Read verses 1-5
Q: What is the prominent contrast presented here?
A: The contrast of light versus darkness.
Q: What is the greater teaching Paul is trying to get across by contrasting the light with the darkness?
A: Although Christ’s coming, as far as those living in the darkness are concerned, will be sudden and unexpected, such is not the case for believers, those living in the light because they are actively looking for His return.
Q: How does the metaphor of darkness practically reveal itself in people?
A: In Ephesians Paul explains that it is a life that has not experienced spiritual regeneration through Christ.
So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.
— Ephesians 4:17-19
John further identifies them as those who do not want to change their ways and would rather continue in spiritual darkness.
“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
— John 3:19
Point: Spiritual darkness is not simply being ignorant or uninformed where God’s Word and ways are concerned, but pursuing a lifestyle that is directly contrary and opposite.
Q: How does the metaphor of light practically reveal itself in people?
A: In Ephesians Paul explains that it is a life which visibly shows spiritual regeneration through Christ, who no longer live according to the old life but in pursuit of the new one in Christ.
for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
— Ephesians 5:8-10
Application: Those living in the shadow of Christ’s return are to live as visible, shining examples of new creation’s in Christ. This is proven by their actions – HOW they put God’s Word and ways into practice, what Jesus termed “salt” and “light” in the Sermon on the Mount.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
— 1 Peter 2:9