Living As Children Of Light


Photo by Michael Hart on Unsplash

In the Old as well as the New Testaments people were saved by faith in the God of Scripture. The phrase “The just shall live by faith” covers both testaments.

Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Galatians 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

The father of faith Abraham was saved by faith in God.

Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Genesis 15:6

And {Abraham} believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Galatians 3:6-8 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

Salvation has always been by faith in God.

But what position did the Old Covenant believer have?
The great theme of the Old Testament is that believer served God.
The great theme of the New Testament
is that the believer is a Child of God.

You can see the difference when you look at two of my Old Testament heroes. One is Joshua, a wonderful believer, God’s warrior. Before Joshua passed into glory he charged the people to serve the Lord:

Joshua 24:15 … choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Or that wonderful old Prophet Elijah who, on Mount Carmel, commanded the people to choose:

1 Kings 18:21 … How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

As we come to the New Testament and the wondrous work of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord we see a change of tone. Yes, we are still to serve God. But now we serve God for a more intimate reason.

We who are saved are the children of God.

Ephesians 5:1-2 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.

How Does One Become A Child Of God?

Our text tells us:

Ephesians 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

In the world today it is popular to say that “all are quite naturally the children of God”. But we know this is not true based upon the words of the Holy Scripture. The Apostle Paul said:

2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

God does not say that ALL are His. He created all, but not all are His children. So how do we become a child of God? The Pharisees, scribes, Sadducees, and many religious people today believe they are children of God if the DO religious things.

If I say so many “Hail Mary’s”.
If I genuflect at a statue and cross myself.
If I give to the Church or to charity.
If I celebrate holidays and am careful to say “Merry Christmas”.

Jesus told the Pharisees – a people with spotless religious records:

John 8:42-51 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. 46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? 47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. 48 Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? 49 Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honor my Father, and ye do dishonor me. 50 And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. 51 verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.

Jesus was very clear in this text. The Pharisees – religious as they were – were nonetheless the children of the devil. Why? Because they did not love Jesus. They did not heed His Word. They did not see Him as the Messiah, the Redeemer of His people.

God gave the Law to us – the Old Testament – to make us realize that we all need a Redeemer. We are born sinners. We are born into this world children of the devil – not children of God. We read earlier in Ephesians that the Christian is someone that God has raised from spiritual death. We read:

Ephesians 2:1-5 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our {way of life} in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved😉

Before we met Jesus and realized our need for the Savior we walked as if we were gods and goddesses, following the rebelliousness of the flesh and of the devil. But once we met Jesus and realized the great love He ha for us, that He alone is Savior and Lord, we turned from our own strength to His strength.

We surrendered to Him!

We are told in Galatians 3:22-29 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Jesus Christ took upon Himself humanity, coming to this earth to be our Redeemer. He died on Calvary for my sins and for your sins. His sacrifice made it possible for God to forgive us our sins, and to bring us into His Family. We are dear children of God. Not because we were perfect, but because Jesus is perfect. We are beloved children of God. Not because we are good, but because our good and gracious Jesus bore our sins on the Tree.

We who are Christians are not perfect, but we are perfectly saved because of Jesus!

Oh what Grace God has given us! Hear His Word!

John 1:10-13 {Jesus} was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received {Jesus}, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

When a person hears the call of the wondrous Gospel and, repenting of their sins, falls into the arms of Jesus by faith – then God brings that person into the Family.

God saved us and brought us into His Family so that we can be imitators – not of the world – but of Him. God wants us to imitate Christ. Hear what the Apostle said in another place:

1 John 3:1-3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

How Does A Child Of God BEHAVE?

Ephesians 5:1-2 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us ..

The Christian is told to be a “follower” or imitator of God. This is the Greek μιμητής mimētḗs, (pronounced mim-ay-tace’) which comes from μῖμος mîmos and means to mimic or imitate. Now, we are made in God’s image but we are not gods. There are certain things we cannot mimic.

God is omnipotent – all powerful. Jesus said:

Matthew 19:26 “with God all things are possible“.

There is nothing that God cannot do – but there are many things you and I cannot do. Only God is omnipotent – all powerful. I cannot mimic that.

God is also omniscient – all knowing. The Psalmist said:

Psalm 147:4-5 {God} telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by [their] names. 5 Great [is] our Lord, and of great power: his understanding [is] infinite.

God knows all things. He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). God is never confused, but always in control and knows all things. At times I barely know MYSELF, much less what is going to happen next. I cannot mimic this great being of God.

God is also omnipresent – at all places at all times. He says:

Isaiah 66:1-2 1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven [is] my throne, and the earth [is] my footstool: where [is] the house that ye build unto me? and where [is] the place of my rest? 2 For all those [things] hath mine hand made, and all those [things] have been, saith the LORD: ..

Though we as humans are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) we cannot imitate the immensity of God.

But if we are saved by the Grace of God by the Son of God we can imitate God as dear children. We are commanded to do so. God saved us by Grace. He sent Jesus Christ to this earth to be born among mankind.

We bring glory to God when we imitate Him.
We bring glory to Christ when we act like Him.
We bring glory to the Spirit when we honor God in our actions.

The Christian is to be like God’s child. The Christian is not to be like the world, but like the One Who fathered us. God saved us by the Blood of the Cross and by the power of the Holy Spirit of God. We are Christs in progress, being made like Jesus. We entered the Kingdom of God by becoming like little children. Like little children we are to be CHRIST CONTROLLED.

Matthew 18:2-4 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Hell is for the person who leaves this life rejecting Christ as Lord and Savior. Heaven is for the little child, the obedient child, the adopted child of God who heeds the words of the Father. We imitate God, surrendering to His will. As God’s sheep we are to be LIVING SACRIFICES.

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

To imitate God is to NOT imitate the world.

It is to do as God has said. It is to do as God has shown. We are to be like Jesus, like God our Father. We are to be Spirit led.

Galatians 5:16, 26 Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh …. if we live in the Spirit let us also walk in the Spirit.

Our walk, our daily – minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, step by step WALK must be WITH GOD and not with the world. What did our precious Savior command us to do?

Matthew 5:43-48 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

We are to be living lights. We are to shine not just in this sanctuary – this room of teaching – but particularly in the world out there.

In order for salt to do any good,
it must get out of the salt shaker.
In order for light to do any good,
it must leave the bulb.

We have to be LIGHT and LOVE in here and out there. The children imitate God’s love. The children imitate God’s goodness, even to those who do not deserve it. The children imitate the love of God in their daily lives.

If You Are His Child Then Love As Jesus Loved

Ephesians 5:1-2 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.

Jesus gave Himself for every person, though not every person will receive Him. There will be many who never heed the Gospel. There will be many who will reject Christ as Lord and Savior, and leave this life to go to a place of eternal death.

You see, we were all made in the image of God. All of us have eternal souls. our soul shall never cease to be. Where will that soul spend eternity? That is entirely up to you. Are you saved? Are you Christ’s child? If so, it will show.

I was at a Pastor’s breakfast the other day at the Lifecare Facility. As we sat down to eat a wonderful meal I saw the beautiful cloth napkins and elegant silverware. It looked like the finest of silver was put into this knife, fork, and spoon. But when I picked it up something was wrong. It LOOKED like silverware, but it was the very finest of …. plastic! It had no weight to it. Now I’m not complaining – it fed me just as well as heavy silver would have fed me. But it was imitation.

Are you an imitation Christian or are you a Living Child of the Light? If you belong to Jesus you are called to walk in love, not in lust.

Ephesians 5:3-8 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whore monger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

If you are a Child of God then you are a Child of Light. You do not walk as children of darkness. Sexual sin – heterosexual or homosexual – should not be a part of your lives. You should not be imitating the darkness around you. You should be radically different, loving, kind, but standing firmly on the truths that God has presented us in His Word.

You do not belong to the devil. He is not your father.
You do not belong to this world.
You belong to God your Father.
You were purchased from evil by the Blood of Christ.
You are Redeemed, loved, and Light.
Be what God your Father has called you to be.
For His glory!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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