For you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
I. This verse is TYPICAL OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. It is the appeal which the preacher to Christian hearers has to make in very varied forms and at various times all through his ministry. Advent and Lent, the special times appointed by the Church for doing it, in order to ensure its being done. But it is a work for every time; and every mission or other time of revival is a form of doing it.
II. THE WORDS ARE USED AS SYMBOLS.
1. Light a good thing; needful for our bodily health; needful for our sustenance by the fruits of the earth; without light we could not live.
2. Without light we could not work. We may put forth strength, but cannot direct it.
3. Darkness a bad thing — hurtful if continued, and destructive to animal and vegetable life. In the night crimes of violence are committed; it is their congenial home.
III. LIGHT THEREFORE MEANS GOODNESS AND DARKNESS SIN.
1. Light to the soul is when all its powers are directed consciously to right ends, i.e., to holy living, to the worship and the glory of God. Darkness, when either it knows not that right end, or, knowing it, deliberately chooses something else as its purpose.
2. Contrast in these respects between the Christian and the pagan world.
IV. EARNEST AND PRACTICAL. The personal question, the great question for us all.
1. Are you in the darkness or in the light?
2. With all your Christian privileges you should be in the light. Do you prove that you are so by love to God, watchfulness over yourself, tenderness of conscience? No mere words will be acceptable as a proof. "If ye love Me, keep My commandments." On the other hand —
3. Whatever your profession of religion, and whatever your privileges, if you are contented with sin — willingly enduring it, not anxious to overcome it in your own soul and in the souls of others — then you are still in the darkness.
4. Be not satisfied to remain so. Make an effort to break your chain by the help of Jesus.
(S. J. Eales, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
WEB: For you were once darkness, but are now light in the Lord. Walk as children of light,