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The ‘Just’ Men and Women Must Stand and Let Their Light Shine
Rev. Dr. Peter D. Matthews
In Ephesian Chapter 5, the Apostle Paul taught how we should ‘live in the light’ of God. We are sons and daughters of God and therefore we should imitate Him. We should thank God for His grace and mercy (Ephesians 5:4). We should be pure in everything we do, for “no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world” (Ephesians 5:5).
Paul tells us we can’t excuse these sins, for the wrath (anger) of God will fall on ALL who disobey Him. “Instead, live as people of light!” (Ephesians 5:6-8). Paul tells us directly to: “Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them” (Ephesians 5:11). Light exposes evil or dark intentions in our community. When a community is in darkness, or evil thrust upon us, the ‘Just’ Men and Women must Stand and let their light shine, “for the light makes everything visible, This is why it is said: Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light” (Ephesians 5:14). It is a mark of faith, like turning on a light switch to brighten a community when the ‘Just’ Men and Women decide to stand and expose the evil. You are casting out the evil, balancing the scales of good and evil in our communities.
In the First Epistle of John, we find John teaching on the nature of God is light in 1 John 1:5-7 “This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you:”
God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:5-7).
We understand from Moses’ encounter on Mount Sinai that YHVH is pure light, a radiance so brilliant that when Moses came down the mountain from spending time with God, “Aaron and the people of Israel saw the radiance of Moses’ face, and they were afraid to come near him” (Exodus 34:30). Ezekiel described the glory of YHVH as, “a glowing halo, like a rainbow shining in the clouds on a rainy day” (Ezekiel 1:28). Jesus said to the people, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” (John 8:12).
This was in context to the woman caught in adultery and they wanted to use her as a political spectacle and stone her to death under Jewish law. Jesus said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” When nobody cast a stone, Jesus asked where your accusers now, as they all slunk away? He said to the woman, “Go and sin no more.” His message is about bringing light into darkness, life into death, and repentance, which leads unto salvation. The woman was clearly repentant and had escaped death, but Jesus instructed her to stop sinning, instead change your life, and be a light unto others.
We are called to ‘live in the light’ of God. Each morning I like to sit on my deck with a cup of coffee soaking in the presence of God, allowing Skekhinah to flow over me and inspire me in whatever way She sees fit. Yes, I said “She” because the Divine Presence of God is not male, per se; Shekhinah is the all-powerful pillar of fire that came to guide the Israelites, and is here for all of us today. She is the light of God (YHVH) mentioned throughout the Bible, who as Christians we know as the Holy Spirit (1 Samuel 10:5-7). God is Spirit and God is Light – The Spirit of YHVH is Light (John 4:24, 1 John 1:5). “The LORD’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive” (Proverbs 20:27). The ‘Just’ Men and Women must Stand and “Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them” (Ephesians 5:11).
© 2019 inclusive Dr Peter D Matthews. All rights reserved. This paper may be freely used for academic purposes, subject to citing Dr Peter D Matthews as the author. More information is also available on my website at www.petermatthews.com.au, or you can like my Facebook page to keep abreast of any updated material I find. My academia profile is also available here.