Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Ephesians 5:8

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

For ye were sometimes (ποτε, formerly) darkness - While ye lived in darkness, ye lived in these crimes.

But now are ye light in the Lord - When ye were in heathenish darkness ye served divers lusts and pleasures, but now ye have the light - the wisdom and teaching which come from God; therefore walk as children of the light - let the world see that ye are not slaves to the flesh, but free, willing, rational servants of the Most High; not brutish followers of devil gods.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For ye were sometimes darkness - see the Ephesians 2:11-12 notes; 1 Corinthians 6:11 note. The meaning here is, that they were themselves formerly sunk in the same ignorance, and practiced the same abominations.

But now are ye light in the Lord - Light is the emblem of happiness, knowledge, holiness. The meaning is, that they had been enlightened by the Lord to see the evil of these practices, and that they ought, therefore, to forsake them.

Walk as children of light - see the notes on Matthew 1:1, on the use of the word “son,” or “children.” The meaning here is, that they should live as became those who had been enlightened to see the evil of sin, and the beauty of virtue and religion; compare John 12:36, where the same phrase occurs.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Filthy lusts must be rooted out. These sins must be dreaded and detested. Here are not only cautions against gross acts of sin, but against what some may make light of. But these things are so far from being profitable. that they pollute and poison the hearers. Our cheerfulness should show itself as becomes Christians, in what may tend to God's glory. A covetous man makes a god of his money; places that hope, confidence, and delight, in worldly good, which should be in God only. Those who allow themselves, either in the lusts of the flesh or the love of the world, belong not to the kingdom of grace, nor shall they come to the kingdom of glory. When the vilest transgressors repent and believe the gospel, they become children of obedience, from whom God's wrath is turned away. Dare we make light of that which brings down the wrath of God? Sinners, like men in the dark, are going they know not whither, and doing they know not what. But the grace of God wrought a mighty change in the souls of many. Walk as children of light, as having knowledge and holiness. These works of darkness are unfruitful, whatever profit they may boast; for they end in the destruction of the impenitent sinner. There are many ways of abetting, or taking part in the sins of others; by commendation, counsel, consent, or concealment. And if we share with others in their sins, we must expect to share in their plagues. If we do not reprove the sins of others, we have fellowship with them. A good man will be ashamed to speak of what many wicked men are not ashamed to do. We must have not only a sight and a knowledge that sin is sin, and in some measure shameful, but see it as a breach of God's holy law. After the example of prophets and apostles, we should call on those asleep and dead in sin, to awake and arise, that Christ may give them light.
Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 234.6

The Lord calls upon you ... to look at these things with eyes enlightened not by worldly advisers, but by His Spirit. Take the Word as it reads.... Place yourself where the riches of the glory of heaven shall shine before you and behind you and on every side of you, because you are all light in the Lord.—Letter 110, August 8, 1899, to a woman of means. UL 234.6

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 135.1

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light. Ephesians 5:8. TDG 135.1

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 50.3

The great sin of God's people at the present time is, we do not appreciate the value of the blessings God has bestowed upon us. We serve God with a divided heart. We cherish some idol and worship at its shrine. The truth of God is elevated and holy, sanctifying the soul, if brought into the life and interwoven with the character. God is seeking with His truth to make us a separate and peculiar people. This is the influence of the truth. Our obedience and devotion are not equal to our light and privileges, and the sacred obligations resting upon us to walk as children of the light are not fulfilled by us. As Christians we fail to come up to our high calling. Warnings and reproofs have been given us from God but only for a time have an influence upon us because we do not consider it as our lifework to press forward and upward to the mark of the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. TDG 50.3

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 308.3

The Lord Himself has established a separating wall between the things of the world and the things which He has chosen out of the world and sanctified to Himself. The world will not acknowledge this distinction.... But God has made this separation, and He will have it exist. In both the Old and the New Testaments the Lord has positively enjoined upon His people to be distinct from the world, in spirit, in pursuits, in practice; to be a holy nation, a peculiar people, that they may show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. The east is not farther from the west than are the children of light, in customs, practices, and spirit, from the children of darkness. This distinction will be more marked, more decided, as we near the close of time.... TMK 308.3

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