The Spirit of Love without the Spirit of Light is no longer the true Spirit of Love. The Spirit of Light without the Spirit of Love is no longer the true Spirit of Light. It is no accident that in the same inspired chapter of Ephesians 5, we are admonished to “walk in love” (5:2), “walk as children of light” (5:8), and “be filled with the Spirit” (5:18). Together, these fulfill the admonishment to “walk circumspectly” (5:15). This is true biblical balance.
The boundary of biblical love is biblical light. Following the imperative of verse 2, “walk in love,” comes the command to avoid and in no way condone fornication, all uncleanness, covetousness, etc. (5:3-4). In other words, love has boundaries and the boundaries are clear: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (5:11). Love actually involves separation from darkness. As soon as love embraces darkness, it is no longer biblical love.
Yet the standard for biblical light is biblical love. The imperative of verse 8, “walk as children of light,” is explained in the next phrase as “For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth” (5:9). Note that these verses that call attention to light and the fruit of the Spirit follow the chapter’s initial command to “walk in love,” and that Galatians 5:22 plainly states, “the fruit of the Spirit is love.” As soon as light relinquishes love, it is no longer biblical light.
If Satan cannot get us to reject a truth, he seeks to pervert the truth we embrace and thereby produce a counterfeit. A typical trap is to skew one’s view of a balanced truth, causing an individual to focus solely on one side of a two-sided issue. In my own journey, which the Lord has turned into a revival journey, there was a day when I was big on the “light” side of truth, demanding separation from the works of darkness. On the surface, this was correct—except that I was greatly lacking in love. Honestly, in those days as a young preacher, I enjoyed conversations where I sliced up those I disagreed with—all in the name of taking a stand. Obviously, there is a time to take a stand, but there is never a time for arrogance. In the name of walking in light, I was not walking in love. Failing to love, I found I was not really walking in light either. It was a counterfeit. My lack of love was, in fact, walking in darkness.
Moving in the other direction, the converse of this counterfeit is being big on the “love” side of truth while ignoring or minimizing the boundaries of light. For example, to ecclesiastically embrace one holding to “another gospel” in order to gain a greater audience (all in the name of evangelistic love) would be a violation of the biblical love that must remain within the boundaries of biblical light.
How can we ever hope to maintain a biblical balance? How can we “walk circumspectly” with so much pressure threatening to throw us out of balance one way or the other? The answer is not abstract; not at all. Our answer is in a person. His name is Jesus. It is only as we allow ourselves to be led and empowered by the Spirit of Jesus (5:18) that simultaneously we can have the Spirit of Love and the Spirit of Light. When the Spirit fills us with the life of Jesus, we access the circumspect walk of the One who is both love and light.
John Van Gelderen
About This Blog
Hello, I’m John Van Gelderen. I am an evangelist and the president of Revival Focus Ministries, an organization for the cause of revival in hearts, homes, churches, and beyond, and for evangelizing. This blog is focused on experiencing Jesus. I believe in order to really live, you must access and experience the very life of Jesus Christ.