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November 22, 2021 3:00 am
To keep things in Christian living, walk worthy and imitate God.
Those are kind of the heart of what you say if you're going to want worthy of your calling you going to have to walk in the way the but you still have to live in a way drowning in unrighteousness in Scripture calls you to be a light in the midst of that darkness. The question is how you do that. John MacArthur answers that today as he continues his current study on grace to you title the portrait of a new life will jump before the lesson today before US audience begins to scatter for celebrations with family and friends. This is Thanksgiving week and what your prayer is the Thanksgiving holiday comes our way. Well, again I think even in the midst of the dire circumstances that have beleaguered all of us over the last couple of years in this country we still have the ability and the command to rejoice. I I've talked about that two more people I think in the last two years. Then prior. I know things are bad. I know things are tough.
I know it's hard on the kids.
I know you're afraid of what they're learning in school. I know you're wondering what the future is going to be things that we thought would be stable in our world and in our nation are all crumbling around us, but you can't look at that, you've got a lift your gaze you got a think on things that are heavenly.
Set your affections on things above, and there's always so much to be thankful for because God is still on the throne, you know, like Isaiah in Isaiah 60 found God still on the throne. God is still there and all his promises that are yes in Christ Jesus are still valid, he will supply all your needs. He will protect you. He will build his church. He will fulfill his glory. He will honor his word. This is a time and it's going to be more challenging.
This Thanksgiving because so much stress so much fear so much anxiety gets on people's hearts that they find it harder to think God when they should find it easier to thank God because that's the only place you can go for sanity instability. So focus on the promises of God.
They will all be fulfilled. He will care for you wherever you are in whatever circumstance and you need to be thankful for that. Yes send friend if you're struggling to be thankful today. Keep it here as John looks at the amazing blessings you have access to as God's child blessings.
You should always be grateful for and with that, here's John continuing his study on the portrait of a new life. Ephesians 5 verses 8 to 14 we read this text, so they'll have the setting and then let the spirit of God speak to you as we share thoughts from it. Ephesians 584 he were once darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord walk as children of light for the fruit of the light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth proving what is acceptable under the Lord and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them, for it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light. For whatever doth make manifest his light. Wherefore he saith awake now that sleep just and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give the light the book of Ephesians presents to us the pattern for Christian living. The first three chapters who the Christian is the last three how he lives, how he acts how he functions and Paul here in chapters for five and six gives us a clear, concise, and careful outline of how we are to behave as new creatures, how Christians are to live in the world and if we were to summon the thing up.
We could probably summit up in two great statements that are made. Chapter 4 verse one is the first one where he says walk worthy.
In other words, let your living balance off with your identity. If you're a new creature in Christ, then walk that way and then in chapter 5, verse one. He says, be followers of God, or imitators of God, to keep things in Christian living, walk worthy and imitate God. Those are kind of the heart of what he saying if you're going to walk worthy of your calling you going to have to walk in the way that God would walk and, of course.
The example is in verse two of chapter 5 walk in love, as Christ loved us.
Christ becomes our pattern so we are to walk worthy and imitate God, which means you are to pattern our lives after Christ.
He walked worthy of who he was and he is our pattern of God. So we are to be like Christ ago. So I went back to that back to Romans chapter 8, where Paul says that the ultimate goal for the believers to be conformed to the image of his son goes back to second Corinthians 318. Whereas we gaze at the glory of the Lord. We are changed into his image goes back to first John 26 but he that says he abides in him on a walk. As he walked. It goes to the ultimate goal of first John three to someday we shall be like him. When we see him as he is so we are to be Christ like.
That is the essence of walking worthy.
That is the essence of imitating God to be like Jesus Christ. If we are to imitate God pattern our lives after Christ and walk worthy then it says in verse eight we must walk as children of light, we must walk as children of light.
What is like me. What we talking about very important if we are to live in light we have to know what light it let me tell you very simply. Light is a symbol in the Bible and it is a symbol for two things to aspects. First of all, it is used from the intellectual side and secondly it is used from the moral side intellectually. Light refers to truth. Light refers to truth intellectual morally light refers to holiness. So it is the take and the output is the truth and the life living in the light then means living in truth and living in a holiness receiving the truth and living a holy life on the contrast darkness intellectually refers to ignorance and morally refers to evil, and you find this all throughout the Scripture.
In some places he talks about light. The writer of the Bible does any means intellectual knowledge. Truth, in other places. He talks about light any means moral behavior holiness.
Sometimes the Bible talks about darkness and it means their minds are dark and remember back in chapter 4 of these other times he talks about darkness any means. The deeds of darkness moral evil so light and darkness is a contrast both of truth and behavior. Let me give you just a brief illustration of this. In Proverbs and we can never touch every Scripture because so many deal with about in Proverbs 623 will see what I mean for the commandment is a lamp and the law is light. Now here it is true that he's talking about. Nothing about deeds. Talk about true God's truth. God's word is light intellectual true knowledge.
In Psalm 119, 105, it says thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. And that's the same idea there you see light as truth, light from the intellectual side. Now you see it also in second Corinthians chapter 4 and the apostle Paul again is talking here about light and darkness.
He says they talking about lost people in verse three, and then lost being the antecedent he goes to verse four in the room that is the lost people in whom the god of this age has blinded the minds to the light of the glorious gospel so light is knowledge.
Darkness is being blinded to knowledge blinded to the gospel.
Verse six is the same thing. God commanded the light to shine out of darkness.
The light has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Light is no and darkness means ignorance, lack of knowledge, no knowledge, we thought Ephesians 4 where Paul says that the that the Gentile mind of the pagan mind the unregenerate unsaved mind is darkened, blinded in Romans one it says the same thing. Their foolish heart was darkened so light intellectually means knowledge. Darkness intellectually means ignorance, a lack of knowledge, morally you have behavior, sometimes light and darkness speak of holiness and unholiness.
For example, in Isaiah chapter 5 to be one illustration verse 20 is a very graphic one well under them who call evil good and good evil boy is that a sermon for today. One of them will call good evil and evil good who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put the better for the sweet of the suite for the better. And the point is, he compares good and evil, with light and darkness is talking about behavior. So sometimes the concept of darkness has to do with behavior. In Romans chapter 13 we see a New Testament illustration of this. He says the night is far spent the day is at hand. Let us therefore watch this line cast off the works of darkness where there is intellectual darkness. There will be the works of that darkness. The next verse says wild parties, drunkenness, immorality, shamelessness, strife and envy.
So on the one hand you have the intellectual side of darkness, not knowing God or his truth, which results in a moral darkness doing the deeds of that darkness.
On the other hand, light is knowing the truth and it results in living it out now as Christians, people we walk in the light element make it clear if you're Christian you walk in the light, we tell you why look at first John chapter 1 verse five says this this then is the message which we have heard of him and declare unto you, here comes that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. Now God is light and in him is no darkness. If you are a son of God, you are a son of light, and if you are a son of light there is in you. No darkness at all. In other words, when you were redeemed, you were fully redeemed. There is no residual darkness. I do not believe that Christians walk in the darkness verse seven, first John says that if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we are having fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his son is cleansing us from all sin through the verse in reverse.
If we are the ones whom the blood of Christ is cleansing from all sin, then we are the ones having fellowship one with another, then we are the ones walking in light. In other words, the ones being forgiven are the ones in the light and that's the whole point as long as we are God's children. God is light like produces like God's children are light and Matthew 514 says it, ye are the light of the word we are called sons of light repeatedly in the New Testament in first Thessalonians chapter 5 and verse four ye brother and are not in the darkness verse five, ye are all sons of the light.
If God is light.
He gives birth to us.
We become light then says Jesus we are the light of the world we walk in the light, we are the ones having fellowship. We are the ones being cleansed. The point is, this is a definition of a Christian. A Christian is somebody in the light will conduct. We have been translated classes once as adults of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of his dear son, which is a kingdom of light because he said I am the light of the world. Whosoever bottle with me shall not walk in what darkness I don't think there's any middleground, I think when you were saved were taken out of darkness into light essay will what about when we sin when you sin you do the deeds of darkness. What you doing in the light, and they are manifest right they are manifest. We are to walk. Verse Ephesians 58 we are to walk as children of light. Listen people, if we are the children of light. If we are the sons of light. If we are the sons of the day, if God is our father, and he is light and then we are the light of the world.
We are to live that way to see what he say what a great thing but a tremendous truth. We are the light of the world. I believe a Christian can walk in darkness, I'll believe that you can do the deeds of the darkness what you're doing and brought light in God's going to know when everything's going to be exposed light and darkness are absolute opposites, just like conversion is an absolute ops. The ultimate contrast light and darkness, we live in a world it's so dark and so desperately in need of the light that we give and so Paul says walk as children of light. And God is called us in the world to be liked to show light in a dark world and the only way we can be effective at it is to walk as children of light, not to fiddle around doing the deeds of darkness have no part with second Corinthians 6 is what fellowship has light with what was darkness. Christ with glial what Concorde does God with idols. See that's due. If that were light walk as children of light. That's when he goes on to say in that same passage cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. In other words, we are light. Let's live like light on some it's unbelievable.
When a Christian sins. It's a relapse and he's doing the deeds of darkness. How stupid it imagine that this would imagine it was a man.
Imagine yourself lost in a cave and you keep trying to find a way out, but you get deeper and deeper in the cave is amazing. The network of tunnels and so forth, and pretty soon you're down in the belly of the earth somewhere and you haven't the slightest idea where you are. You're scared your heart is pounding your eyes are wide open, but all you can see is an oppressive blackness that looks like it's liquid in the midst of that darkness you groped for days and days pass into a week and the week begins into another week and and finally are feeling the cold dirt walls and the frenzy is mounting and the fear is escalating and then way off somewhere there is a pinpoint of light and you move toward the light and you grow, lest you fall in a deeper pit and finally the light begins to crack open and it becomes an exit and you charge out of there with the strength. It's laughter during the daylight and the sun is beaming down on you, you know freedom like no freedom you ever conceived possible before such a terrible plight.
Not long after you decide that there are several things in the cave that you enjoyed.
So you wind your way back foolish, foolish, that's essentially what Christian does when he wants to do the deeds of darkness makes no sense. Now, pausing to tell us five things we need to know for the walk as children of light. Five things we need for a practical number one. The contrast, the contrast of children of light. It's very simple, beautiful contrast verse eight. Four.
Ye were once darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord walk as children of light. That's not something extraordinary we are in shock that he asked us to walk as children of light when he just said that's what we are just saying Bewley and I told this before the Christian life is simply becoming what you are.
That's what living up to your identity being who you are. So he says this is the contrast you were that you are this little like what you are not like what you were very low. There were the Romans 616 you healed yourself service to obey somebody than obey. This is your identity, then live it out is who you are, that act like a notice in verse eight. For a moment, you were once darkness, this is past tense people. This is in the past you were now you are solely look you are, that's the that in fact could be stated as the thesis of the epistles of the New Testament you were now you are what you are. That's always saying only showing something comparing these two giving you the contract for characteristics of people who are darkness can be observed theoretically come by real quick.
You were darkness over the characteristics of that life. Look at your past. What used to be water for characteristics of the darkness of your past number one you did the work of Satan is true of people in the darkness that they do the deeds of darkness. You did the works of Satan. Verse 11 talks about the unfruitful works of darkness. A person in darkness. A person who is darkness does deeds that are darkness. That is, they are ignorant and they are on holy. They show no knowledge of God and they show no life of God in the heart of the soul.
So first of all they do the works of Satan. By the way, three John 844. That's exactly what Jesus says you do what you do because your father is who your father is you are of your father the devil, so if you're in the darkness. You do the deeds of the one whom Luke 2253 calls the power of the darkness. Satan is called the power of the darkness.
So when you function in the darkness. You are empowered by Satan, you do. His deed was hard for people to see this. It's hard for the average nice guy on the block to realize that he is empowered and energized by Satan is a wealth when he doesn't foam at the mouth and fall over and doesn't have seven demons rolling around all is not what you see. It's all a matter of degree. It's the same Satan controlling the system assisted the different ways to do it with different individual same problem. It's only a matter of degree. Same hell will be occupied by people who work Satan energizing gray flannel suit, as it will be by which doctors from blue bullet see it's only a matter of expression, and so they do the works of Satan. People who are darkness, function the deeds of darkness, the unfruitful works of darkness. The work of Satan. Secondly, in this kind of builds on that they are ruled by Satan. They are ruled by the Prince of darkness. They are literally dominated by am it isn't just that they do, his deeds being his children and by the way, that's the whole point in the text here.
If you're the child of Satan you will do the deeds of Satan for child of God. Beauties got it only do the things he wants but they literally are ruled and dominated by Satan hard for people to realize, but you remember that in Colossians 1 it says that you were taken out of the kingdom of darkness. It's a kingdom. It has a hierarchy and it has a ruler and it Satan and he is the one calling the shots, so all you not only become a Christian, I give up my freedom. The freedom of running around in a cave in pitch blackness try to find a way out.
That's only freedom and that's no freedom at all is no freedom at all. You don't give up freedom to become a Christian, you're victimized by the rule of Satan without Jesus Christ. Satan calls the shots in your life. The kingdom of darkness is ruled by the king of darkness, and he rules the life of those who are the dark. Also got from God side for the last two things you do the works of Satan under the rule of Satan.
Certainly, which means you come out of the penalty of God.
The penalty of wrath is the third characteristic of one who is darkness.
God's penalty of wrath comes upon them.
In Romans chapter 1 the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness.
In other words, the wrath of God is going to come on sin and it talks about verse 21. The people it's going to fall on are those whose foolish heart was darkened. Those who are the fools you see those who exchange the truth for a lie.
Those who didn't want to retain God in their knowledge and went over to ignorance and who did all kinds of evil things, those of the works in John chapter 12 verse 35 our Lord just presented himself as the light and he said you better respond to the light while you have the light because a little while, you won't have the light darkness will come upon you, and you won't know where to go.
While you have the light, he says in verse 36 of John 12 believe in the light, that you may be the sons of light gave him a message but they didn't believe it says in the next verse they believe not and then he said well then this is what Isaiah says he's blinded their eyes hardened their heart. They should not see with their eyes or understand with their heart be converted, and I should heal them. In other words, where you say to yourself, I will not believe God then says judicially.
You cannot believe you come under divine judgment, which finally leads to the fact that people who do the deeds of Satan under the dominion of Satan come under the wrath of God, which, fourth, and finally leads to an eternal place of dark. It's 1/4 characteristic of these people, the ultimate end is darkness. Matthew 812 says they will be cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth or that's the story of the darkness. They do the deeds of darkness under the dominion of the Prince of darkness, it results in coming under God's judgment on darkness, which is an eternal hell which is outer darkness.
You want darkness you can have it forever, and we were once that we were once that but look at verse eight. Now where light is that this is the point is making this tremendous contrasted by the way, this is germane to his whole thought is trying to show you the absolute contrast.
That's why he picks light and dark as they are the absolute opposite. We were that, but now we're light and there's a big difference if we don't do the works of Satan. We do the works of God, right, we are his workmanship rated by Christ Jesus unto good works. We are not under the will of Satan. We are under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We are not under God's wrath we are under the promise of being participants in the kingdom of light we will not go into a place of darkness we will go to a place of light and the Bible says there is no lamp. Therefore, the Lamb is the light of the history is absolutely a those who are darkness to the works of Satan, of the power of Satan. Following the judgment of God and end up in eternal darkness.
Those who are the light do the deeds of light under the Prince of light.
The Lord Jesus Christ and they become inheritors of the kingdom of light and finally an eternal heaven of light. See the difference showing you how opposite these the same luck. If you're a Christian, beloved, and your here here in the kingdom of life as a child of light. You see the long would you have to do with all that all this gone it's pass over so live like children of light, children of wrath children of disobedience. Children of the devil, that's John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary continuing his current study on grace to you titled the portrait of a new life now before we go. A quick reminder that we really want and need to hear from you. Your notes help us know that we're hitting the mark with the programs we put on the radio. The teaching resources we put online. Really, everything we do. If grace to you has made a difference in your life. Let us know will you jettison note when you have a moment, our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org that's email@example.com and when you write, let us know. The radio station your hearing a song that's also helpful.
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Don't miss the next 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace you