in the Light
by John Edmiston
Walking In the Spirit
(A Ministry of Eternity Christian Fellowship)
What does it mean to be someone who walks in the light always having a good conscience before God and man?
Acts 24:16 MKJV And in this I exercise myself, always to have a blameless conscience toward God and men.
By saying in this I exercise myself Paul indicates that living in the light took some discipline. It involved him making clear choices about his lifestyle, thoughts and behavior and in his case about how he would carry out his ministry.
2 Corinthians 4:2 MKJV But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor adulterating the Word of God, but by the revelation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
In these verses Paul gives us three verbs that give us a clue about how he disciplined himself: renounced, not walking in, nor adulterating.
Firstly, Paul put sinful and deceitful things far away from him, he renounced them. If he had once been doing them, he completely stopped doing them. Secondly, Paul also put his feet on the right track and refused to walk in the wrong track. He took control of his life's direction and did not walk in craftiness. Finally Paul chose purity not adulterating (watering down) the word of God or mixing it with other teachings and philosophies. He chose to preach and teach the straight truth of God.
If we really want to have close fellowship with God the Holy Spirit, we must put away those things which harden our heart and defile our conscience. These include: rage, bitterness, aggression, hatred, foul language, gossip, and speaking evil of one another:
Ephesians 4:30-32 MKJV And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed until the day of redemption. (31) Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and tumult and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. (32) And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you.
We need to thoroughly cleanse our lives with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ; consciously ridding ourselves of all sin:
Hebrews 9:14 MKJV how much more shall the blood of Christ (who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God) purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
1 John 1:7-9 MKJV But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (8) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The blood of Jesus is the powerful spiritual agent which scrubs us clean from sin as we admit and confess our sins. Jesus removes the guilt and penalty of sin, and he also removes the power of the sin nature - so that we no longer do 'dead works ' - that is works or deeds which flow from sin and which lead to spiritual death (Romans 6:23).
This means we can 'have fellowship with one another' because the relationship obstructions caused by sin and jealousy are cleansed from our hearts. We are open, honest and transparent! True intimacy with God and man comes about as we choose to live in the Light!
In fact God takes us out of darkness and we become people of the light:
Ephesians 5:8-14 ISV For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. (9) For the fruit of the light consists of every form of goodness, righteousness, and truth. (10) Determine what pleases the Lord, (11) and have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness. Instead, expose them for what they are. (12) For it is shameful even to mention what is done by people in secret. (13) But everything that is exposed to the light becomes visible, (14) for everything that is visible is light. That is why it says, "Wake up, O sleeper! Arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.''
There is a very strong contrast here. The light must have nothing to do with the darkness. It is a binary choice. We cannot go back and have a little bit of sin on the side. There is to be a complete break:
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 ISV (14) Stop becoming unevenly yoked with unbelievers. What partnership can righteousness have with lawlessness? What fellowship can light have with darkness? (15) What harmony exists between Christ and Beliar, or what do a believer and an unbeliever have in common? (16) What agreement can a temple of God make with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said: "I will live and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people." (17) Therefore, "Get away from them and separate yourselves from them," declares the Lord, "and don't touch anything unclean. Then I will welcome you. (18) I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters," declares the Lord Almighty.
When we make this break from the world of darkness, we will find God is right there welcoming us and calling us His sons and daughters. When we leave the darkness we head toward fellowship with the Lord and He will call us His people!
As we saw in the Ephesians verses above, those who dwell in the light are characterized by 'every form of goodness, righteousness and truth' . The Christian life is to be filled with good behavior, righteous behavior and truthful living. Living in the light is an entirely positive and honest lifestyle! It is solid and full of God-blessed integrity and love.
In direct contrast to the 'sons of the Devil' whose hearts are filled with hatred, rage, envy and selfish ambition (see yesterday's study) those whose dwell in the light have hearts which are filled with love:
1 John 2:8-10 MKJV Again, I write a new commandment to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true Light now shines. (9) He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in darkness until now. (10) He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no offense in him.
If we love our brother we abide in the light and there is no offense in us! (1 John 2:10) Such love indicates that we are born of God and are children of the Most High:
1 John 4:7 MKJV Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God.
Luke 6:35 MKJV But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return. And your reward shall be great, and you shall be the sons of the Highest. For He is kind to the unthankful and to the evil.
So we see that the people who live in the light are people full of love. These are the pure in heart that behold the Lord (Matthew 5:5). Those who truly hear God are the spiritually soft, the unhardened, the meek and gentle and obedient, the ones filled with kindness, honesty, mercy and generosity. These are truly His sheep. Their conscience is awakened and undefiled. They walk in purity and truth.
We cannot be both receptive to God and also deliberately disobedient to the commandments of Jesus Christ. When God clearly speaks to us in our conscience we must obey that prompting. (Of course if we feel prompted to do something doubtful, foolish or sinful that is not our conscience speaking but rather our flesh or even the Devil). When God tells us to refrain from sin, we should stop right there and then. And when God tells us to let go of rage, or to apologize, or to show kindness to another we should immediately carry out that prompting of our conscience.
The conscience is a very sensitive instrument within you that was created so that you could always know what is right and what is wrong and download spiritual truth from Heaven. The conscience is made to dwell in the light and will lead you towards that Light. You should eradicate all moral compromise from your life right now before it further affects your conscience.
You must seek to live a spotless and blameless life in all holiness and love of the truth. God's forgiveness and grace will be available to you as you do this. God wants you to be holy as He is holy (1Peter 1:16) and the Holy Spirit will lovingly coach you as you accept the challenge of fully living in the light (John 14:26, 1 John 2:20,27).
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