We’re going through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. In my last post, I started talking about how we are to walk in the light of the knowledge of God. There’s a reason that this is good for us.
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible.
Ephesians 5:11-14a NIV
This is a very important aspect of our walk with the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, this translation doesn’t do justice to what’s being brought before us. We really need to understand what the apostle is teaching us here.
The first thing he says, is that we shouldn’t be participants in the unfruitful works of the darkness. These are the things that we don’t want anyone to know about. They don’t produce any good fruit. They are the weeds in our spiritual garden.
Jesus said that these cares and desires choke the Word that we’re trying to plant in our lives (Mark 4:18-19). They cause it to be unfruitful in us.
This verse tells us that we need to expose these things. But expose is not really the word that Paul is using. He’s literally telling us to rebuke these things that would bring unfruitfulness. That means that we need to call them out as wrong.
No, I’m not talking about calling out the wrongs that other people are doing. I mean that we need to see our actions through God’s eyes, and rebuke ourselves, if needed. This is an important part of our Christian journey.
Paul was clear about this when writing to the Roman church.
Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation — but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live..
Romans 8:12-13 NIV
This is how we come against the fruitless misdeeds of the flesh. We must put them to death by the spirit. But, how can this be accomplished if we never acknowledge them as works of darkness?
The above verse from Ephesians is all about us allowing the light of the Holy Spirit to bring these things to our attention. The way the above verse is translated makes it sound like it’s talking about other people.
In reality, the word, disobedient, is not in the original Greek text. What Paul actually said was that it’s shameful to even talk about these secret things. We would probably be embarrassed to talk about these faults with others. That means we need to deal with them in the power of the spirit.
The last sentence above, tells us that everything the light rebukes, becomes apparent. That’s the job of the light. Spending time in the presence of the Lord, causes us to see things the way He does. It causes sin to look sinful to us.
That’s why Paul exhorts us to come into the light of the Holy Spirit.
This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Ephesians 5:14b NIV
It’s very easy for us to become complacent in our sins and moral weaknesses. Time spent in the spirit changes all of that. If you want to see real change and a greater degree of fruitfulness, then apply this to your life. Allow the light of the Lord to expose, rebuke, and uproot these unfruitful works.
Question: How has the light of Christ exposed things in your life?
© 2023 Nick Zaccardi