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. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:11-14
We currently live in a world that is engulfed in darkness. We can look around us daily and see all the unfruitful works that are being done. But we over time have become callused to this darkness and may not even think about the negative effect it can have on our lives and our families lives. In fact we might often find ourselves without thought partaking in this darkness! So what is the darkness of this world? Darkness in the Bible represents sin and death! Paul in Ephesians 5 tells us to not take part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but to rather expose it! Have we as Christians adapted to the darkness around us or are we exposing it?
Many of us Christians take either one of two choices when encountered by the darkness of this world and I believe that our Bible speaks directly against both of these choices. The first choice many make when pressured by the worlds darkness is to engage in it, so that we aren’t seen as being odd or different. Christians we are to be different from the world, our lives are to be the light of this world! Ephesians 5:8 says that at one time we were darkness (part of this world), but now we are light in the Lord and since we are now light we are to walk as children of light. We are not to fit in with the darkness around us! Is the peer-pressure of this world making you blend in with its darkness?
The second choice Christians often make when encountered by darkness is to shrink back and hide from it, I believe Paul continues to address this in Ephesians 5:11-14. He says we are to expose darkness rather than shrink back and hide from it. Paul in this passage makes it plain that living apart from the darkness does not mean withdrawing completely from the world. Instead, walking as children of the light means not engaging in the sins of the unbelieving culture but to engage into the lives of those in the world around us. When it comes to interacting with the world, we are not forbidden from making friends with those who are in darkness; rather, we are forbidden from acting in ways that displease God.
Interestingly, Paul explains that we are not to take merely a defensive stance against dark deeds and stay away from them. Our approach must be offensive — we are to “expose” unfruitful works of darkness. That which is hidden in the darkness can be revealed only when light shines on it, and by walking in Christ we shine the light of holiness on the dark recesses of this world. Our efforts to live sanctified lives stand in stark contrast to the evil of our fallen culture, thereby exposing the world and its darkness. Our preaching of the gospel goes hand in hand with such living so that those whose deeds are exposed might know that they will escape the darkness if they come to Jesus. Don’t be afraid to stand up for Jesus! Don’t shrink back when the world comes to your doorstep, expose it!
Only two responses can follow such exposure. Many will hate the light and those whose lives provide the illumination, and they will try to stamp out the light and silence the church. Others will feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit and see the darkness of this world and its deeds. The light of God that shines through us both illumines and transforms, exposes and cleanses. Christians, instead of falling for either of the choices listed above, let us continue to become ever brighter lights as we, through confession and repentance, expose our sin to God and flee from it.