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Walk in Light (Part 3 of 4)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
January 25, 2022 3:00 am

Walk in Light (Part 3 of 4)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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January 25, 2022 3:00 am

Sin corrupts everyone—but not everyone realizes it. Those who do are called to live differently. Learn how to live in the world without blending into the culture or isolating from it. Join us on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.



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The Bible is clear because of what God has done for us in Christ. Each one of us as believers are called to live differently with different priorities in different motivations today on Truth for Life will learn how were to live in the world without blending into the culture or isolating ourselves from peers. Alister back to Ephesians 5 verse six let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Therefore do not become partners with them, for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord walk as children of light for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord, take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness but instead expose them for it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.

But when anything is exposed by the light becomes visible for anything that becomes visible is light.

Therefore, it says away cosleeper and arise from the dead in Christ will shine on you. Amen. We pray our God and father we pray that as we turn to the Bible, the you will so were by the Holy Spirit that we don't just get more information but that we actually have a life changing encounter with you the living God accomplish your purposes.

We pray for Jesus sake.

Amen.

Well, we are continuing our studies here in Ephesians 5 where Paul has been reminding his readers consistently all of who they are in Christ, and we have been trying to say to each other and understand and believe it, that it is our identity in Christ, which then gives rise to our activity for Christ. It is our new life in Jesus which then is the foundation of our new lifestyle at this of course is not unique to Paul in his letter to the Ephesians 8 he says.

Similarly, in Colossians the father has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved son, and we've already seen the important antithesis between darkness and light the same thing you find when Peter writes to the scattered believers of his day in his first letter as he describes who they are in Christ. He then reminds them that God had called them I would've darkness into his marvelous light. And so it is because they are no longer were the ones where that they must no longer live as they once did, and it is foundational really important that we get a hold of that throughout the entire first half of chapter 5 the emphasis has been on life and lifestyle walking where you going to see later about walking in wisdom. We've already considered what he is said in the opening verses concerning walking in love and we began last time.

What we continue no namely to consider what it means to walk in light last time we spent all of our time thinking about the change that he describes the change there in verse eight, and one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord and we said we would come back to it and we would consider not simply the change.

He describes the challenge he delivers and the challenge that he delivers is equally clear and I want to point it out to you. I want us to think about the challenge in it in a 3 Dimensional Way.

First of all, that it comes negatively, then it comes positively and then if we have a moment or two left. It comes if you like evangelistic lay so first of all negatively. The apostle is not bashful about explaining about what ought not to be happening. I we live in a culture where negativity is very very bad is regarded as you just can be negative at all. It's not is not a good thing to do. It doesn't translate into every area of life. Clearly the very negative thing to avoid a collision with another airliner at 10,000 feet.

We are to be very very happy that the pilot is prepared to take avoidance had to make avoiding action and so wanted to do so in that negative fashion to turn away from things and so we could go on from there it's it's it's pretty straightforward.

But Paul, for example when he writes to Titus, he says do not Titus and you need to make clear to your people to the nature of Christian doctrine so that they will be both apt to teach themselves and that they will live lives that command the gospel and in the heart of that he says. Titus 211 for the grace of God has appeared, teaching us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions.

Sorry he doesn't share our concern about ever being thought negative where being negative is actually a very positive thing to be and so verse seven. I hear he says quite negatively. Do not become partners with them. Partners with whom well if your Bible is over and look up a phrase and you see partners with the sons of disobedience.

In verse six.

Who are the sons of disobedience. Well, the sons and daughters of disobedience is a description of the unbeliever is a description of what we are by nature and the reason that we are not to be partners with the sons of disobedience is because we are now members of a new group as we have seen in Colossians 1. From what we just quoted. We are now in the saints of light, so we we were once in a band and the band was called the sons of disobedience and were no longer in that band were now in the saints of light and we've got a whole new song to sing without a new we got a new score to sing form and so on. Makes perfect sense as I was thinking about that in preparation that took me way back to my schoolboy days in Yorkshire when I tried it with emphasis on tried to play rugby for our school team as they were very gracious to me. The took me along.

I was hopeless, but I but I was able to go on the bus and back on the bus and it was there that I was introduced to to the singing of rugby songs and if you have ever been in that context.

Another some of the filthiest songs you ever heard in your life, sung by teenage boys on the bus and right there as a professing Christian as somebody who would have declared himself to be a child of the light that the challenge was was real obvious because those songs were funny and I like funny and why they were rude and rude is out so how are you going to live as a saint in light in the context of the sons of disobedience.

You can go in a swimming pool and swim without getting wet. And so the challenge that comes across is a clear challenge you're different now, therefore, you live differently. I notice carefully what he says he knows he therefore do not become friends with them.

He says do not become partners with them is not ruling out friendship usually have partnership and there's an inevitable tension in this I've alluded to it already. Many of the new believers in Ephesus would've had a members of their family who do not share their faith. They were unconverted when they went back to the workplace as they lived in their communities, they would be routinely in contact with those who had no notion of the things that these new believers had begun to hold dear and the challenge for them, and indeed the challenge in every generation is to say how do we apply, for example, verse seven how close can these relationships be without violating the principle that Paul is laying down here Nepal very helpfully. In other places addresses this and I want to I don't want you to have to trail all the way through your Bible, but I will mention a couple of references. If you should at least note them so that you can back go back and see if there there but in first Corinthians chapter 5, where he is giving direction to the believers in Corinth.

He's not giving direction to the culture in core he's talking about immorality, but he is not condemning the Corinthian culture he is confronting the believers within the church in Corinth in in relationship to the matter of sexual immorality, and he says to them I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people.

Okay, last letter as a purely categorical statement.

He then goes on to say, not a tall meaning, the sexually immoral of this world or the greedy and swindlers or idolaters since then you would need to go out of the world. In other words, it is impossible for you to live in Corinth you would have to be removed to heaven, not to be associated with the in every day, ins and outs of life. And then he's actually going on to say what I'm actually writing to you about is not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother or sister who professes to be a saint in light and yet is living as a son or daughter of disobedience. That's the thing that's a great concern and that of course you see is one of the challenges it faces the contemporary church.

The reason for the ineffectiveness of March in church life is because of the incongruity whereby those who profess to be one thing.

Live is another thing I did is that says Paul that needs to be addressed, hence the nature of discipline in the church and the importance of what that means in in various ways.

So he's not actually calling for the establishing of a Christian ghetto. He is not arguing for monasticism. If we might put it that way. He is not.

He's not giving a foundation for some of us who would like to make a statement like this, like a kind of call to to ensure that our contacts are exclusively with Christians and then almost inevitably exclusively with those who actually share our views as Christians and then eventually does get smaller and smaller and smaller until I what you have is what we refer to in the past as ours for no more shut the door. In other words, we simply round ourselves away from all of this and we will live like Austria at the beginning of the second world war in splendid isolation notices the Bible know Jesus said no father. I do not ask you to remove them from the world, but to keep them from the evil one. So when we take a phrase like this when we take this negative direct do not become partners with them.

We need to be equally clear that he is not only saying no to isolation. He is seeing at the same time.

No to accommodation. In other words, were not going to accommodate ourselves to the lifestyle of those who still live in the darkness out of which we have been called and brought and again, let me give you Paul, this time in his second letter.

And in verse 14 of second Corinthians 6. He says do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. Don't be unequally yoked with unbelievers when I read yoked. I thought two things. One, I thought about auxin and the picture of a yoke which I think you're supposed to think and then I actually thought a far more trivial level of the egg and spoon race at our sports day again back in in in Yorkshire you're really egg and spoon race either where you the strap you to describe your ankle to the other persons ankle and your yoked and native if you get a good person to be strapped or you could maybe make a go of it if you don't out of your useless eventually understand one another part but you definitely gotta be going in the same direction. If you don't want to do that and don't get strapped together is clear in relationship to marriage.

I've gone from growing old listening to people tell me that it doesn't really matter if it doesn't really matter what I did in the Bible there is no relationship in the physical realm that is more clearly are you okay then manage different hats to address the issue of marriage Christian believing boy or girl should only marry a believing boy girl.

The Bible says if you're setting out in partnership in business.

Beware of violating.

Two Corinthians 614 and he applies it very clearly I say think logically about these things.

And when you do, you will realize that there is a complete antithesis here, but don't be unequally over the unbelievers. Let me ask you resist what partnership have righteousness with lawlessness, not what fellowship has light with darkness. None order court has Christ with Balliol or the devil as it is not what agreement has the temple of God with idols not so when we come to this as we do, and his challenge to the believer in emphasis on the challenge to all of us at an all-time we're going to have to work it out. And when you go down to verse 11. Realize that in some ways he ups the ante here. Disney not only are not supposed to be partners with them.

But secondly, take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness the darkness has unfruitful works at trap in this 17th-century says last fight infection of their sin. Yi, under infliction of their punishment pretty good. It is non-don't get involved in this in these unfruitful works of darkness. At last, you find yourself on the receiving end of the punishment that accompanies it. Now Paul is not breaking you territory here. He simply reinforcing what he has previously said, remember we said it would be done at the beginning of chapter 4 exhorted to walk in a war in a manner worthy of the calling to which we been called and then in verse 17 of chapter 4, he says I testify in the Lord that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.

They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of heart sale. In the spirit of judgment. He says this is the reality without God and without hope in the world. This is descriptive of life. This is life for Dave for the unbeliever darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, and ignorance that is due to the hardness of heart, and as a result of that, he goes on to describe the behavior that that flows from that kind of conviction that kind of view of the world and is reminding that the works of darkness are unfruitful that ultimately empty there an expression of futility. One of the great questions that confronts a man or woman every day that we wake is is you know what one might one of my actually doing what I my where my going to make sense of this strange existence. I am, and I think that every morning when you wake and on the you think about.

You may think about it when you put your head on the pillow at night.

You may think when you're parked in a long line of traffic you said yourself, how many more times in my life or my going to be stuck just in the line of traffic light is. If only I could get out of here and go there to tell you when you go there you go there. There is no there you will you it's me see, and it ended in the works of darkness are eventually barren the end of the day. What if you got left to show you see that's what he's actually pointing out in front when he writes to them, to the Roman church at the end of chapter 6, he actually says the implicit. Let me ask you a question.

He says about about the worthless words that that characterize your pre-converted life and in this area puts it in verse 21 what fruit where you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed what fruit where you getting at that time from the things of which are now shared. Now I can ask people to come up here. We had we had spent the balance of the tunnel and numbers of you, I'm sick. Absolutely no fruit at all. I thought I was. I thought it was everything but it before and I got the latter.

I suddenly realized this latter is. This is the wrong latter or this ladders propped against the wall wall because I got up I highlight that I thought I would get up when I got there there was nothing there. He didn't satisfy the degree didn't satisfy the job didn't satisfy the relationship didn't satisfy whatever wants and he seemed to think about what it what benefit did you get from those things. What fruit things of which are nourishing. Now it is at that point that he then turns from the negative to the positive.

Look at this take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but now he tells them something that they need to be doing not something they shouldn't be doing so returns positively. What are we to do expose them, expose them to who or what is the dam then refers to the unfruitful works not to the unfruitful workers, some of us sellers are perfectly happy to get an education like go out and expose all these people some Christians it then they got that in in them.

If you've got and you need to get out where you that's what were supposed to do was sponsor expose the ball well. How does the exposing take place here how you expose the unfruitful works of darkness. You see, there is there's a lien tendency in some of us the use of the ministers told him about things pastors talk about things in such a way that you wonder whether there actually getting their jollies out of describing these dreadful thing in running.

There's a can of voyeuristic element in I think that's probably why goes on to say what he says is shameful even to speak of the things they do in secret turnovers. Don't waste your time talking about all the stuff you don't need to give illustrations people know everybody knows you don't need to hold the poison up and put pictures on the screens is actually shameful. He says so, then how in the world is the exposing take place.

While I think it's pretty straightforward and it is this what he is saying is that the essential difference in the believer's life. The shining light that is present in the life of the believer. However strong or damn it may be at any point along the way but the light in the believer shows up. The dark stuff for what it is. It shows of the dark stuff for what it is your different. Therefore, live differently, listing to Truth for Life Alastair Greg reminding us that our lives are to reflect the light of the gospel.

As we walk in the dark world. It's our prayer, a Truth for Life that God will work through these messages to lead those who are unbelievers to follow Jesus and to encourage believers to remain faithful in a culture that is increasingly challenging and we want people around the world have access to this kind of Bible teaching without price. Being a barrier. That's why we offer free online sermons when we sell books and audio studies at cost.

In fact, we regularly hear from Lister to contact us to say how grateful they are for being able to listen and share Alistair's teaching so easily, but the thanks doesn't belong to us.

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And if not if you been listening for a while now. Why not make today the day you join with this important team. It's quick and easy to sign up online Truth for Life.org/true partner or you can enroll over the phone when you call 88858878841 of the ways we say thank you to our true partners is by inviting them to request both of the books we select each month for no additional donation today were offering a book titled spiritual disciplines for the Christian life.

A lot of people hear the term spiritual disciplines and they think the phrase refers to some kind of tedious religious practice that you have to just grit your teeth and endure, but this book explains that these practices are actually a joy. They will draw you closer to God sure to request your copy of the book, spiritual disciplines for the Christian life you sign up to become a can also request a book with a one time donation. Simply The image on the app or visit our website@truthforlife.org/donate. I'm Bob Lapine. Thanks for joining us today sure to listen tomorrow will hear the conclusion to Alistair's message about walking in the light we heard today what we need to avoid tomorrow. Find out what were supposed to do, how we walk in a manner worthy of our calling the Bible teaching of Alastair Beck is furnished by Truth for Life learning is prolific


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