Exposed by the Light
Community Group Discussion Guide


Summary: This sermon discusses the need for Christian people to allow the light of Christ to shine in their lives on a daily basis in order to expose spiritually dark things which have the potential to destroy God’s purpose in a person’s life. The message also discusses how the light of Christ also exposes some very good things in a persons life. There are seven points in this sermon. Each has to do with allowing the light of Christ to expose things.
Let the light of Christ expose the truth about those who speak into your life!
Let the light of Christ expose the truth about your past!
Let the light of Christ expose the characteristics of Light!
Let the light of Christ expose what pleases the Lord!
Let the light of Christ expose the deeds of darkness in others and you!
Let the light of Christ expose the way to live carefully, wisely and reveal the opportunities God sends your way!
Let the light of Christ expose the tragedy of being consumed by anything but the Holy Spirit of God!

Community Group Questions
1. Is it always comfortable to have the light of Christ expose things in our life? Discuss your answer.

2. Why is it so important to have Christ shine a light upon those we listen to? Can you think of a time when you took advise from someone and it turned out not to be such good advice and you wish you had let Christ’s light shine on the situation?
Psa 1:1  Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
Psa 1:2  But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
Psa 1:3  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

3. We must first be willing to let Christ light expose darkness in our own lives and do something about it. However, we should also allow the light of Christ to expose darkness in others. How can we do this without being judgmental or coming across as if we think we are better than others?
Col 3:12  Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Col 3:13  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Mat 5:14  "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
Mat 5:15  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
Mat 5:16  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

4. The light of Christ also reveals to us some very wonderful things of God. Such as the characteristics of Godly light and the fact God wants us to be filled with His Holy Spirit! Discuss how being filled with the Holy Spirit will help us to fulfill God’s will for us to live good, righteous and truthful lives.
Gal 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Gal 5:23  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Gal 5:24  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
Gal 5:25  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

1 John 3:24  Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.






Exposed by the Light
Ephesians 5:8-18

What time of day or night do you think the picture on your worship guide was taken?
How many would say early morning?
How many would say sunset?
How many would say 9:00 pm at night?

The answer: 9:09 pm on December 30th.

Ready for a photography lesson?


The bright light is the moon!
I placed my camera on a tripod and used a remote control to trigger my shutter. I had the shutter speed set to stay open as long as I wanted. By doing this it gives the sensor time to let the light expose details you would not see with your eyes.

The original picture was darker. Let me show you...





I used a photo program to show more light and it exposed details I didn't even know were there. Things like this fascinate me and are part of the reason I love photography so much.  

At this point you might be thinking, "Hey Pastor Larry, I didn't come to church for a photography lesson!" I'm glad to hear you say that, because we're going to read a passage of the Bible and I'll show you how this photo illustration applies to your spiritual life!

But first, let's pray and ask God to shed some light on how we can apply His truth to our lives…

Let's Pray!!

Take your Bibles and turn with me to the New Testament passage of Ephesians 5:6-18
I listed verses 8-18 in the guide, but I decided to include verses 6&7 as well.

6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
Ephesians 5:6 (NIV)

7Therefore do not be partners with them.
Ephesians 5:7 (NIV)

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

9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
Ephesians 5:9 (NIV)

10and find out what pleases the Lord.
Ephesians 5:10 (NIV)

11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
Ephesians 5:11 (NIV)

12For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.
Ephesians 5:12 (NIV)

13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
Ephesians 5:13 (NIV)

14for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Ephesians 5:14 (NIV)

15Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise,
Ephesians 5:15 (NIV)

16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:16 (NIV)

17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Ephesians 5:17 (NIV)

18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
Ephesians 5:18 (NIV)

 ETS: The light of Christ exposes the darkness in our lives so we can live in the light!

 ESS: The more we allow the light of Christ to shine in our lives the more we are able to expose the darkness!

 OSS: We need to allow the light of Christ to expose the darkness in our lives so we can live in the light!

 Probing Question: What are some things we must do if want the light of Christ to expose the darkness in our lives?

Let's see what our text for today tells us...

Let the light of Christ expose the truth about those who speak into your life!

There's a lot of voices vying for your attention. Some are good and some not so good!

Paul knew there were people trying to pull the members of the Ephesian church back into pagan practices so he gave them a stern warning...

6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
Ephesians 5:6 (NIV)

7Therefore do not be partners with them.
Ephesians 5:7 (NIV)

This is not saying we don't love people who are lost in darkness, or have nothing to do with them. It is saying that we must not let their philosophies, attitudes, and ungodly ways, influence us in the wrong direction!

We are not to partner with them in their wrong doing. Young people, please listen to the old man this morning on this one. It really, really matters, who you're listening to! Where are you getting your information?

Is it from people who truly have your best interest at heart or is it people who are really only thinking about themselves? If your friends ask you to do things you know are wrong, you've gotta be smart enough and strong enough to stand your ground!

It's not a Biblical saying, but it is certainly true…
"Misery loves company!"

4They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you.
1 Peter 4:4 (NIV)

 The Psalmist gives some really good advice...

1Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
Psalm 1:1 (NIV)

2But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
Psalm 1:2 (NIV)

3He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
Psalm 1:3 (NIV)

4Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Psalm 1:4 (NIV)

 Let's look at another thing we must do if we want the light of Christ expose darkness in our lives...

Let the light of Christ expose the truth about your past!


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

 We don't need to be haunted by our past because it is forgiven! However, let us never forget our past, lest we fail to learn from our past!

 Remembering the misery, and the tragedy of the consequences of living in darkness, shines the light of Christ on those things and helps us to never want to return to that hideous form of slavery!

19I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.
Romans 6:19 (NIV)

20When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.
Romans 6:20 (NIV)

21What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!
Romans 6:21 (NIV)

22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
Romans 6:22 (NIV)

23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 (NIV)

So we must be cautious who we listen to, and we must remember our past! But we also must...

Let the light of Christ expose the characteristics of Light!


9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
Ephesians 5:9 (NIV)

There's consequences on both sides of the equation, but if you are living in the light rather than in darkness you will bear good fruit. Good consequences!

The fruit of the light is Goodness, righteousness, and truth!

Why wouldn't we want these things in our lives?

The world may call you "goody two shoes," "old fashioned," or claim you think your better than everyone else.
Just because you have standards, ethics, morals!

Biblical Scholar Ralph Martin put it this way...

"Christian ethics cannot be stereotyped as a legalistic bundle of prohibitions couched in harshly negative and restrictive terms. Rather, in its essence Christian morality represents a positive ambition to be pleasing to a loving God whose character His children long to share."

1Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children
Ephesians 5:1 (NIV)

Will somebody please tell me what's wrong with wanting to have the Godly characteristics of goodness, righteousness, and truth in your life?

Let the light of Christ expose what pleases the Lord!


10and find out what pleases the Lord.
Ephesians 5:10 (NIV)

What pleases the Lord?

8He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8 (NIV)

27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
James 1:27 (NIV)

14May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:14 (NIV)

God's Word is filled with wonderful things  that please Him! As we read and study His precious Word, we discover how to live a life pleasing and beautiful to our Lord!!

This takes us to the very next thing we must allow the Light of Christ to do in our lives…

Let the light of Christ expose the deeds of darkness in others and you!

11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
Ephesians 5:11 (NIV)

12For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.
Ephesians 5:12 (NIV)

13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
Ephesians 5:13 (NIV)

14for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Ephesians 5:14 (NIV)

Two things here.
We are to bury the ways of darkness because of His Grace, and we are to be raised to walk a new life!!

In regards to getting rid of the darkness, we must be willing to let the light of Christ shine into the deep crevices and dark corners of our lives to expose hidden things that aren't good!

I don't care how long you've been a Christ follower, there's still things all of us need to work on. Little pockets of darkness. Remember, it's not that we're working for our salvation, that's a done deal by God's grace, but if we continue to walk in darkness somethings just not right!

 And when others try to get you to revert to ways of darkness you must shine the light of Christ on the situation.

I'm not talking about a pharisaical, I'm better than you kind of attitude with your freinds. It simply means letting your light shine in a way that exposes darkness.

Like bearing witness to the terrible consequences that living in darkness brought to your life and letting them know you want to help them avoid the heartaches. They may not listen, but at least you're not contributing to their darkness!

Secondly, these verses were probably read at the Baptism of early believers. They were being encouraged to let Baptism be their public profession of faith and an encouragement to live a new life!!

Paul states both of these concepts beautifully in the book of Romans…

17For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:17 (NIV)

18Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.
Romans 5:18 (NIV)

19For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
Romans 5:19 (NIV)

20The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,
Romans 5:20 (NIV)

21so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 5:21 (NIV)

1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?
Romans 6:1 (NIV)

2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
Romans 6:2 (NIV)

3Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
Romans 6:3 (NIV)

4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Romans 6:4 (NIV)

 How do we live this kind of life? The next few verses of our text give us some very practical answers to that question...

Let the light of Christ expose the way to live carefully, wisely and reveal the opportunities God sends your way!

15Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise,
Ephesians 5:15 (NIV)

16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:16 (NIV)

How you live your life matters. Paul says we should be careful and live according to the wisdom of God. How does the light of Christ help us in this area? For the answer to this we will go back to the Old Testament. First in Psalms...

104I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.
Psalm 119:104 (NIV)

105Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

And from the book of wisdom, Proverbs...

18The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
Proverbs 4:18 (NIV)

19But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.
Proverbs 4:19 (NIV)

And what about those opportunities for doing good? God will bring opportunities into your life on a daily basis!! What should we do with these?

9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Galatians 6:10 (NIV)

And you surely don't won't to miss this last, but in no way least of these ways to let the light of Christ change your life...

Let the light of Christ expose the tragedy of being consumed by anything but the Holy Spirit of God!

17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Ephesians 5:17 (NIV)

18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
Ephesians 5:18 (NIV)

Our text uses the example of being drunk with alcohol, but we all know there are so many things in this modern world that people become obsessed with, addicted to, trapped in, bound by, and destroyed by.

Debauchery is excessive indulgence in sensual pleasure!
When this happens, pleasure becomes your god and trust me on this one. Pleasure is a god who will consume you and destroy your very soul!!

The only way for us to avoid this dark tragedy is to let the Holy Spirit of God enlighten us, fill us, consume us, direct us, strengthen us, empower us, encourage us, and to be the very presence of God within us.

And may we never forget, being filled with the Holy Spirit is not a one time thing! It is a daily, moment by moment, way of life. I don't know about you, but I have to surrender areas of my life to Christ on a daily basis!!

It's almost like a tug of war at times. I give it to God and then take it back. I need the Holy Spirit to fill me on a daily basis!! Being filled with the Holy Spirit is not me getting more Spirit it is the Holy Spirit getting more of me!!


I'm going to close with two verses that sum up today's message. But let me first say this...

All of us make mistakes and non of us are perfect. But there is a difference between walking in darkness and walking in light. Walking in the light doesn't mean we're perfect, but it does mean we allow the light of Christ to expose the darkness so we can live in the light.

Walking in darkness, means we don't really care to know or follow God's will and purpose for our lives. A person walking in darkness refuses to let the light of Christ shine in their hearts and lives.

6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.
1 John 1:6 (NIV)

7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
1 John 1:7 (NIV)

Let's pray!!