For this reason it says, "Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you."Ephesians 5:14(NASB)
While the first part of Ephesians is an exposition of Scripture where Paul reminds us of the wonderful advantages that are ours in Christ, the last section moves to exhortation where we are instructed in Christian conduct and charged to live as sons of God and joint heirs with Christ.
We are to be imitators of God and live our lives through the power of the indwelling Spirit. We are to be filled with the Spirit, to walk in spirit and truth, to live in unity with all the saints of God, and provide mutual encouragement to one another. We are to walk in the love of the Lord and live in the light of His lovely presence, for with the privileges of sonship there come immense responsibilities.
Though we were born dead in sin and blinded to the truth of the gospel, we have been born from above and made alive in Christ. Although we were formerly sons of disobedience and enslaved in the kingdom of darkness, we have been set free, made a new creation, and brought into the Light.
Because we have been declared righteous by God and imputed with the righteousness of Christ, we are to live in the Light of His love. As part of God's new creation, we are commanded to live as children of the Light and produce spiritual fruit which consists of all goodness, righteousness, and truth. It is for this reason that we are commanded to WAKE UP from our spiritual slumber.
Because we are born anew, regenerated by the Spirit, made children of the Light, and energised by the Spirit of God, we are to be spiritually awake and spiritually aroused from any spiritual slumber. We are to be excited into newness of life: "Awake, sleeper," we are exhorted, "AWAKE.. and arise from the dead - and Christ will shine upon you."
We are to 'WAKE-UP!' We are to 'ARISE!' We are to 'WALK' as directed by the Lord. We are to be spiritually alert and grow in grace. We are to mature in the faith and walk in the unity of the Spirit. We are to be holy and righteous and good in all our conduct, for the Lord our God is holy and righteous and good. We are to walk in love and keep on walking in the light, endeavouring to please the Lord as He works in our lives to conform us into the image and likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Light of the world that lights every man that comes into the world.
Once saved, we are not to fall into some soporific state, but to progress steadily and practically, in our Christian life. We are not to remain in spiritual infancy, but are to be progressively sanctified as we change from one stage of glory to the next, for this is God's will for all His children.
It has been said that we either progress towards maturity in our Christian life or regress back into spiritual infancy - there is no standing still. While the first is living in accordance with God's will for our lives and walking in the light, the second is outside His will and causes our heart to become lukewarm and our faith to falter.
Walking in unity of the faith and in the light of His truth is pleasing to God, for we are abiding in Christ and He in us. When we fall into spiritual slumber, our fellowship with the Father falls into neglect, Christian witness is seriously tarnished, and we are in danger of being enticed back into the unfruitful works of darkness instead of living in the light.
It is for this reason that we are called to wake up from any compromise in our Christianity or coldness of heart. For this reason we are to: "Awake, from our sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ, the Light, will shine on you."
Heavenly Father, I realise there are times in my Christian life when I have allowed a spirit of slumber to overtake me and I have faltered in my Christian journey, but I pray that I would awaken from any soporific state, walk in newness of life, and live in the light of Christ's lovely presence. I pray that I would press on for the high call I have in Christ Jesus and produce the fruit of goodness, righteousness, and truth. Help me to honour Your holy name by the life I live and the attitude of my heart. Thank You for the many privileges I enjoy as Your child and I pray that I would fulfil the responsibilities I have to live according to Your Word and to walk in the light as He is in the light. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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