In different places in the Bible, darkness is typified as committing sin while light is typified as living righteously. When a person decides to become a Christian, he is born again as a child of light. Paul explained to the Christians in Ephesus, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Eph. 5:8). Also, Peter wrote, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). Let us examine what that really means.
In order to be truly “children of light”, there are certain things that should be shunned and avoided. Paul wrote, “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks” (Eph. 5:3-4). If a person gives himself over to such lifestyles, then he is living in darkness. Paul further made it clear, “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Eph. 5:5). Instead of the joys of Heaven, those abiding in darkness will be punished for their sins. “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience” (Eph. 5:6).
Also, Christians must love their brethren or else they will find themselves in the dark. “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:9-11).
A strong warning was given to those “children of light” in Ephesus. “Be not ye therefore partakers with them” (Eph. 5:7). Also, Paul instructed, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11). Christians must be diligent to abstain from the works of darkness in order for
their light to shine. “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:14-16).
By shining forth, “children of light” reject and reprove the darkness of sin. Paul put it this way, “But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light” (Eph. 5:13). Christians are not supposed to sit idly and silently while sin is promoted and committed. As “children of light”, we have a responsibility to fight darkness wherever it may be found! The way that we can do that is to study, learn, and apply God’s Word. The Psalmist indicated, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psm. 119:105).
Let those of us who are “children of light” remember that without Jesus, we would still be in darkness. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). His light has shone so brightly before men, yet unfortunately many still dwell in darkness. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:1-5).
“Children of light” must continue in the light if they want to be forgiven. “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7).
How brightly do we shine? Can the world see us as “children of light” or do they simply see us in darkness like so many others?