Friday, April 29, 2011

Light Exposes Things For What They Really Are

This week, we're studying Ephesians 5:1-20 for our life class at First B. Verse 13 says, "But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light." In the Bible, there are lots of instances where Christians are called to be a light. This means different things in each context, but in this context, it seems like we are called to reveal things for what they are. 

Christians believe in absolute truth and in this verse, Paul is telling us simply to reveal the truth. That's a pretty powerful idea that all we need to do is reveal the truth and it will do the rest. We don't have to act like salesmen, making some pitch to someone in order to trick them into believing us. We simply need to say the truth.

An example that Tim, our college pastor, brought up one time was the Dos Equis commercials with "The Most Interesting Man in the World." At the end of the commercial he says, "I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis." He doesn't claim it's the best beer in the world. He doesn't claim he refuses to drink anything else. He just says he prefers it. That's pretty truthful and Tim brought up the point that people don't want to hear a gimmick, they just want to hear an honest opinion. That really applies to our calling to be a light. We are to reveal things for what they are in complete truthfulness. 

One area where we desperately need to accurately reveal the truth is in sin. There are two ways to reveal sin: reveal someone else's sin or reveal your own sin. We are often tempted to only do the first and skip the second. But no, we need to reveal our own sin for what it is. I'm not saying to shout it out to everyone that you're living in sin, but I am saying that you should be very ready to reveal your sin for the sake of glorifying Christ. By revealing our own sin, we can more accurately portray the truth of sin. And as the verse said, everything that is illuminated becomes a light. God can even use sin to bring himself glory. By accurately illuminating the truth of sin, we can more accurately show God's love to others.

Christians are often bad at that, specifically with homosexuality. Christians believe homosexuality is a sin and that's not news to anybody. But the problem lies when we make it out to be something much worse than our own sins that we struggle with. If we're going to preach that homosexuality is a sin, we have to preach it truthfully. It is a sexual sin, that in God's eyes is no different from cheating on your wife, premarital sex, or pornography. Making homosexuality out to be something horrendously worse than other sins is not truthful and completely unhelpful.

In all of this we need to keep in mind that we are not the source of light, but that God is. We have to ask the question, "Is this God revealing the truth through me or am I revealing something for my own agenda?" We should look for the truth ourselves and should reveal the truth to others all for the simple goal of knowing God. If we really know God and his truth, good things will happen.

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