Ephesians 5:8 “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!”
This verse is an encouraging verse. It makes us feel good to read it. Most of us would understand what it means if we are familiar with the Bible: “light” is always associated with the Lord, with the good, the pure, and the right. “Darkness” is associated with evil, Satan, impurity, deeds done where no one can see, because the person doing them knows they are wrong.
But to really understand exactly what it means to live as people of light, it is helpful to read the verses that precede and follow verse eight:
Verse one tell us to imitate God in everything we do. Verse two says to live a life full of love, following the example of Christ. That Christ offered himself as a sacrifice for us, which is a pleasing aroma to God.
Verses three through five tell us about “darkness”, the things that have no place among God’s people (vs. 3), things that will keep us from inheriting God’s Kingdom (vs. 5) The things listed here are sexual immorality, impurity and greed (vs. 3 and vs. 5)) obscene stories, foolish talk and coarse jokes (vs. 4). Verse 4 tells us that instead of these things, there should be thankfulness to God.
Verse six says that we should not be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Verse seven tells us not to participate in the things these people do. And then verse 8, or text verse, says that we are to live as people of light.
Verse nine says that the light within us produces only what is good and right and true. So we would understand from this verse that if we are living as people of the light, the things listed in the verses before verse eight will not be found in our lives.
Verse ten says we should carefully determine what pleases the Lord. And verse eleven says that we are to take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness, instead, our light should expose them! Verse twelve says that we should not even talk about the evil things that ungodly people do in the dark, but that their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them (verse 13), because light makes everything visible (verse 14).
We are told in verse 15 to be careful how we live, not like fools, but like people who are wise. Verses 16-18 tell us to make the most of every opportunity in these evil days, not acting thoughtlessly, but to make an effort to understand what the Lord wants us to do. And that rather being drunk with wine, which will ruin our lives, we should be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Verse 18-20 says that we should be happy people, singing psalms and hymns, and making music in our souls to the Lord. And we should always give thanks.
The whole book of Ephesians is an encouraging book. We will understand more of what the Lord expects of us by reading the entire six chapters. It’s not a long or hard to understand book, and can easily be read in one setting. In that way, we will get the whole context of this letter that Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus. What a blessing it is to have this letter!