Summary of Figuring out life: as you leave the shadows
The message starts with a very awkward and unsettling moment: the worship area went dark and Brent did not take the stage. We sat in darkness. Brent began speaking to the audience from somewhere in the crowd. He spoke about the strange feeling we all felt when we expected light but instead we were met with darkness.
Light and Dark
“For you were darkness, now you are light.” Paul, the writer of Ephesians, is making a point about contrast. Paul is pointing out that there is no grey area. Brent uses the metaphor of waiting for a BC Ferries and spirituality. People wonder if they are going to make the ferry, and like spirituality people wonder if they are going to make it into heaven. That seems like a grey area. But Paul (and Brent) remind us that you are either a God lover or not.
Being light because of Jesus
We cannot move from darkness to light by ourselves. Only through Jesus can we move from being darkness into being light.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world…”. Jesus uses this metaphor several times. He is illustrating what happens with salvation.
Being “light” but living within the shadows
We are drawn to the shadows
The “shadows” are the old habits of a pre-saved individual. This is normal, as we are all drawn and tempted to be near sin (the dark.) Usually there is someone who helps guide us into “flirting” with darkness (anti-God behaviour, anti-God focus).
Sin (the dark) is enticing
Sin is attractive. Sin is what a person uses to feel self sufficient. Sin will cause a person to feel uncontrollable and it will lead to being “stuck in the shadows”.
Being stuck in the shadows
When a person flirts with the darkness he or she can become very comfortable living within the grey area of the shadows.
Get out of the shadows
It comes down to discipleship (being taught about God) and community (serving God and being in a community group).
A person must discover and discern what God wants. “Go and make disciples.” The SouthRidge community must be careful not to be satisfied with being disciples and not making disciples. We must do both! We can’t settle with just being a disciple.
Safety in the shadows is a lie
All people have fruitless deeds in their lives. Paul tells us to get rid of our fruitless deeds and expose them to the light. This means a person’s sins will become known.
Fear of being too dark (dark)
Jesus came a blows the doors of the kind of self loathing thinking. Jesus came and accepts a dark person while they are still in the dark! He doesn’t want us to change to come and meet him in the light, instead he comes to those who are in the dark and leads them out into the light.
The problem with being surrounded by light
Growing up in the church can sometimes lead to people who never love God but enjoy the environment of light. Being surrounded by those who love God does not mean a person can ride their coattails.
Exposing the darkness
As a person who loves God and have become “light” in a dark and sinful world we have the ability to expose darkness (sin, opposition to God.) Brent challenges SouthRidge to take this seriously. He also warns us that exposing the darkness will lead to conflict from those who enjoy the darkness.
We shouldn’t exclude those hidden in the darkness
Brent reminds us that we cannot ignore those within the darkness. We must engage with those within the darkness. (John 3:19-21). A Christian’s job is to expose the darkness and tell others about the light (Jesus and God.)
About this Message Series
This is a message in a series called Ephesians. The goal of this series is to discuss the topics and themes that arise from the New Testament book Ephesians. The book of Ephesians is a letter that Paul wrote while in prison. Sometimes it is called a Prison Epistle. It was written to encourage believers. He was encouraging other faithful followers of Jesus to serve in unity and love in the midst of persecution. This series was started in January 2016.
About the Speaker
Brent is the lead pastor here at SouthRidge. He and his wife Pam were part of the original church plant.