So Be Who You Are, a Child of Light! For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. Ephesians 5:8
Grace, mercy, and peace to you, from God, our Father, and Christ, our Brother.
Today we’re going to talk about being who we were baptized to be.
There’s an old song by Sammy Davis Junior, where he sings, “I’ve gotta be me; what else can I be?”
There’s some truth to that. As we said in our children’s talk, it doesn’t work to try to be someone or something you’re not.
The key to being me, is being the right me, which comes in knowing your identity, who you truly are.
Our Epistle today tells us who we used to be, and who we are now: 2) For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. Ephesians 5:8
There’s a me it’s good to be, and a me it’s better not to be.
Aspire to be the better you, the baptized you, the child of light.
The world and the devil try to convince you that the selfish, sinful part of you is the best part of you. It’s not. The best of you is the new you.
2 Cor. 5:17 says, If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.
The new, sanctified you is the better you. Know that person, and strive to be that person.
Know who you are at your very core. The deepest part of you is your soul, your spirit. Living in your spirit is the Holy Spirit, and that’s where you find your identity.
Sin is an intruder in your spirit; it doesn’t belong there. The Holy Spirit belongs there. God created you with a spirit so that His Spirit could live in you and make you who you are, a child of light.
You were made by God for God. That’s your true identity, and your noble purpose.
Do you want to be true to yourself? Then be true to God. Only in being true to Him, can you be true to yourself.
Do you want to know yourself? Then know Christ. Only in knowing Christ can you truly know yourself, your deepest, truest self, your very soul.
You’re God’s baptized child, and that means your identity is found in Him, not in the world. So don’t go looking out there for who you are; who you are is found in here, Christ living in you.
1 John 3:1 says, See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God. And that’s what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
The real you is found in your identity as a child of God, not as a person of the world. The world doesn’t know you; God knows you.
When we try to be something other than what we were baptized to be, it doesn’t go well. The children of light are made for light, not for darkness. So be who you are, and walk in the light!
The Incredibles… pretending not to be superheroes… wasn’t working well…
When we deny our identity in Christ, and try to live as if our identity is in the world, doesn’t go well; it just messes up our lives, and darkens the light in us.
It’s better to be true to the Spirit living in you, and be who you were baptized to be, a child of God to shine light in this world.
Back to the Incredibles… protect your secret identity, it’s your greatest possession…
Our identity in the Gospel is a priceless possession to be held onto. The difference between us and the Incredibles is our Christian identity isn’t something to keep secret, but to let it shine.
Jesus said, Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good deeds and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
Be who you are, and who you’re meant to be, a child of light.
Two things this means for us: it means we don’t have to pretend, and we don’t have to settle.
Living as a child of light means… you don’t have to pretend.
What an anxious way to live, always pretending to be something you’re not, waiting to be found out.
The children of light don’t have to live that way because they’re justified by grace.
You don’t have to pretend that you’re better than you are, because salvation is by grace, not by works.
Pretending to be good doesn’t please God, but striving to be good does.
So be authentic; don’t pretend, instead confess.
Sincerely confessing in the presence of God and one another, that I am a poor, miserable sinner, is as real as it gets. Don’t pretend; just be honest to confess, and rejoice to be forgiven.
Living by grace means that you don’t have to pretend to be anything other than what you are, a forgiven child of light.
You don’t have to pretend to be smarter than you are, or more talented than you are, or richer than you are, or more popular or more well-liked than you are, or more high class than you are, or anything that you’re not.
God doesn’t look at any of those things. He sees you as you are, and loves you dearly. So be who you are, not a dubious child of darkness, a simple child of light.
Living as a child of light means you don’t have to pretend... and you don’t have to settle.
You don’t have to settle for the best the world has to offer.
At its best what the world gives is imperfect and temporary. At its worst, it’s darkness and death.
You don’t have to settle for that; the Gospel gives far more. Jesus said, I have come that you may have life and have it to its fullest… at its best!
You don’t have to be what the world says you have to be.
The world says you must conform to its ways, but Scripture says to be transformed to a better way. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. Romans 12:2
You don’t have to settle for worldly thinking, for a popular secular world view.
When your identity is in the Gospel and your mind is enlightened by the Holy Spirit, you can see higher and farther than with a conventional, secular view of the world. Through the eyes of the Gospel you can see a life beyond this temporary, limited life.
A secular world view says it all ends here, but a Gospel world view says it only begins here.
A secular world view would put your mind in a box, and forbid you to think beyond this world. The Gospel sets your mind free to consider things above and beyond, even God and eternity.
You don’t have to settle for this small secular way of thinking, because your identity isn’t in the world, it’s in the Word.
When you walk in the light you don’t have to settle for worldly thinking, and you don’t have to settle for worldly living.
You don’t have to follow what’s trending in society, because that’s not where your identity is. You don’t have to do what’s wrong, just because many of your contemporaries seem to be doing it.
If others won’t accept you as a child of light, that’s on them. As for you, just continue to walk in the light, and strive to make godly choices in your life.
So in the end, just be you are, a dear baptized child of God, meant to walk in light, and live in peace.
As you walk and shine in this wonderful light, may the extraordinary peace of God, which passes understanding, guard your heart and mind, in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.