“Live to Reflect God’s Glory” Do not Join with Sinners in Their Sin
INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Ephesians 5.7-10
Ephesians chapter 5. In Christ, God has given to us every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Let me remind you that in Christ, he chose us before the foundation of the world that we would be holy and blameless before him in love.
To the many who have received him, to them He gave the right to eternal life. To the praise of his grace, he predestined us to adoption as sons. We have redemption, forgiveness, the riches of his grace, mystery of his will revealed, we were made his inheritance, we’ve been sealed with the Holy Spirit, who is the pledge of our inheritance, we were made alive in Christ because of his great love. He raised up with him and seemed with him in the heavenly places in Christ.
And now we have the opportunity to bear this precious gospel to the world.
Certainly, God has proved himself to be able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think.
Colossians 1:13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
And we are in a passage in Ephesians that tells us to live worthy of this truly awesome calling. Look at Ephesians 5:1-2 1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
For those whose trust is in Christ, God has saved us in the past today he desires that we live worthy of the calling. Ephesians 4:1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,
We have been called to an awesome calling. But to walk worthy of the calling demands that we understand what we have been called to.
We’ve been called to live a life of imitation of God as beloved children. We’ve been called to live in love. We’ve been called to live as children of Light.
So we have been called to be like Christ in thought, word, and action. And this is where it’s all headed: 1 John 3:2 …We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
One day we will be ultimately conformed to the image of Christ, in both body and spirit.
Our text this morning will be Ephesians 5 verses 7-10. Let’s get the context this morning and read from Ephesians 5 in verse three.
Ephesians 5:3-10 3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
This passage is an application of the gospel. We have the glorious truths of chapters 1-3 and what God has done for us in Christ. And now chapters 4-6 we have the application. We have the riches and the response. The wealth in Christ and now the walk in Christ.
And we saw last time from verses 3-6 that as an application of this worthy walk … As a child of the King of the universe … we are commanded in verses 3-6 not to have these evil practices even mentioned among us.
And in verses 7 to 10 which is our text, we are commanded not to join with sinners in their sin …. Where it says in verse Ephesians 5:7 Therefore do not be partakers with them;
So those certain practices we are not to have named among us in verses 3-6, and in verses 7-10 we are not to partner with sinners in their sin, and then in verses 11-13, we are not to participate in the sinner’s sin. Verses 7-10 the focus is partner with the sinner; verses 11-13 the focus is the sin.
And in our passage this morning in verses 7-10, we have two commands one in verse seven, “do not be partakers with them.” As well as verse eight, “walk as children of light.” You talk about “walk” as our lifestyle. What we will see this morning is that to live as a child of light means to live to reflect God’s glory.
So, I’d like to preach this morning “Live to Reflect God’s Glory and Do not Join with Sinners in Their Sin.” “Live to Reflect God’s Glory and Do not Join with Sinners in Their Sin.” We are not to partner up with sinners in their sin, but instead we are to live to reflect God’s glory. “Live to Reflect God’s Glory and Do not Join with Sinners in Their Sin.”
First, from verse 7, do not join with sinners in their sin because God’s wrath comes on them.
Do not join with sinners in their sin because God’s wrath comes on them (Eph. 5:7)
Ephesians 5:7 Therefore do not be partakers with them;
And the “therefore” there makes us want to drop back in verse six to get the connection … verse 6 … Ephesians 5:6-7 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things [what things? The sins of immorality and impurity and covetousness from verse 5 … because of these things … ] the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them;
So why, in verse 7, should you not be partakers with the sons of disobedience? It is because verse six, it is because of these things … these sins of immorality and impurity and covetousness from verse 5… Because of these things verse six, the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Now because of that verse seven … therefore don’t be partakers with them.
The consequences of living in sin are serious. Living in immorality and impurity and covetousness is serious. Do not be a partaker with those who live such lifestyles. This is serious because if we do become a partaker with them in these sins, this puts us in God’s direct line of fire. God’s wrath comes on these people!
Someone who is living this way, and has no remorse over his sin, does not love the brethren, does not want to come to light to be exposed by the light, and is refusing counsel from God’s Word, turns away from the truth of God’s Word and loves his sin … Make no mistake about it, this person is lost. No one is to deceive you about these things.
The wrath of God comes upon these sons of disobedience. If anyone who gets involved in these sins begins to put himself in the direct line of God’s fire. So perhaps you are in the line of fire of God in your life is testifying to it.
Don’t be deceived into thinking that this is harmless. Somebody says, “well once saved always saved, right? So I can live how I please. I made a profession when I was 8 years old and so I’m ok. Now, I’m going to live with my boyfriend.” Well, it is true that all that the Father has given to the Son will come to the Son of God. When a person comes to Christ and is regenerated, no man shall pluck him out of the Father’s hand, Jesus teaches.
But it is also true in Hebrews 12:14 Pursue … sanctification (or holiness) without which no one will see the Lord.”
Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.
When there is salvation, there is the fruit of being a child of God. A son who knows his father will be like his father. Each one of you are a chip off the ‘ole block. You are a chip off the old block physically and spiritually. You are like your biological father and you are like your spiritual father. You are either of your father the devil or God. You are either light or your darkness. You either bear good fruit or bad fruit.
And so we are not to be partakers with those lost sinners in their sin, Ephesians 5:7 says. In other words, we are not to join them in their sin.
This word “partaker” has the idea of a partner in crime. We are not to be partners in crime with lost people. Do not join with them in their rebellion.
Now, we’re not talking about merely associating with those who have refused Christ. 1 Co. 5:9-10 addresses that. 1 Corinthians 5:9-10 9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 [he clarifies now … ] I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.
So Paul is not talking about not hanging around lost people. Jesus was often found with tax collectors and sinners. So we also should not be scared to talk to lost people. But Paul’s point here is that we should not be a partner with them in their sin.
ILL: If my partner in crime robs a bank and I drive the car, I’m guilty. I’m a partner in crime like that. If my partner in crime opens the cash register, and I hold the cashier back, I’m just as guilty as my partner.
And so children of God are commanded here not to be partners in crime with sinners in their rebellion against God. Well, when is it that we would possibly partner with sinners in their sin? When is it that we could possibly be guilty of partnering with sinners in their sin.
First, and obviously, when we live in the same sinful way that they do. When we agree to their sin in our lives and give into their temptations. When we commit the sins of this world, involve ourselves in immorality, drunkenness, and watching those things in the world and coveting the glory and success of the world for the world’s sake …. Ok, this is partnering with sinners in their sin.
But second, we also partner with them in their sins when we encourage them or promote their sin. Buying the filth they produce, those kinds of movies … Are you paying for stuff and that stuff is used to spread filth? Are you giving your money to buy things and those things that you bought are used to spread the filth of lost people?
This is being a partner in crime. If someone steals a diamond ring and I swallow it I’m guilty. What is the world giving to you and you are swallowing it?
TRANS: So, do not partner with sinners in their sin. Why? Because if you partner up with sinners in their sin, you look like someone upon whom God’s wrath comes.
There is another reason why we should not partner up with sinners in their sin or join with them as they sin. Because, verse eight, you are not darkness, but light in the Lord.
Why should you not be a partner in rebellion with them? Verse 8, you are not darkness, but light in the Lord. That’s why.
Do partner with sinners in their sin because Christians are changed (Eph. 5:8a)
You should not partner with sinners in their sin because you’re not darkness but light in the Lord. In other words, you should not support or join with sinners in their sin because if you are a Christian, your life has been changed.
Ephesians 5:8 [do not partner up with sinners in their sin why? … b/c…for] you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord
You see, there is a contrast. There’s a difference. There’s a difference between those who are children of God and those who are Once you were this …but now you are this.
If you have trusted Christ and God’s given you His very life in you, at one time before that happened you were darkness. But now in the Lord, you are light!
There are many darkness and light passages in the New Testament. And I would say that this one is unique, because it does not say that you were once in darkness or that you were living in darkness … No, it says that you were the darkness itself. “You were formerly darkness” verse 8 says.
And in Scripture darkness can refer to both intellectual and moral error. If someone is ignorant of the facts, he is in intellectual darkness. If someone is living in sin, he is in moral darkness. And here, the focus is on the moral condition of the person.
Before coming to Christ, anyone is described this way no matter how much sin that person has done: he was once darkness. I would understand that as we were all at one time the very essence of sin and rebellion itself.
We were living in the sins of Ephesians 5:5 … We were living in immorality and impurity and covetousness
!!!!But when Christ came and His light shined in our hearts and our dungeon flamed with light and our chains fell off and our heart was free … We received power from God in our hearts for the first time to live like children of light. Do you really know that this morning?
So you can see there is a great contrast between the darkness of sinners in their sin and the light of the children of God in the Lord.
ILL: And this is exactly what we see in the physical realm. What is physical darkness? It is the absence of light. You can’t be both. You can’t be darkness and light at the same time. You are one or the other.
And so spiritually, either you are darkness in Satan or you are light in the Lord. Either you are lost or you are found in Christ. You are either dead in your sin or alive in Christ
So as children of God, we have had an incredible journey. We were dead in our trespasses and sins. And we lived our life according to the natural course of this world. We lived according to the prince of the power of the air … Satan himself. We lived in the desires of our flesh and we indulged the desires of the flesh and of the mind … And by our very nature, we were children of wrath even as the rest of humanity …. BUT God!
He is rich in his mercy and because of the great love that he has, when we were spiritually dead he made us alive together with Christ … And raised us up from the dead with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places so that in the ages to come he might show the surpassing riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
No means of measure could measure his limitless love for his children, but no means of measure could measure his limitless wrath against those who choose to continue to rebel against Him.
**Christian, do not join up with sinners in their sin. You were once darkness in Satan, but now are you are light in the Lord!
That’s where you’ve been and now you are light in the Lord, how are you then to live? Let’s ask … 2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
The answer is… There is no fellowship. Light and darkness have no fellowship, so therefore do not be bound together with unbelievers in their sin.
Do not join together with sinners in their sin; live as children reflecting God’s glory (Eph. 5:8b-10)
Instead of being joined together with sinners in their sin, live as children of light, says the end of Ephesians 5:8.
Command to reflect God’s glory (5:8b)
“Walk as children of light.” That is, “live as children of light.” What does it mean to be a child of light?
The Bible tells us in 1 John 1:5 that God is light. We are told in Ephesians 5:1 that we are children of God. Therefore, we are children of Light; and, therefore, we are children of God. And so we are to live like children of God. To live as children of Light means, effectively, to live as children of God.
Like I said before, we are chips off the old block. Like father, like son. You are either of your father the devil or of your Heavenly Father, God. Your life proves what you are.
And here, it’s put in terms of light. And one of the properties of light is that it can be reflected. A mirror reflects light. We are to live like children of light. Just like a mirror reflects the light, so also we are to reflect the true Light who has come into this world. We are to reflect the glory of God.
So to live as children of light means to live to reflect the glory of God. Our life is to be given over to living out of the glory of God. Our life’s calling is to put on display God’s glory.
In other words, we are to be like Jesus Christ. So you, beloved children of God, know your calling in life! This is your calling! You are called upon to display the glories of God.
Your life is set apart unto God. He is calling upon you to give your life over to reflecting his glory. You are to display the excellencies of his character.
TRANS: But how are you going to do that? And what does that look like?
Living as a child of Light means, first of all in verse nine, that you bear the fruit of a true child of God. Bear the fruit of a true child of God. And, secondly, in verse 10 a child of light learns how to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.
Bear the fruit of a true child of God and learn how to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. This is living as a child of light in this passage.
Characteristics of reflecting God’s glory (5:9-10)
Ephesians 5:9 is what we reflect. Ephesians 5:9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),
As children of light we bear the fruit of the light. And that fruit consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth. This is the fruit of our life as children of light.
ILL: A child of God will bear fruit in keeping with repentance; and every tree that does not bear good fruit is cast down and thrown into the fire.
And as Jesus taught us, you know right well that every good tree produces good fruit and every bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit.
You wouldn’t gather tasty figs from a thorn bush nor would you pick grapes from a bramble bush.
Every tree is known by its fruits. And some believers may produce 30 or some 60 or some hundredfold … But there will be fruit. It might be strange and be tasty dried raisins or more of what we would expect, and be plumb juicy grapes, but the good tree will always bear good fruit.
And if you are a child of the light, you will bear the fruit and reflect the glories of your heavenly father. But if you are of your child the devil, you will bear his fruit and reflect his character as well.
A child of Light will reflect the Light’s goodness
So first here we have what characteristics of God we are to reflect. There are 3 of them.
The child of the light will reflect the Light’s goodness. The true Light is good. God is good. When we think of God’s goodness, we think of him being generous and kind giving. We too are to be filled with goodness, but we are to reflect his goodness. He’s been so good to us in Jesus Christ.
A child of Light will reflect the Light’s righteousness
And second a child of the light will reflect the light’s righteousness. As children of the light, we have received a perfect standing before him. In Christ, God has credited to our account the very righteousness of Jesus Christ. We have been justified, that is, we have been declared righteous. This is our position before him.
Because this is our position before him, we ought to endeavor to live out that very position before him. He has been so good to us to give us his very own righteousness we should strive to see that righteousness actually worked out in our lives.
A child of Light will reflect the Light’s truth
And the third characteristic of God that we are to reflect is the light’s truth. This is where we live out the truth. Jesus is “the way, the truth.” We are to reflect Him, who alone is the truth. *We are to live out the truth and be empowered by the truth that we might live as pillars of the truth, displaying God’s truth in Christ to a watching world.
So as children of light we are reflecting these things. We reflect them kind of like a mirror.
ILL: A mirror can only reflect what is already there. Most of you, at some point between when you woke up and when you got to church, stood before a mirror. Ahem… And unfortunately, the mirror could only tell you what’s already there!
And thankfully, with God it can be a whole lot better. As children of the Light we are made to reflect what is true of the Light that shines in us. If you are a child of the light, your life will reflect the glories of God. We are to grow in our ability to reflect the nature of God in his goodness, righteousness, and truth.
But if you are a child of the devil, your life will reflect that. Test yourself to see if you are in the faith… Examine yourself! Is it your life’s ambition, to whatever degree, in your quiet moments, is it your life’s ambition to reflect the glories of God? Does your heart say ‘amen’ to these things?
What is your life like?
ILL: Physicists have turned on the world’s most powerful laser, whose pulses are more intense than any known light source in the universe. The incredible temperatures and pressures it generates when it hits a target let scientists explore conditions found in exploding stars and the cores of giant planets.
The Texas Petawatt Laser resides at the University of Texas in Austin, US. It can blast out infrared laser pulses that each have more than 1 petawatt of power. A petawatt is 1 million billion watts, far more than the output of all the world’s power plants put together, which is measured in mere terawatts (1 terawatt is a trillion watts).
Someone by the name of Ditmire says … “My astrophysicist friends tell me that near a gamma-ray burst, they surmised that the [light] intensity probably gets to 1020 watts per square centimetre during the explosion,” Ditmire told [this magazine] New Scientist. Light from the Texas Petawatt laser can reach about 100 times that level, he says. “For the briefest instant, over a very small volume, we’ll have the brightest light in the universe.”
That’s a powerful light. That light scatter’s darkness like nobody’s business. Of course, God is light. And His light is infinitely more powerful than that to scatter spiritual darkness.
Now, if we were to examine your life with the Light of God, would your life show that you are a child of God?
1 John 1:5-7 5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
A child of God does sin, but he also knows the cleansing power as he walks in the light and comes to the light that his sin might come to light so that can he repent of it.
David sinned great sin, adultery and murder. But when confronted about his sin by Nathan the prophet, he confessed and repented of His sin. He came to the Light.
A child of the Light comes to the light so that his deeds may be seen to have been accomplished in God.
John 3:20-21 20 “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been accomplished in God.”
Have you come to the light? Do you reflect the nature of that Light? A child of God reflects the nature of the God who is Light. But also, a child of the light will be, verse 10 …
Ephesians 5:10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
A child of Light will be discerning what is pleasing to the Lord
A child of the light is on a path toward discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. He desires to grow in his ability to discern what is pleasing to him. This is where he’s headed.
You know, not everything is spelled out in Scripture. And some arguments of people who bear the name of Christ are that if there is not a chapter and verse on “what you are saying I can’t do, then I am free to do it.”
Obviously, that person’s focus in life is not to grow in his ability to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Someone who is trying to discern what is pleasing to the Lord is not asking, “is it really sin to do this? I mean it’s not that bad.”
The child of the Light has a heart that wants to please the Lord in everything that he does. And to do that, it takes discernment. The phrase “trying to learn” or “proving” as some of you have it, means “to put something to the test.” It has the idea in this context of reaching a good conclusion. In other words, a child of the Light seeks to discern if this or that indeed pleases the Lord or not. The question becomes “Does this please the Lord?” Not “Is this really sinful…ah, I’m going to do it.”
APP: So ask yourself, is this or that harming the spiritual health of you or your family? If it does, is it really pleasing to the Lord? If your pursuits and interests keep you from real meaningful conversation with God, is this good? Does something need to change? Should you change it? Why don’t you?
Do you please the Lord on how you spend your time or money? Is your perception of money and business the same as that of the world? Do you have the world’s consumer mentality or is what is in your heart the economics of Christ?
A true child of God is growing in his ability to discern what is pleasing to the Lord, even when it’s not specifically spelled out in Scripture.
And so believers are commanded in this passage not to be partakers with the sons of disobedience, but to live as children of light. And as children of light we will reflect that Light. And the fruit of the Light that we reflect in our lives consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth. And a child of light lives in such a way that it is clear that he is attempting to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.
Well, how do you discern what is pleasing to the Lord and how do you reflect His character qualities? The way to get discernment and to bear the fruit of the Light is to gaze long and hard into his Word, the mirror of the word of God. In 2 Corinthians 3:18, Paul describes the Bible as a mirror. It reflects God’s Light to us. And as we gaze long and thoughtfully into the mirror that is reflecting the glory of God and beholding the glory of God, we are being transformed. We are transformed into the same image that we see in His word and we are changing progressively. We are changing from glory to glory just as from the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
So as we look long and hard into the mirror of God’s word it will judge us and show us who we really are, and we will behold the glories of God in our heart by the illumination of the Holy Spirit and we will be changed … We will be progressively changed from glory to glory through the power that he gives to us. But it will only come through exposing yourself to Scripture and as he illuminates your mind to these things.
CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Ephesians 5.7-10
And so, believer endeavor to fulfill God’s calling on your life to reflect His glory as a child of light. Endeavor not to join up with unbelievers in their sin. Because…
Matthew 5:14-16 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
Let your life shine before those who are themselves the very embodiment of darkness … who have their minds blinded by the god of this world. Let it shine so that they might see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (2 Co. 4:4). Let it shine that the glories of God might fill this dark world. Let it shine that the joy and patience of Christ might make a difference in someone else’s life for all eternity.
Let’s encourage each other with this, #312 Turn your eyes upon Jesus.