For most Christians, it is no secret that our lives began in darkness and will end in light.
While there are those, like myself, who have been born again for so long and from such an early time in life that we don’t really comprehend a time before we lived in the light of Christ’s redeeming sacrifice, there are others for whom that reality is much nearer and more vivid. They can picture what that darkness was like much more clearly, and in some cases, more painfully. And for many, they remember the moment they escaped from it much more clearly, too.
Regardless of what we remember of that transitory moment in our lives, when it happened, it happened the same to all of us: in the instant we gave our lives to Christ, we were changed, we became washed in the cleansing blood of the Lamb, and we stepped from darkness to light.
But it was also much more than that.
God does not merely say we were in darkness during that time in our lives. In Ephesians 5:8, we’re told that we were darkness. Now we are light. The powerful phrasal structure of this verse drives home a fact that is inferred in many places across Scripture: when we were ransomed from bondage and death by our acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, our very nature changed.
When we first believed, we were changed from creatures of darkness, dead things puppeted by Death, to creatures of light, led by the Good Shepherd. Now we are called to walk as children of the light, bearing the fruit of righteousness, goodness, and truth. This is so different from the shameful and unfruitful works done by the children of darkness—the children we once were.
At times it can be difficult to grasp the magnitude of the shift that took place in us when we professed Christ as our Lord. We may struggle to put to words how intense the battle against the forces of darkness became within us, because our nature became light, and light exposes darkness that still lurks in our corners.
But that was what happened, brothers and sisters. We were darkness itself. Now we are light, made in the image of the Father of Lights. And here we are, with a different nature, a different state of being from the inside out. And as children of the light, we must walk in that light, letting it shine before men—so that they will see the fruitful works of goodness, righteousness, and truth, and glorify our Father who is in Heaven, and our savior Jesus who spilled his very blood to ransom us from darkness to that light.