Read Ephesians 5:8-21
Paul has been laying out the basics for the converted Ephesians on how a Christian should live and behave. Today he instills in them again who they are now in Christ. He seems to be really trying to get this concept of who they are now across to them. It must have been very hard for the Ephesians converts because their former lifestyles were so completely and utterly dark. Yet, Paul assures them again and again, that's not who they are now.
Sometimes I think we all need to be reminded that what we were is not who we are now. Some new Christians are so hard on themselves that they find forgiveness for their former lifestyle a hard thing to accept. They have a hard time forgiving themselves, so they reason Jesus must have a hard time doing it as well. We come out of the darkness, yet it somehow still clings to us in the form of regrets. Paul's words in today's verses remind us and encourage us to not only walk in the light of Christ, but to walk in reverence of Him.
Paul begins by reminding us that we "were once darkness". Notice that he doesn't say "we once walked in darkness", he says we were darkness. Think about that for a minute. We didn't walk or live in darkness - we were darkness. This is why it is so easy for Christians to fall into sin. Our sin nature (that darkness) will never leave us. Yes, we've been forgiven of our sins because of Jesus, but the ability to sin, the desire to sin will always be there. This is why it is so important for Christians to be in the Word daily. When we abide in the Word, Jesus abides in us, because He is the Word!
But notice what Paul says now of those who have Jesus - "You are light in the Lord." He doesn't say "you are light" for that would be impossible in and of ourselves. No. He says, "You are light in the Lord." We are cleansed, forgiven, and we have been filled with God's Shekinah glory - His Holy Spirit. We are light only because of Jesus. Our bodies house His Holy Spirit, therefore we must do everything in our power to walk and live for His glory.
So how do we do that? How do we walk in the light? What are the eight keys to Godly living? Paul tells us:
We all were once darkness, but now we are light in Jesus Christ. Meditate on that and rejoice, for you are part of the body of Christ.