Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 1 Study # 3
Thesis: Believers are exempt from the "destructive" aspects of The Day of the Lord.
Introduction: In our studies of chapter five we have noted that Paul does two things emphatically: he shuts the door on all speculation as to the question of "When?" in regard to The Rapture; and he introduces the "dark" side of The Day of the Lord in terms of the unexpected destruction that is to come upon all those who reject the Gospel of Grace. We have also seen that it is our "hope" that is in view, not our desire to know when we shall expect it to be fulfilled. That it is going to be fulfilled is supposed to be sufficient.
In this current study we are going to look into Paul's declaration that The Day of the Lord will not come upon those who believe.
January 25, 2015
- I. The "Now you..." and the "We are not..." Statements.
- A. The "you" is emphatic and dominates 5:4-5.
- 1. Paul is deliberately focusing the attention of his readers upon themselves.
- 2. The issues are two: their existence "in"; and their existence "as".
- a. They are not "in darkness".
- b. They are "sons of light" and "sons of day".
- B. The "we" is unemphatic and simply makes it certain that all believers share the same characteristic.
- II. The Chief Characteristic.
- A. The Day of the Lord is not going to "overtake" believers.
- 1. The chief issue of that "Day" is its destructiveness.
- 2. The chief reality is that the destruction will not "get" believers "into its grasp".
- B. The "point" is that "believers", by virtue of their identity, are totally exempt from the "unexpected destruction" that is coming.
- III. The Rationale.
- A. "You are not in darkness".
- 1. This, obviously, does not mean they are "in the know" as to "the times and seasons".
- 2. Rather, it means that the realm of darkness, as a realm wherein evil is pervasive, is not their realm.
- B. "You are sons of light".
- 1. This characterization probably comes off of what he has seen and heard of them so that they are not "children", but "sons".
- a. Children are begotten ones.
- b. Sons are imitators.
- c. "Light" has to do with the character of God as completely sinless with all attributes in perfect harmony.
- 2. This, however, does not signal a kind of duality in terms of those who are exempt from the destruction that is coming.
- a. There are those who teach that only those actually walking with God at the point of The Rapture will be taken up by Him.
- b. This teaching is contradictory to the rest of this verse as it teaches that the identity of "sons" arises out of the status of being "of light".
- C. "You are sons of Day".
- 1. That he uses the very term that describes the coming period of destruction (the Day of the Lord) indicates that there is more than one way to understand "Day".
- a. "Day" can identify the essential issue.
- b. "Day" can, then, be applied to a period of time wherein that essential issue is worked out in history.
- 2. And, again, "Sons of Day" is descriptive of what their activities indicate is true of them.
- D. "We are not of night nor of darkness".
- 1. Here Paul goes to the default reality of all who believe.
- a. "Being" is a matter of essential existence.
- b. "Being of" identifies that essential existence in terms of its roots.
- 2. "Not of night" indicates that "night", as a root of existence, is a characteristic of the pursuit of evil (John 11:10) [John's cryptic comment about it being "night" when Judas left to prepare to betray Jesus is illuminating: John 13:30].
- 3. "Not of darkness" also indicates that, as a root of existence, the pursuits of those who exist there are completely without "light" in terms of wisdom and behavior.