Posted by: missionventureministries | May 17, 2017

WAKE UP YOU WHO ARE SLEEPING – Ephesians 5:14

The Holy Writings say: “Wake up, you who are sleeping. Rise from the dead and Christ will give you light.” Ephesians 5:14  

The apostle Paul is constantly exhorting churches to wake up. In the letter to the Romans he writes, “The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed” (Romans 13:11). He commands the Corinthians to awake and to start living a godly life. He tells the Thessalonians, “So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded” (1 Thessalonians 5:6); and he writes about the same subject to the church in Ephesus. 

Paul here offers an invitation, a call for those who are not children of light to come to the light and be saved. The words are adapted from Isaiah 60:1, which reads, “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” Paul shows the prophetic meaning of those texts by declaring that “the glory of the Lord (that) has risen” is none other than Jesus Christ, the Messiah that Isaiah and every godly Jew had so longed hoped for.  

Awake, sleeper describes the sinner who is asleep in the darkness of sin and unaware of his lost condition and tragic destiny. Arise from the dead is a summons to repentance, an appeal to turn away from the ways of sin that lead you to death.  

As we further analyze this verse we also come to the conclusion that “wake up, you who are sleeping” means to get up from a state of slumber and false security. “Sleep and death” are striking representations of the state in which people find themselves. In “sleep” we are, though living, insensible to any danger that may be near; we are unconscious of what may he going on around us. So it is with the sinner, his mind is sleeping; he does not hear or know God, and has no sense of danger, he is dead spiritually. 

God thru His Word is saying to the church, ‘Wake up! You are sleeping! Death is all around you. Darkness has enveloped you. Wake up and let the Holy Spirit expose the things that are wrong in your life. Then Jesus can shine through you and dissipate the darkness because it is His light that removes the darkness which represents the sin in your life.  

While we as Christians must always be willing to bring the saving message of God’s grace to the sinner, we must not be “partakers with them” (v.7) in their sins and indeed must “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (v.11). Instead, we must “reprove them” (v. 11), pointing out the consequences of their actions and focusing their attention on Christ who has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma (v.2) in payment of our penalty. All that must be done is to accept this forgiveness. In doing so, we who are “light in the Lord” (v.8) will shed light in their darkness, for “all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light” (v.13).  

As children of the light (v.8), our lives must exhibit “the fruit of the Spirit which is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth” (v.9). We must discern “what is acceptable to the Lord” (v.10), “walking circumspectly, not as fools but wisely (v.15), “redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (v.16).  

We need to realize that we are either moving towards godliness, or we are moving away from it. Every moment is a new opportunity to continue moving in the right direction, always with our eyes focused on Jesus. In Him is light, and in order to know Him, we must pursue Him through His word. There should be no stagnation in our walk towards our eternal home.  

The sleeper in our text, whether he is an unbeliever or one who professes to be a Christian, is asleep, surrounded by darkness; therefore, Jesus warned them: this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (John 3:19-21). 

Therefore, when we are saved, we are spiritually awakened to a new life with Christ and Jesus tell us to: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

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