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Walk in Light Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
January 31, 2023 10:15 am

Walk in Light Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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January 31, 2023 10:15 am

Without Christ we were in a dark prison cell of self-preeminence. But the work of Christ has the power to penetrate that darkness.God has changed us from the inside so we are now light in the Lord. Light and darkness are not equal opposites. Light is an entity, darkness is the absence of light. This means that light can invade darkness and make it go away.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Without Christ, we were in a dark prison cell of self-preeminence. But the work of Christ has the power to penetrate that darkness, drawing us into his marvelous light. Everything is transformed. In this message titled, Walk in Light, we will look at what Ephesians 5, 8-14 says about living in the light.

We are listening to the third and final part of the message, which was first preached on November 12, 2017. Light and darkness are not equal opposites. Light is an entity. Darkness is the absence of light. Did you know that?

What does that mean? Where light is, darkness cannot be. But light can invade darkness and make it go away.

They are not equal opposites. But that is why many today, with that understanding, are afraid of the light. They are afraid of the light, and so many would suppress it. And there are huge movements today attempting to suppress the light of God's revelation.

Why is it? Isn't it interesting that people are afraid of the light? For example, over in Afghanistan, where the Taliban ruled for a while, there was one news correspondent that was talking to an Afghan woman. And the Afghan women were required by the Taliban to have these burqas on. They fully covered the body, even the whole face, and they were looking through this mesh. That's a form of sin management, by the way. But that's that faith, that graceless system, that it's all about sin management.

It doesn't work. But the reason why some women are still wearing that is because, and I quote here, one Afghan woman says to a news correspondent, we have lived in darkness for so long that now we're afraid of the light. They're so used to being in that dark covering that to take it off, they're like, people will see me. They're afraid of the light because light exposes. Frederick Buechner said, if there is a terror about darkness because we cannot see, there is also a terror about light because we can see. There is a terror about light because much of what we see in the light about ourselves and our world, we would rather not see. Would rather not have be seen. Isn't that interesting?

It's true. The light exposes darkness. And sometimes we would just say, man, I'd rather not look at that because we'd have to recognize that there's darkness right here. And it makes me afraid of the light.

That's the natural man. You were once darkness, but now you are light, so walk as children of light. So equality is debunked. Light and darkness are not equal opposites. Point number two, as he gives an imperative here, take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness. Point number two is this. Excuse yourself from participation in the unfruitful works of darkness. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to present these five points and then I'm going to end this morning with an illustration of a life situation that will help us understand how this plays out in real life.

So it's not just theory. But point number two, excuse yourself from participation in the unfruitful works of darkness. Why? Because you're not darkness. You are light. So don't be walking in darkness.

Point number three, expose dark things by emitting the light of God in you. It's not your opinion. It's not your preference. It's not your superiority. It's not your moral excellence. It's the light of God in you shining through you.

Understand the difference. And as his light shines through you, it will expose dark things. As it shines in you, it will expose the darkness that is in you.

Some of it's still remaining. And as that light shines through you, it will expose darkness around you. And many are afraid of the light.

That's why some of them really fight against it. But here, look at verse 12 and 13. And these are challenging statements to truly understand.

And I will give you, hopefully, a nutshell understanding of what I believe he is saying here. Verse 12, for it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret, but anything that is exposed by the light, it becomes visible. For anything that becomes visible is light.

Anything that becomes visible is light. Here's what I believe we can learn from this statement that the apostle Paul is making. And it's a bit of an apologetic statement.

And here it is. Evil is a testament to an objective good. Evil itself is a testament to an objective good. Meaning that there is a moral law, and where there is a moral law, there is a moral law giver. Many people today object to the very notion of God because of the evil that exists in the world.

What they don't understand is that if you're going to call something evil, that assumes a moral standard of goodness. And you can't have that without God. So when you shine the light, and it's not your light, and you are walking in the light and living in the light, that then shows those still walking in darkness, that there is something to live for much greater than yourself. That's the power of light. And the fifth point here, he says in verse 14, anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore, he says, awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. The fifth point is to entice those in darkness to see the light of Christ. Entice those in darkness to see the light of Christ. Jesus said, Matthew 5 16, let your light so shine that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven. You see, it's not your light that originates with you, it's God's light that is in you that is shining through you.

So let's talk about a life situation here. And let me begin with a general principle that I really want you to grasp this morning. Because he contrasts darkness and what it is to exist in darkness versus the light, what it is to walk in the light, to walk as the light. Now, to some degree, we're all in the process of being transformed and sanctified. To some degree, there is still darkness in every one of us. And the more the light shines in, the more consistently and increasingly it shines in, it casts that darkness out. But may God shine the light in our hearts and reveal to us maybe there's still some darkness in there, some dark corners or closets that he needs to clean out. Listen to this, please. To the degree that you focus on yourself, you will live in darkness.

Now that can be played out and illustrated in myriad ways. But I want you to take that home and think about it. To the degree that you focus on yourself, you will live in darkness. That is the dark prison cell of self-preeminence and Christians even are able to do that. Even though you've been liberated from that dark prison cell and you are children of light, you can go back in and sulk and marinate in your wine in that dark prison cell of self-preeminence. Dwell on God's character and purpose.

And not only will you see clearly, but you will radiate light. So let's talk about a scenario here. This is one that has to do with relationships. And I'm going to give you one particular scenario. And this would apply whether it's friends, relatives, associates, neighbors. Whether it's a circle of friends that you're in or relatives, people in your family, in your household, associates in work. And we're going to look at that example this morning, or neighbors, people in your neighborhood.

But it's all about relationships. You were darkness, now you are light. What's the contrast?

What does that look like? And here is the scenario that I'm talking about. There is a demeaning colleague where you work. There is a demeaning colleague. It might be a supervisor, it might be just a peer, whatever. But they are arrogant and they're always cutting other people down and making you feel little.

And because of that, you're also surrounded by a bunch of disgruntled co-workers because of this demeaning colleague. So let's contrast darkness and light. What does this scenario look like for those who are darkness as opposed to those who are light?

In darkness, it looks like this. Because in darkness, you are living in a universe of ignorance with regard to the big picture. You are self-referenced and therefore your life is self-focused. Which means that your survival, your security, your satisfaction is all up to you. Your life is self-centered and therefore it becomes about competition.

And where there is competition, there is contention. So here's what darkness looks like. With this demeaning colleague and then all these disgruntled co-workers around you, what does darkness do? Darkness does this. You focus on what this other person is doing to me. That's what darkness does.

Any kind of adversity, whenever you're bumped in your experience, you focus on what that other entity is doing to you. He is interrupting my pleasure. He is granting me displeasure.

He is violating my rights. That's what darkness does. And because of that, then in my darkness, I feel justified to dehumanize this other individual. I think thoughts of disdain. I will intentionally distance myself from this person. I will think of them as less of a person than I.

And I will say all kinds of hateful things about them to myself or to others. And then after I dehumanize, then I will make demands. I will demand that I am treated as I ought to be treated. I will treat it according to how I deserve to be treated because I, after all, am the greatest and most important reality. And I will be treated right or else. And you can fill in the blank.

Right? Fourthly, there's deceit. Deceit. Meaning whenever, sometimes when you encounter this person, depending on what you want to get out of them, you will be artificially cordial to them. Only because you want something out of them or you want to get in their good graces. It's pragmatism. And you're very Machiavellian about it. You put up this show of being cordial to them, but inside you're seething at them. Right?

That's what darkness does. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's Word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-31 17:44:39 / 2023-01-31 17:49:30 / 5

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