For We are Sons of Light and Sons of the Day - Page 2 (Lessons on 1 Thessalonians)
by John Lowe
(5:7) For those who sleep, sleep at night,and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.
Since believers are sons of the day, they should be vigilant and keep themselves under control at all times. Those who demonstrate the opposite advertise that they are sons of the night―unbelievers and children of wrath. In Paul’s day it was almost unheard of to be drunk during the day. Read Acts 2:15 These words look beyond the literal sense of sober in verse 6. Here, drunkenness signifies the condition of a soul smitten and enslaved by sin, and Paul warns against such a situation. What is true of sleepers and drunkards literally is true in a higher and more awful sense in those who lack spiritual illumination. In Luke 21:34 Jesus said, “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with debauchery, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.” And He gave this explanation for why the drunken are “drunk at night”―”because their deeds are evil”; as though darkness could veil the loss of self-respect.
(5:8) But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
In Ephesians 6:13-17 Paul gives almost the same instructions, but in greater detail. He is instructing us here, “Since we believers are of the day, it is understood that we are to be watchful and ready at all times. We are to put on the breastplate of faith and love―and for a helmet we are to wear the hope of salvation.”
Paul had much to say about being a good soldier for the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians are in the greatest army known to earth or heaven―the army of the Lord. We are commanded to put on the “whole armor of God” and be alert and diligent at all times, and under all circumstances. According to Romans 13:12-13, we are to put off the shameful garments of darkness and night, and put on the armor of light. We are to walk in the day―and we are to be careful HOW we walk. We are to be alert and walk with the dignity which is fit and proper for the Christ we represent and in whose army we serve.
Paul sets forth the “breastplate” and “helmet” as the two main pieces of our defensive armor because they protect the most vital parts of the body. The breastplate of faith and love guards the heart, the center of life. From the heart proceed the issues of life and to this area “faith and love” are naturally assigned as protection from the arrows of the wicked one. Paul mentions only two parts of our equipment, yet, “he omits nothing that relates to spiritual defense, for those who are furnished with faith, love, and hope, will not be caught unarmed in any respect” (Romans 13:12; 2 Cor. 6:7, 10:4; Ephesians 6:13).
The helmet of the believer is the “hope of SALVATION.” Here Paul is quoting from Isaiah 59:17: In this OT quotation, Jehovah God is preparing to fight for His people.
Believers who are dressed according to the spiritual pattern will never succumb to the fiery darts of the devil, for he who saves also keeps. He has promised a way of escape; He has promised final victory. Study carefully 1 Cor. 10:13; 1 John 4:4; Romans 8:35-39. If you are living a defeated life as a believer, it is your own fault, for it is God’s good pleasure to give complete victory to each and every one of His children. God is no respecter of persons (Romans 2:11); and what He does for one of His children, He will do for all if they will only let Him. Many believers are enjoying second best in the spiritual realm, when it is God’s good pleasure to give them abundant life. The Psalmist describes it thus: “No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11b)
Special notes and Scripture
[a} The word “all” is significant, for it indicates that among believers there are no exceptions. “You are ALL sons of light,” he says, which means that “light” is their distinguishing feature. In Semitic languages generally to be a “son” of something means to be characterized by that thing. It is this manner of thinking which underlies the apostle’s expression at this point. He does not say only that they walk in the light or live in the light, but that they are “sons of the light,” that is, they are characterized by light. It points us to the complete transformation that takes place when someone believes.