the exposure of sin and sinful lifestyles.
“Exposing sin” is in the sense that in love you identify a person’s sin or sinful behavior so that they are able to recognized it as sin, and if an unbeliever, turn to Christ for the forgiveness of their sin for salvation, and if a believer, they are able to confess it to God, 1 John 1:9, and regain fellowship with God, a.k.a. be filled with the Holy Spirit, Eph 5:18. By seeing their actions as evil, a believer can cleanse himself of them, 1 John 1:5-7, realizing they are detrimental not only to him but also to others.
Therefore, the heart of ELENCHO, whether meaning, “to expose” or “to reprove,” is the purpose of steering the guilty party who is an unbeliever toward redemption, (Positional Sanctification), which is the work of the Holy Spirit, John 16:8; 1 Cor 14:24; Jude 22, or for the believer to regain fellowship, (Experiential Sanctification), with God, i.e., be filled with the Holy Spirit, Eph 5:18.
John 16:8, “And He (God the Holy Spirit), when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment.”
So, we translate Eph 5:11, “And do not participate in the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove those walking in them.”
You see, “light reveals God; light produces fruit; but light also exposes what is wrong. No surgeon would willingly operate in darkness lest he made a false move and take a life. How could an artist paint a true picture in darkness? The light reveals the truth and exposes the true character of things. This explains why the unsaved person and reversionistic believer stay clear of the church and the Bible. God’s light reveals their true character, and the exposure is not very complimentary. As we Christians walk in light, we refuse to fellowship with the darkness, and we expose the dark things of sin for what they really are.” (Bible Exposition Commentary, BE Series.)
Therefore, according to this verse, we have two basic obligations with respect to sin:
- Have nothing to do with it.
- “Reprove” those who are inviting you to sin.
The idea contained in the first obligation is literally “stop participating with people who practice sin.” The second obligation is even more drastic, because sinners usually do not like the light turned on when they are practicing evil in darkness. But it is our obligation to show them the light of Jesus Christ which exposes their sin with the hopes of repentance in their heart.
John 15:22, “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.”
Just as a healthy person unconsciously exposes the handicaps and sicknesses of people he visits in a hospital, so the believer exposes the darkness and sin around him just by living in their New Man, their Christ like nature.
Eph 5:12, “For it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.”
Here we have an added emphasis to, “unfruitful deeds of darkness.” In the Greek, this verse is reversed, but we will go by the English structure.
“For it is disgraceful,” which is GAR EIMI and the Adjective AISCHROS, αἰσχρός that means, “shameful, base, disgraceful, or dishonorable.” It is used in 1 Cor 11:6; 14:35; Eph 5:12; Titus 1:11. It means, “indecent, indecorous, and dishonorable,” in reference to inappropriate conduct that is improper, dishonest, or unscrupulous, or even as being a way of life. The word “is” is a static present, which means that sin and human good were, are, and will always be disgraceful and dishonorable.
Titus 1:11, “Who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach, for the sake of sordid gain.”
“Even to speak of the things,” KAI LEGO HO, in reference to the sinful acts of the wicked. Some of the sins committed by people under the cover of darkness were so abhorrent to Paul that he hesitated even to mention them, yet those participating in them speak up boldly about them to their shame. Therefore, if you do sin, the sin is bad enough. Do not compound your sin by talking, boasting, or even bragging about it. It is very egregious to boast about sin, but we should not even talk about it with others.
“Which are done by them in secret,” is the Present, Middle, Participle of GINOMAI that means, “to come into being, be made, be done, etc.,” with HUPO AUTOS for “by them,” and the Adverb KRUPHE, κρυφῇ that means, “secretly, in secret, or privately.” KRUPHE is only used here in the NT.
Sin loves to hide itself, and the cover of darkness or night-time is what is used to conceal many sins. So, Paul reminds us that shameful and disgraceful things are going on out there in the world of Satan’s cosmic system, and He warns us with the strongest words possible, (to maintain his righteousness and ours), to not participate in these deeds, (some of which are listed in vs. 3-6), and instead make them known to the perpetrators and others around them, so that they can Repent, Rebound, and Recover.
This takes us back to the first part of vs. 10, “prove by testing.” How do you prove by testing? By getting Bible doctrine in your soul that gives you the ability to see the difference between right and wrong, sin and righteousness, establishment and the sincere do-gooder who is all mixed up.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Eph 5:13, “But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.”
This is an encouragement to expose sin.
“But all things,” is the contrasting or adversative Conjunction DE, “but,” with HO PAS for, “the all things.” This is a reference to the things that need to be exposed; the unfruitful deeds and sin, the things that are Satanic and evil, and the things that are anti-Christian, anti-God, and anti-establishment.
“Become visible,” is the Present, Passive, Indicative of the Verb PHANEROO, φανερόω that means, “to manifest, show, reveal, disclose, make visible, or conspicuous.” Primarily PHANEROO is used to refer to Divine revelation, God’s disclosure of Himself, His character, His works, and His saving grace and deeds in Jesus Christ, Mark 4:22; 16:12-14; John 2:11, etc.
Mark 4:22, “For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it should come to light.”
But here, it is used in regard to making known the sinful lifestyle of those in your periphery.
“When they are exposed,” is the Present, Passive, Participle in the Nominative, Neuter of the Verb ELANCHO, which we noted above in vs. 11 for, “refute, reprove, disgrace, convict, or shame.”
“By the light,” is HUPO HO PHOS, which again means Jesus Christ who is the revelation of God and His way of thinking, i.e. Bible Doctrine.
You see, it is not by your own opinion or pettiness that you reprove and rebuke others, but only by and through the absolute standard of the Word of God, (the light), when filled with the Holy Spirit, do you expose a sinful act or deed or lifestyle of an unbeliever or reversionistic believer. And as mentioned above, the intent is to lead them to repentance.
The next section is actually at the beginning of vs. 14 in the Greek text, but at the end of vs. 13 in the English.
“For everything that becomes visible is light,” is GAR PAS HO PHANEROO EIMI PHOS. In other words, Bible doctrine exposes sin and reversionism. This tells us that when we shine the light of Bible Doctrine onto a situation or sin, when sin is exposed to the light of God’s truth, something drastic happens.
- First, people who allow the Bible to have access to their lives will become very uncomfortable, if they are practicing sin.
- Second, the Holy Spirit is extremely faithful in reproving the world of sin, John 16:8. He seeks to bring them to the realization that the sacrifice of Jesus is the only sacrifice given for the sins of mankind. So, it has the dramatic potential of turning sin and the sinner to goodness, righteousness, and truth, in the facts of forgiveness as a result of Repenting, Rebounding, and Recovering, by the love, mercy, and grace of God through the work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross.
So, we see that in order to produce Divine Good, The Fruit of the Light, we need to:
- Avoid participating in the sins of others, to maintain our fellowship with God.
- Reprove and Rebuke those who are sinning by applying the Word of God to the sin or situation, to show them their guilt, while at the same time leading them either to salvation or rebound and recovery.
The first maintains our Divine Good Production, while the second is an act of Divine Good Production. As such, they both are “goodness, righteousness, and truth,” vs. 9, meaning respectively that we will have interest in the welfare of others, be in conformity to God’s standards, and follow Divine reality as opposed to human falsehood.
John 3:21, “But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
As Jesus’ brother said to him in John 7:4, “For no one does anything in secret, when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Eph 5:14, “For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you”.”
This verse may be a loose paraphrase of Isa 26:19 and 60:1, and possibly 51:17; 52:1.
Isa 26:19, “Your dead will live; their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy, for your dew is as the dew of the dawn, and the earth will give birth to the departed spirits.”
Isa 60:1, “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.”
It may also be a remnant of an early Church hymn quoted by Paul, as he is about to mention hymns in vs. 19, and this is the same image as seen in Rom 13:11-13 and 1 Thes 5:1-10.
Our verse begins with “For this reason it says,” which is the inferential Conjunction DIO that brings this section to a conclusion and is used to pass from the proposition, statement, or judgment considered as true in the previous verses to the truth that now follows, denoting that the inference is self-evident. With this is the Verb LEGO in the Present, Active, Indicative, 3rd Person Singular, for “it says,” which is a reference to the Word of God or the ancient hymn.
Therefore, what we just have been told about producing the Fruit of the Light, (i.e., walk as children of light, approve what is pleasing to the Lord, do not participate in the sinful acts of others, and rebuke them for their sins with the hope of bringing them to repentance), is all true, just as this following statement is true and brings the matter to a conclusion.
Next, we have two commands in the Imperative Mood. First, we have, “awake, sleeper,” which is the Present, Active, Imperative of EGEIRO, ἐγείρω that means, “raise, be raised, rise, appear, wake up, or arouse!” It is one of two words used for “resurrection” in the NT. The other is ANISTEMI which we also have in this verse below. Here EGEIRO is a command to evoke movement from a fixed position; get up! come! It means to make you alert to your true condition. In this case the unbeliever or reversionistic believer needs to wake up from the dead works they are walking in. So, it is used here for the command to become aware that you are a reversionist, to see yourself as you really are in the light of the Word of God. No one ever recovers from reversionism until he is aware of his condition.
As noted above, the Holy Spirit has a convicting ministry toward the sleeping unbeliever, John 16:8, and our Lord tries to help His children recognize that they are in reversionism via Rev 3:20, the “knocking at the door” scenario. The knockings on the door are sudden disasters in the life of believers only, as part of Divine discipline, to make the reversionistic believer aware of the fact that all is not well. These disasters are intensified in the long-range suffering for the reversionist that can lead to the sin unto death if not heeded. So, our Lord desires / commands that the unbeliever and reversionistic believer wake up from their sinful state and walk in newness of life.
This word is also used extensively regarding resurrection of the dead throughout the NT, cf. Eph 1:20, “which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.”
This is a call to the unbeliever to receive salvation and obtain the resurrection life, while also a call to the reversionistic believer to Rebound and Recover and regain the experience of the resurrection life while here on earth. As the Lord’s Cross is the gateway into His life, His resurrection means that He has the power to convey His life to you and me. When our Lord rose from the dead, He rose to a life that had never been before. He rose to an absolutely new life, a life He had never lived before He was God Incarnate. Likewise, when we were born again, we received the very life of the risen Lord from Jesus Himself. And what His resurrection means for us is that we are raised to His risen life, not to our old life. One day we will have a body like His glorious body, but we can know here and now the power and effectiveness of His resurrection and can, as it says in Rom 6:4, “Walk in newness of life.” In Phil 3:10, Paul’s determined purpose was to “know Him and the power of His resurrection,” as should be ours too.
Rom 6:4, “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”
Phil 3:10, “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.”
1 Cor 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”
“Always abounding,” PANTOTE means, “to be outstanding” and become a spiritually mature believer. This means your service to the Lord, when done through the power of the Holy Spirit, has personal, national, international, and angelic impact.
“Your toil or labor,” KOPOS means you use your volition during this time on earth. Your volition determines your control or lack of control over your life. “Your labor for the Lord,” are the decisions you make to use the power of God in all situations. It is your positive decisions daily, your evaluation of what is important in your life, the importance of Bible doctrine, the daily perception and application of Bible doctrine, your spiritual growth, and your works unto God through the filling of the Holy Spirit.
The last principle vs. 58, is that believers who do not use the power of God live empty lives. Yet, for believers who use and apply the power of God, (i.e. overcomers), their lives are OUK KENOS, “not empty or not in vain.” In other words, these believers are executing the Plan of God for their lives, producing the fruit of the Light or Spirit. They have spiritual growth, production, and impact. Through simple recollection of God’s power and promise to raise you from the dead, as our Lord utilized in John 13:3c, you realize that God has unlimited power available for application to your life and you stand firm and confident in Him.
Back in Eph 5:14, the “sleeper,” HO KATHEUDO, καθεύδω that means, “Sleep, die, or be dead.” These are the spiritual zombies of any generation. First it refers to those unbelievers who are spiritually dead, living in sin and human good. As Psa 13:3 tells us, sleep is a metaphor for death. Here KATHEUDO is in the Present, Active, Participle, Nominative, Singular, referring to the person who is “walking in their spiritually dead state.” The unbeliever always does this, and the believer does too, when walking in sin, carnality, reversionism, or apostasy. So, the “sleeper,” is one who is walking under the Old Man, the Old Sin Nature that is dead spiritually. This also has the connotation of “lost time,” because when you are asleep, you are not aware of time. But when you are awake, you are aware to time and can produce. So “sleeping” here also means loss of God’s grace time provided for you for phase two, which is lost opportunity to produce Divine Good.
There is no solution to spiritual death or reversionism until you recognize the condition for what it is. Spiritual death and Reversionism are like sleeping in this analogy, we lose time without being aware of that loss of time. This means that you must become aware that your basic spiritual problem is reversionism if you are ever going to recover, and that a spiritual problem may have with it many other problems: physical, mental, social, etc. But all of these problems go right back to the fact that you are a reversionist. To solve this problem, you need:
- Repentance (change your mind).
- Faith, (believe in Christ for the unbeliever and trust in God’s Word for the believer).
- Recovery via GAP.
These are the things that are going to get you back into the time / production situation.
This is further emphasized in the phrase, “and arise from the dead,” which is the second command from KAI ANISTEMI EK HO NEKROS. The idea expressed in the Greek with NEKROS in the plural literally is to, “stand up out of the dead ones,” meaning separate yourself from those walking in spiritual death; both unbelievers positionally and reversionistic believers experientially.
ANISTEMI, ἀνίστημι, synonymous with EGEIRO above, is in the Aorist, Active, Imperative that means, “raise, raise up, bring to life, stand up, appear, or to rise again,” that views the entirety of the action of gaining the spiritual life, either for the first time going from unbeliever to believer, or regaining experiential sanctification of the believer through Rebound, 1 John 1:9, and Recovery. It comes from the prefix ANA, “up, again,” and the Verb “HISTEMI,” “to stand.”
The Adjective NEKROS, νεκρός is in the Genitive case and means, “dead, lifeless, or useless.” It is used 130 times in the NT and is rarely used literally as an adjective for “dead”, but it occurs over 100 times as a Noun in the literal sense. Only about one-sixth of the NT uses of NEKROS are figurative. Most of these use “dead” in the moral sense: spiritually dead in sins prior to acceptance of the gospel, as in Mat 8:22; Luke 9:60 (first use); John 5:25; Rom 6:13; 11:15; Eph 2:1, 5; Col 2:13 or, in the case of the Prodigal Son, prior to repentance, Luke 15:24, 32.
In regard to the unbeliever’s spiritually dead state NEKROS is used in Rom 11:15; Eph 2:1, 5; Col 2:13.
Eph 2:1, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, … 5even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ, (by grace you have been saved).”
In regard to the reversionistic believer walking as if they were spiritually dead, we see NEKROS in Rom 6:13.
Rom 6:13, “And do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”
Remember that the dead can perform no function of life. Therefore, all the deeds or works that are performed while under sin are considered spiritually dead works, Heb 6:1.
Heb 6:1, “Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.”
These dead works are what we are commanded to rise up from, so that we can perform spiritually alive works to the glory of God.
Rom 6:11, “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
Pastor R.B. Thieme Jr. noted, “The Christian way of life is not defensive. A super-grace believer or a growing believer takes the offensive and moves toward his objective of the super-grace life. He never bothers to apologies for the Lord Jesus Christ or to apologies for anything Christian. Everything Christian is completely, totally, infinitely superior to anything else this life has to offer, anything in the devil’s world, any combination of things in the devil’s world. Christianity is not cowardly, it does not take the defensive; Christianity is on the offensive. The only people who stand around and take the defensive or do nothing are reversionists who are outside of the plan of God even though they are members of the royal family of God. There is only one celebrity in the Christian way of life and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, there are many heroes — anyone who reaches super-grace.”
And remember, as we will note in Eph 6, that when our Lord tells us to “stand firm,” that too is an offensive action we must take to pick up and put on the full armor of God. Therefore, “rising up” and “standing firm” are synonymous terms.
In the last part of our verse, we have the blessing associated with walking in the Light, “and Christ will shine on you,” which is KAI HO CHRISTO EPIPHAUSKO SU.
EPIPHAUSKO ἐπιφαύσκω is a Verb in the Future, Active, Indicative that means, “arise, appear, shine upon, or give light to.” It is only used here in the NT. It is a compound word from EPI, “upon or over,” and the Verb PHAUSKO that means, “to shine, show, or disclose.” In classical Greek, it is used in an astronomical sense of the shining of the heavenly luminaries, as it is in the LXX of the OT for the moon and sun in Job 25:5; 31:26. It is applied to the rising of a heavenly body and to the dawn of the day. But in the only use of the word in the NT, it is used for Christ shining upon the unbeliever who gains eternal life through faith in Christ, and the believer who Rebounds and Recovers by means of faith in the confession of their sins, as Christ, the morning star, has already risen and sheds His light on all who are raised to newness of life in Him. When we “produce the fruit of the Light,” The Light will shine His light upon us. Therefore, Christ’s shining on you speaks of His approval and His blessings, which is an indication that you are discerning and following the Light, which is pleasing to the Lord.
Salvation is the beginning of a new day, and we ought to live as those who belong to the light, not to the darkness. The darkness of the grave is past, and we are now walking in the light of salvation. The point is, when we shine the light of Jesus Christ in us, onto a dark and lost world, (as described in vs. 11-13), or have any application of Divine Good works, “the Fruit of the Light”, Christ will shine His light of good pleasure onto you, the believer, who is walking in goodness, righteousness, and truth. As such, you will approve what is pleasing to the Lord, vs. 10.
Therefore, as believers expose evil, some nonbelievers repent and are transformed from darkness to light, and reversionistic believers repent, rebound, and recover via 1 John 1:9. This change or conversion is described as awaking from sleep and rising from the dead, cf. Eph 2:1-8; 1 Thes 5:6.
1 Thes 5:4-6, “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief; 5for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.”
As noted previously, vs. 7-14, deal with church discipline. The believer has no business in the darkness. He is a saint, which means he is a partaker “of the inheritance of the saints in light,” Col 1:12. He is a king, because he has been delivered “from the power of darkness” and has been translated “into the kingdom of His dear Son,” Col 1:13. He is “light in the Lord” Eph 5:8. Therefore, believers are to walk in the light, and in so doing to expose other believers of any works or sins that are unfruitful, so that they too may walk in the light and please their Lord.
“Brightly beams our Father’s mercy
From His lighthouse evermore;
But to us He gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.”
(Bliss, as quoted from the Ephesian Studies)
THE INITIATIVE AGAINST DRUDGERY
(Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest.) – “Arise, shine” (Isa. 60:1).
“We have to take the first step as though there were no God. It is no use to wait for God to help us, He will not; but immediately we arise we find He is there. Whenever God inspires, the initiative is a moral one. We must do the thing and not lie like a log. If we will arise and shine, drudgery becomes divinely transfigured. Drudgery is one of the finest touchstones of character there is. Drudgery is work that is very far removed from anything to do with the ideal—the utterly mean grubby things; and when we come in contact with them we know instantly whether or not we are spiritually real. Read John 13. We see there the Incarnate God doing the most desperate piece of drudgery, washing fishermen’s feet, and He says—”If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” It requires the inspiration of God to go through drudgery with the light of God upon it. Some people do a certain thing and the way in which they do it sanctifies that thing for ever afterwards. It may be the most commonplace thing but after we have seen them do it, it becomes different. When the Lord does a thing through us, He always transfigures it. Our Lord took on Him our human flesh and transfigured it, and it has become for every saint the temple of the Holy Spirit.”