Walk as Children of Light
“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” This is where we left off yesterday and it is a good place to begin today. We must not succumb to the false doctrine of cheap grace.
Instead, Paul would have us to understand that in coming to Christ Jesus, we have come out of darkness where we once resided—each and every one of us were residents in that dark realm in which we all are born. It is dark because sin dwells there, immorality and impurity dwell there, coarse and unedifying speech dwell there, in sum, Satan dwells there. And “there” is anywhere where one does not know the Lord by saving faith—it may be a bar, a penthouse, a din of iniquity, or one’s own home. When we are lost and without hope, we are in the dark, groping, even if we are not aware of it. And though that darkness may have something to do with that place, yet that darkness has primarily to do with that person’s mind, heart, and soul. He lurks in the darkness because his deeds are evil (John 3:19).
“Do not become partners with them.” Do not return, do not go back. “You are [now] light in the Lord.” That is what we become when we come to saving faith. We no longer pursue those things that those who love darkness pursue; instead, we pursue “all that is good and right and true.” Our desires are changed. We have new loves. Goodness, righteousness, and truth become beautiful to us, and we find them in our God and we adore and follow Him. I do not say that this is not difficult; old habits die hard. Satan will hang on for dear life (actually, “dear death”). But with the Spirit’s help, we can forsake old haunts, both in the world and in our flesh. Some of those haunts are in our minds and hearts. We must put them to death and mortify the sin which so easily besets us.
Paul then says, “Try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.” I believe that Romans 12:1-2 can shed light on how to do this: “By the mercies of God, present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God…Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” So discerning the will of the Lord has to do with forsaking sin and the world, and having one’s mind renewed by the Holy Spirit as one reads the word of God. It is not easy or automatic but comes with discipline, godliness, and blamelessness. Do not be deceived.