The worthy walk of a Christian is filled with light contrasting the spiritual darkness of the world.

God is light, and as we experience His work of dramatic transformation, we will find ourselves shining as lights in a world that loves darkness. The Bible knows nothing of a saved person who has a lifelong lifestyle of struggle with sin. God’s effective grace ensures you will grow more like Christ over time. These verses continue to describe what Light looks like.

The Nature of Light (verse 8)

You are also Light according to this passage, if Christ who is the Light is in you. The nature of our light comes from our new nature of being “in the Lord.” What He is, we become. We walk in the light because we are in the Lord. We endure affliction and temptation with joy as Jesus did, knowing that earthly hardship pales in comparison to eternal glory.

The Expression of Light (verses 8b-9)

Our walk is to be expressed in a worthy manner and in love (Eph. 4:1-2). As we saw previously, love is obedience (John 14:15). This lifestyle is compelled by grace and characterized by goodness, righteousness, and truth. Goodness has been described in Ephesians 4:25-5:2. Truth is found in Jesus (Eph. 4:21) and is the source of righteousness and holiness.

The Manner of Light (verse 10)

Next, Paul gets more specific about what light does – what its mannerisms are. The key word in this verse is “learn.” This word means to thoroughly examine something from every angle, put it to the test, then approve it according to God’s standard of light. This is how we are to determine what activities are proper for God’s people. It’s a process that takes some time.

The Simplicity of Light (verse 11)

Light reveals the mess that develops in darkness and compels the one who sees to clean it up. This is our role in the world. You don’t even have to preach – just your nature and presence exposes the culture for what it is. As you live in the Light, lost people will notice, and then you can explain that Jesus changed you.

Conclusion (verses 12-14)

Paul summarizes his discussion of Light in verses 12-14. Light should characterize our conversation. Our lifestyle of Light offers clarification as it reveals the darkness around us. The passage closes with an ancient hymn of inspiration, asking those who have been slipping back into darkness to wake up and continue to live in the Light.

Application Points

  • Do you take time to discern whether your activities are in harmony with God’s standard of Light? This is especially important in how you spend your leisure time. Give some thought to what you do in your down-time this week, and examine it against the Light of God’s Word. Determine to live in obedience to what you learn. Set your feet to living in the Light.

  • Does your conversation reflect the Light of Christ in you? Our passage says it is shameful even to mention immoral, impure activities of darkness – let alone listen to, view, and support those who are known for such. Are you talking about, watching, listening to, or otherwise indirectly supporting things that are disgraceful to God’s children of Light? Identify those things, and remove them from your life with God’s help. He loves to honor those who honor Him.

  • Does your life shine God’s light into the dark culture? Pray for opportunities to testify to the One who has changed you. Don’t preach standards to unbelievers; they won’t understand. Explain Jesus to them – He is the Light they need.

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore:
  • 1 John 1:5, John 1:4-5, John 3:19, Acts 26:13-15 – Jesus is light.
  • Psalm 27:1, Isaiah 9:2, 10:17, 12:6, 49:6, 60:1-3 – God is light.
  • Hebrews 12:2, 2 Corinthians 4:7-17 – Endure hardship with joy.
  • Romans 12:1-2, Philippians 1:9-11, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 – Examining, testing, and proving.
  • John 17:17 – Truth is the source of sanctification.
A Hymn to Encourage: “Trust and Obey”

When we walk with the Lord in the Light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.

But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

A Quote to Ponder:

Light has marked effects on those who receive it.