In verse 8 of chapter 5, once again, an indicative (or that which indicates what we are in Christ) is given as another reason for obedience to the imperatives or commands given earlier. This one has to do with darkness and light. Speaking to Christians, he says that like them, you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord! Take note of the present tense indicative, you are light – it is not just that your environment that has changed – you are not merely in the light – but you are literally light. As Jesus said of Himself in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world,” by virtue of our union with Him, in the Lord, we too are light.
What does this look like in practice? It will mean a life that is shining with all that is good and right and true – for such are the fruit of light; in the same way the harvest crop ripens under the light of the sun. The light metaphor speaks vividly of Christian openness and transparency – returning spiritually to the ‘naked and unashamed’ condition of Adam and Eve. It speaks of living joyfully in the presence of God, with nothing to hide or fear. The Christian who knows that his sin is forgiven and that he is liberated from the dark vices of the world which once bound him, has an incredible freedom to be light.