By Rachel He
20 May 2012 Sunday
|Sermon: Live as Children of Light||video||audio||doc|
|Worship song: Alleluia To Christ The Lord||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: Because of You||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: God Of My Life||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: Here Comes the Reign||video||audio||lyric|
Presider: Carol Zhang
Dear God, thank you for adopting us as your children, thank you for your steadfast love, thank you for sending Jesus to this earth that He saved us by dying on the cross, so we no longer live in darkness, we become the children of light. Dear Jesus, please help us be more and more like you so when people see us, they see you in us. I pray for the whole service today. May your Holy Spirit fill this place and our hearts. Lord, I also pray for all the volunteers who are serving this morning. Please bless them because of their faithfulness. Jesus, I lift up the preacher before you., Please speak to our hearts through her sermon. May your Name be glorified this morning. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Worship song: Alleluia to Christ the Lord
|Verse 1 CN||敞 开 我 的 心 歌 唱
chǎng kāi wǒ de xīn gē chàng
我 要 敬 拜 祢 我 王
wǒ yào jìng bài Ní wǒ wáng
天 地 齐 声 来 宣 告
tiān dì qí shēng lái xuān gào
耶 稣 基 督 名 至 高
Yē sū Jī dū míng zhì gāo
|Verse 2 CN||就 算 面 对 风 和 浪
jiù suàn miàn duì fēng hé làng
一 定 有 祢 在 身 旁
yī dìng yǒu Ní zài shēn páng
当 生 命 没 有 盼 望
dāng shēng mìng méi yǒu pàn wàng
祢 荣 光 必 会 照 亮
Ní róng guāng bì huì zhào liàng
Alleluia, to Christ the Lord!
|Verse 1||I will lift my heart and sing
I will worship You, my King
Earth and Heaven now proclaim
Jesus Christ, the mighty name
|Verse 2||Through the storm and raging sea
I will never be alone
When my hope seems out of sight
I know You will shine Your light
|Chorus||哈 利 路 亚 Hā lì lù yà 哈 利 路 亚 Hā lì lù yà 哈 利 路 亚! 赞 美 我 主 hā lì lù yà zàn měi wǒ zhǔ|
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:3-20
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. f 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Good morning dear brothers and sisters, would you please join me with a short prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for gathering us here to worship you and learn your words. God, we ask you please send your Holy Spirit to work in our hearts and help us understand your words. Help us live out your words in our daily life. God, I want to deliver myself, all my brothers and sisters here and the rest of our time of today in your hands. Please be with us. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Dear brothers and sisters, today, we are going to focus on the book of Ephesians Chapter 5:3-20. We know the letter to Ephesians is the most contemporary book in the Bible. Apart from a few terms and the subject of slavery, this letter could have been written to a modern church, because it shows us who we are without Christ and who we become with Christ. In this Scripture, Paul is using the contrasts between darkness and light, deception and truth, lack of fruit and fruit, and hidden and revealed. When he is speaking of the old life without Christ as compared to the new life in Christ, Paul tries to tell all Christians how we can live out a holy life in this world.
1. The believer is called to be a light
First, I want to say, the believer is called to be a light. Jesus is the light of the world and we are the light of the world. We all know the Book of Ephesians is a letter that Paul wrote to the church in
A. Jesus is the light of the world
Paul was asking the believers to not follow the bad examples around them and not to be influenced by their circumstances, and also this Scripture reminds us when Jesus was still in the world, and he called himself as the light of the world.
John 8:12 I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
We know usually when Jesus teaches, he always uses the things that we are familiar with. When the room is dark, you may think it is very clean. But then the light is on, you will find there are a lot of dusts in the room.
B. We are the light of the world
Before we get to know Jesus, maybe we think we are good people or we are even perfect. But after we get to know Jesus, we find that we are not perfect and even are not good. We are sinners and we need the light, because Jesus is the light of life. He changes our lives.
Ephesians 5: 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
We are light in the Lord. This is a call that comes from God. He calls us to live as children of light. Before we came to Him, we were dead in our trespasses and sins. And we were the children of Satan. Whereas we think we are light, we are content to be darkness. But then something happened, because Jesus came to us to save us. So we are in Christ, we are now light. We who were once children of darkness have become children of light.
1 John 1:5-7 This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light;
In Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.
Each of us has been called to live a different life from those who are still grouping in darkness and sins. We have the responsibility to show up in the world by living a contrast way of life and by showing that Christ really does make a difference in how we live in our daily lives. We can be the light in the dark corners of the world. And be a positive influence on those who are still living in the darkness. Of course, it does not happen overnight. Actually it is a process as we seek to live out our lives each day. But we should remember, Jesus is the light of the world and we are called to be light of the world.
2. Live as Children of Light
Just like what we said, we know we should be the light of the world. But what should we do to live as children of light? Here we will look at the deeds that characterize those who are living in the light.
A. Renewing of your words.
Paul says in Ephesians 5:3-4, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. ”
Here we can see some commands to avoid sins of tongue.
1) Avoid sexual immorality, impurity and greed,
2) Avoid obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking (silly talk)
Because there are not proper for God’s people.
But, what are proper for God’s people?
1) Not only avoid sins of the tongue but we are to be thankful
2) We are to honor God with our speech, Verse 4.
We have always heard that our actions must match with who we are and what we believe. In fact, our words are as important as our actions, because words lead to actions. We wouldn’t use bad languages when we are standing in God’s presence, because it is not fitting with our identity and it is not proper for God’s people. Here God is not condemning humor but foolishness.
I remember once I had a meeting with one of the Christian organizations. Before I went there, I thought all the people who would be attending the meeting shall be Christians. But when I arrived, I found some people were quarreling with each other. They said many bad words and bad things. So I thought they were not Christians. But when the meeting started, they all introduced themselves as Christians. At that time, I felt very hurt by them. And it reminds me of how I can use my tongue wisely. How can we say words that please God and help people not hurt others? And also it makes me think about what it would be like to feel ourselves through the light of God’s standards before we open our mouth. I don’t know if you have ever had this kind of experience of having a conversation with someone and then afterwards, you feel it is a waste of time. And the conversation was meaningless, maybe it’s
Colossians 3:16-17 Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
B, Renewing of your mind.
Verses 8 to 10 tell us that “Live as children of light, for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth, and find out what pleases the Lord.” What Paul means is that those who live as children of light will continuingly try to figure out what the will of God is in every situation, so that we could please Him. Here we can see some commands to avoid shameful sins
a, It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.
b, Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
What is proper for God’s people?
a, The fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteous and truth,(Verse 9)
b, Trying to learn what is pleasing to God.(Verse10)
So the things we should think to be goodness, righteous and truth Paul told us to find out what pleases the Lord in verse 10. And also we said the same thing in verse 17：Do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” In Matthew 12:
First, if you want to have a fruit of goodness, righteousness, and truth, the way to do is to get close to the Light, and spend time next to the Light. Because Jesus is goodness, He is the righteousness and truth, and that’s why it is very important for you to spend personal time with God in prayer and Bible study every day. And that’s why it’s very important for you to come to church to worship Him and have fellowship with others. What we are, how we act and how we speak, all of these have to do our relationship with God.
Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
What is in our heart is very important. If you get close to Jesus and let Him be the Lord in your heart, you will be able to shine in your life.
Second, study His word and ask if it will please God.
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
How do we find out what is God’s plan and God’s will? The way to learn is to be a student to God’s words. Read it, ask questions of it and apply it in the very situation in your life. Then, you will see the light and be able to shine in your life. I think we can all imagine how many bad situations you and I could have avoided? In our life, if we only would have had the sins, we just ask the simple question “Is this action, attitude or behavior pleasing to God?” Yes, we need to ask this question constantly. In every decision, in every behavior, in every attitude, ask ourselves: “Does this behavior please you, God? Does this attitude presently please you God? Does this experience I am considering please you God?” Sometimes, the answer is no because we want to please ourselves. We want our actions to please others not God. David has the right attitude in:
Psalm19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
David is saying “I don’t want to speak words from my mouth, if it doesn’t please you, O Lord.” It even goes further than that. He says “I don’t even want myself if the meditation of my heart not to please you.” He wants to prove with his life that he was living to please the Lord.
Brothers and sisters, how can the Bible help us with our decisions and our situations? Maybe the Bible didn’t tell you everything in details, but there is a principle to help you. The principle is that “to prove every thought, every action and every word to the test, what will the Lord think about it?
C, Renewing of your action.
a, Commands to avoid shameful actions. Paul told us “Exposure instead of Participation” There are many comments on lifestyles or situations in our society, like drunkenness, marriage co-habitation (live together without getting married)., Divorce is becoming easier and easier, and even more and more college students’ lovers are choosing to live together out of campus. What’s your opinion about this? Do you agree or disagree? Do you care about what the Bible teaches or it doesn’t matter? We need to think about it.
Psalm1:1-6 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
Our light will expose darkness and help others. The words “expose” means “not to just make known but also to reprove, to correct, to point something out to someone”. Paul goes on to think about the impact of dominant culture on our lives. Maybe you feel hard to maintain your integrity in today’s society, or maybe you look around and find that nothing has really changed in 2000 yet, but Paul suggest that “to be the light in this world, do not participate in any shameful action, but rather reprove such people; for because of such things, God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient, therefore, do not be partners with them”.
What’s proper for God’s people? Paul told us “to seek the life in the Spirit”. The commend “be very careful, then how you live” explained by 3 “not but” contrasts here:
a. not as unwise, but as wise;
b. not foolish, but understanding what the Lord’s will is;
c. not drunk, but filled it with Spirit. Because drunkenness is involved in a lot of control of our actions, but the work of the Spirit is to give us control over our actions in a Godly way.
Matthew 5: 16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.
If we are God’s really loved dear children, we need to act like it. Put off our old way of life and put on the new life. Be wise in the way we live, be wise in the way we use our time, be wise in the way we think and be wise in the way we use our words and tune. Always ask the same question: Will this please the Lord?
3. A wake-up call for believers ----- turns on your light.
I think this Scripture is also a wake-up call for Christians who are in a spiritual slumber. We need to wake up and not to be sleepy Christians any more. Sometimes, we have no problem shining brightly on Sunday mornings, but we have a problem to keep the light on during the rest of the week. However, if we are pursuing right standing with God and others, we’ll live the same on Monday morning as we have lived on Sunday in the church, and people will see it. We shall avoid being a beam light. Jesus says: No one lights a lamp and put it under a bushel (Matthew 5:15).
Several years ago, I got to know a sister; she was just a new believer at that time, while I met her and ask her: “How did you feel after you became a Christian?” And she said, “I feel there’s no freedom, compared with the lifestyle I had when I was not a Christian.” So I was so surprised and I asked her why. She said, “Before I became a Christian, I was the NO
Ephesians 5:14 Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.
In Romans, Paul said the same thing.
Romans 13: 11-14 And do this understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the light is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothes yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
I still remember there’s a parable that Jesus told us about the ten virgins. The
Dear brothers and sisters, leaving the light on require four acts:
a, Live continually in the Lord, be aware of Him, directed by Him and discern what is pleasing to Him;
b, Refuse to partner with or participate in sexual sin, greed, inappropriate language, and every form of disobedience;
c, Perform positive actions, doing good, righteousness and truth;
d, Expose the darkness for what it is.
Once I heard a pastor said that the church is the company that produces the light and salt. Today I want to say the same that