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Read Introduction to Ephesians

 

11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

 

Since Christians are of the light, they are to expose works of darkness (vv. 11-13).

And have no fellowship

“Fellowship” means to take part in, to share together, to partner with. Believers do not share unbeliever values and actions. We cannot avoid friendship with non-Christians, but we can reject their values.

with the unfruitful works of darkness,

Christians walk in the light whereas non-Christians walk in darkness. Darkness bears no fruit; it is “unfruitful” in its values. Sin has a tendency to terminate itself.

Sin is “works,” whereas light produces fruit. Fruit flourishes in the photosynthesis of light. Sinful “works” is plural (Ga 5:19) whereas “fruit” is singular (Ga 5:22). Fruit needs light to grow; it cannot grow in the absence of light.

but rather expose them.

Light exposes darkness. Christians as children of the light are to “expose” or reprove darkness. The idea is not that the believer is to become a moral reformer in society but that the light that he has as a believer rebukes the non-Christian.

Exposing the dark here does not mean to denounce darkness but to shed the light of God’s truth on it. Truth will not allow any rationalization of sin but will make it transparent; it will be seen in its true character. Negative condemnation is not sufficient to make fundamental change; the light of God’s eternal truth can make the change.

PRINCIPLE:

Light is fundamentally incompatible with the values of darkness.

APPLICATION:

Children of light are fundamentally incompatible with the values of children of darkness and their sin. Compromise with light puts a dark hue on our witness. Paul even warned believers not to associate with other believers who walk in the dark (1 Co 5:9f).

It is not enough to be passive toward the dark; we must shed light where darkness resides. This is especially true regarding sins of degeneracy. Christians must point out what is degeneracy because degeneracy will distort the social order.

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