Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:7-10

We are children of light. We were once not just in darkness, but darkness itself. We were so infected with sin that we became unrecognizable. Our humanity was marred beyond recognition, just like Jesus’ body was so badly beaten and disfigured that He didn’t even look like a man anymore. His humanity was disfigured beyond all recognition, just like ours.

At the Cross, with the crucified Christ, we get a picture of what sin did to our humanity, but with the resurrection of Jesus we see what His love has done to give us a new birth. The resurrection is always a picture of moving from darkness to light, from the womb into the world, from the tomb into a brand new life. The resurrection is Christ’s picture of what recovered innocence looks like, and it’s a picture of what our new birth does to return us to the original state of childlike innocence. We were once darkness, but now we are light in the Lord.

Sometimes the fastest way out of a lie—in fact, the only way out—is to keep telling ourselves the truth until it becomes true to us. The Truth is never going to be any more true than He is now, but He will become more true to you when you believe Him to be the Truth. The Truth, Jesus, calls you innocent, holy, blameless, above reproach (see Ephesians 1:4, Colossians 1:22). It’s true now, whether you feel it or not, whether you believe it or not, whether you sinned a little or a lot. But you will never know it is true, and believable, unless you set your heart to believe it.

Whatever Jesus says, thinks and believes is true—because He is the Truth. So, the way out of a lie and into the truth, the way to recover childlike innocence and to do away with sinful behavior and darkened thinking, is to speak His Word over your life until faith rises in your heart. Speak it until you believe it as true, as emanating from the mouth of Truth Himself. This is how grace works on our minds, to reshape our thinking to plunge us into the wonder that it’s already true, to recover to us our sense of and belief in our own innocence.

And this is the truth we’ve been waiting to hear. This new birth is the birth we waited for, ever since we were born into the world. This is as much part of the Advent as is Jesus’ own birth. The whole creation waited for the moment when the Word Himself would be born, take flesh and set the world to rights. And your whole life you mirrored that waiting creation did by awaiting your own new birth into the Light that the Word gives off, into the life of Christ Himself.

We are already children of light, already innocent; we just need to walk in the Light until we discover that we really are in the Light, until we shed away every thought that says we are still darkness and in darkness. You are light in the Lord, so walk in that truth—and it’ll become as true in your experience of yourself as it is in God’s experience of you in Christ.