Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:11-14
“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light.” (Ephesians 5:11-14a)
We all make choices. Once we have been set free from our bondage to sin, we can choose to honor God with our choices. Thus Paul writes, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” These words are a continuation of the teaching found in the fourth chapter in which we are told to put off the old self, to be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and to put on the new self (4:22-24). In order to do this we “must consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11). In other words we must yield to the power of the indwelling Christ and chose to yield to His will. Out of our love for Him, we are called to obey Him.
We must accept the fact that we are engaged in spiritual warfare — “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” (Galatians 5:17). The unfruitful works of darkness are ever before us. They are powerful forces that can lure us away from a godly life. Therefore we must resist them — “In your struggle against sin you have not resisted to the point of shedding your blood” (Hebrews 12:4). The battle is intense and it requires strength greater than our own — “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Ephesians 6:10).
We must not only resist participating in the unfruitful works of darkness, we must expose them (v. 11). We must recognize them for what they are and avoid them. We must be willing to warn others about them as well. Remember Jesus’ words — “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14)
When the light of Christ shines upon them, they will be exposed — “But when anything is exposed by the light, it become visible” (v. 13). The more we grow in our faith, the greater the light of Christ will shine. Christ’s light will expose the dark things in our lives that need changing. “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (I John 1:5b,6).
Lord Jesus, give me the strength I need to walk in Your light. As Your light exposes the unfruitful works of darkness, enable me to resist the temptation to participate in them.
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