Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 5
The words that Paul repeats in this verse are interesting. They do not appear in this form anywhere else in the Bible. However, they may remind us of such passages as Isaiah 9:2; Isaiah 60:1-2 and Ezekiel 37:1-10. Some people have guessed that the words may come from one of the first Christian songs. We do not know about that idea - but Paul does mention such songs just a few verses later (5:19).
However, the meaning of these words is clear. God has a message for people who desperately need his help. Their wrong and evil acts have made them into God’s enemies (Romans 5:10). The Book of Ephesians describes their state as dead (2:1), far from God (2:13), and in darkness (5:8). That is the state of us all until God forgives our evil deeds (Romans 3:23).
God desires very much to forgive us and to give us a right relationship with himself (Isaiah 55:7; Ezekiel 18:31-32). However, that is only possible when we turn from our evil deeds to invite Christ into our lives. That is like when someone rises from sleep. God makes the most astonishing change in a person’s life (2 Corinthians 5:17). We can even compare it to a dead person who rises from the grave. That person, who wandered so far from God, has now returned to him (Luke 15:11-32). That person, whom God considered dead, receives a new kind of life from him (John 10:10).
That person now lives for God. Formerly, we described their wrong deeds as darkness - now, we describe their state as the opposite: they walk (live) in the light (5:8). That light means the knowledge of the truth, which Christ gives to them (John 1:14; Psalm 43:3). By that truth, Christ shows them how they must live.
Next part: How we can use our time wisely (Ephesians 5:15-17)
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© 2019, Keith Simons.