Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16 NKJV
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”
Ephesians 5:8-14 NKJV
Being a follower of Christ is not about just having an enlightened understanding of Christ or of His teachings – yes, this is how we come to the knowledge of truth – by hearing the Word of God. But being a follower must be more than just head knowledge – it must be active and alive in our hearts and actions and daily lives.
We are to walk in the light. We aren’t to fear or hide from the darkness. We aren’t to participate in the darkness, we are to expose it. Jesus didn’t spend time amongst sinners so that He could sin, but so that He could bring them to God. We should do the same. Jesus didn’t use love and mercy as an excuse to break the law, He demonstrated how God’s instruction is built upon loving God’s ways and character and nature instead of our own carnal desires. He doesn’t call us to add to our subtract from the Word of God to fit our own comfortable lifestyles or opinions, He calls us to pick up our cross and follow in His footsteps – in His example, in His truth, in His life – even if it leads to a similar end to His with people hating us and persecuting us because they hate Him.
He never instructs folks to “say a sinners prayer and then get in a good church” – He calls us to lay down our old lives and follow Him. He calls us to die to ourselves and to love Him completely. He calls us to walk in light and to be the church, to be the body, the vessel, that is willing to carry His truth, His love, His message out to the world – even to those who hate it. He doesn’t call us into a life of guaranteed comfort and prosperity in this world. He doesn’t call us into a life of complacency towards godliness, holiness, righteousness, repentance, and sin.
He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”