In Ephesians 5:8 the apostle Paul writes, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” First, Paul contrasts their former condition with the way they presently are; “you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.” Once they were children of the world but now they are children of God. Once they were “the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts”. But now they are “the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24). Secondly, Paul says that they are to have “no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” If we are going to “walk as children of light” part of our function on this earth is to expose sin for what it is. Unfortunately, pointing out that people are engaged in sinful behavior will often make us very unpopular. As Jesus said in John 3:19-20, “And this is the condemnation, that light has come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light lest his deeds should be exposed.” While it is never pleasant to be disliked by other people, it is more important to have God’s approval.
Jesus warned His disciples that following Him would cause the world to hate them. “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19). If we, as children of light, shine the light of God’s truth on a sinful world, the world will often hate us as well. Regardless, as children of light, we must still expose sin for what it is. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” (Matthew 5:14-15).