The phrase: "You were once in darkness" in verse 8 refers to the believer's state before Christ.  That includes me too.  Before Christ I was definitely "in darkness", living for myself and in drunkenness and other sins too numerous to mention.  Even the words that came out of my mouth was garbage.

But now the next two little words show a dramatic change.  You are light in the Lord.  There is a transformation that takes place when we are 'in Christ!'  It is totally by God's grace that we are able to change because He has given us His Spirit to live in us.  I am instructed to walk as a child of the light.  This means I am different now.  I am to prove what is acceptable to the Lord.  In order to do that I have to get into the Word of God and let it 'get into' me.  I am to no longer have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.  My relationships with people who have a bad influence on me should change. There is a putting off of the old relationships (bad influences in my life) and a putting on of the new (Christ centered relationships).  In Galatians 5:19-22 we find two words:  "works" and "fruit".  The 'works' of the flesh refer to our old nature which is self-centered and carnal.  The 'fruit' of the Spirit is referring to the results of living a Christ centered life.  We should begin to see the character qualities of Christ such as love, joy, peace, patience, meekness, self-control, gentleness, kindness etc. begin to take root and grow in our life as we walk with our Lord.  In Ephesians 5:12 it tells us that it is a shame to even talk about these dark things but rather to reprove them.  We should not even tell jokes about the works of darkness. 

When we allow ourselves to be close to God, the light of His Spirit which lives in us reveals the evil and shows us the good.  Christ gave us this Spirit to lead and guide us into all righteousness.  Paul ends this section by telling the sleepers to 'wake up.'  (or perhaps 'smell the coffee' is more fitting for our present day.)  It is important to stay alert and listen to the Spirit's guidance.  When we are, we are able to receive the 'light.'  I John 1:7 reminds us:  "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin."



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