Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

Be What You Are


For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.  Ephesians 5:8


With this statement, Paul begins a section on believers being light which concludes with:


“Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead,

and Christ will give you light.”  Ephesians 5:14


New Testament scholars believe that this verse is a quotation from a song used in the early church. With these words, Paul encourages his readers to be the light that they are.


In verses 11-13, Paul shows that when Christians live out the light that they are they will have a spiritual impact on others—both the saved and the unsaved.


 ...And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.


When believers are being the lights that they are, their lives will expose to others their sins. This certainly includes the unsaved. With this revelation of exposure of sin, Paul quotes the “song” of verse 14. “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”


The words “wake up,” imply that some of the believers of Ephesus were not being the light they were. With “arise from the dead,” Paul refers to the carnality in the lives of those who needed to wake up. In Romans 7, he describes his own legalism and carnality with the term “death.” Arising from the dead for the Ephesians would be returning from a life of carnality to the life of grace.


“Christ will give you light,” then, means that when they “rise from the dead,” God’s light will shine in and through them resulting in others being convicted of their sins and of their need of Christ.