Ephesians 5:11-14 ESV
“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.’”
We are not to participate in (to have fellowship with) the unfruitful works of darkness. Rather, we must expose them. And some of these fruitless works are listed for us in Eph 5:3-6, which include sexual immorality, all impurity, idolatry, filthy language, and covetousness (greed, envy).
We are to expose them, yet it is shameful to speak of the things they do in secret. So, how does that work exactly? How can we expose them if we can’t speak of them? These were questions in my mind as I read this passage.
So, that led me to do some word searches. To expose means to reprove, rebuke, show to be guilty, and to prove wrong. We have to do this through speaking, correct? Or writing. So, I concluded that we can expose sin for what it is without going into vivid descriptions of the sin.
Let me give you an example. I am on Twitter, a social media site. And I have seen some people post pictures or videos of sinful behaviors that had more the effect of luring people into the sin rather than reproving it. I have seen that on the news, too.
Also, some men’s support groups, from what I have been told, allow the men to describe their sinful behaviors in detail, which just stirs the lusts in the other men rather than to help these men be free of their sinful lusts. So, there is a clear difference between rebuking sin and “too much information.”
Thus, we can reprove and rebuke sin at a high level, even calling some people out on specific sins, where necessary, without sharing all the nitty-gritty details of the sinful actions, which may have the opposite effect, i.e. which may glorify the sin or cause others to be tempted to sin.
But these things do need to be talked about, for many people who call themselves Christians and followers of Christ are regularly engaged in these types of sins, and they are keeping their sins hidden, and these secret sins are what are killing the body of Christ and are destroying families and marriages. But they need to be addressed and dealt with appropriately.
For one thing, Christians (or those who profess faith in Jesus Christ) need to be made aware of the fact that God’s grace does not give them free license to continue in these sinful practices without guilt and without punishment. God’s grace, in fact, instructs us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit 2:11-14).
Also, they need to be awakened to the fact that continuance in these sinful practices will land them in hell, not heaven, even if they do profess faith in Jesus Christ. For, if we walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, but if we walk according to the Spirit, we have eternal life with God (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8).
Ephesians 5:15-21 ESV
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
So, we are cautioned here to examine our own lives and to look at our walk, how we live habitually, consistently, and regularly, as a matter of course. For the Scriptures are real clear on the fact that if we make sin our practice, and thus we are walking according to the flesh, we will die in our sins.
We also need to examine our own walks because the days are evil. For, if we are playing with sin or just kind of floating through life, we will not survive when things get really bad (much worse than they are now), plus we will be vulnerable to temptation and to the traps of the devil, too, and we are likely to fall into sin if we are not putting on the armor of God.
Also, we are not to be foolish, living for self-pleasure and in self-indulgence, thinking our sins don’t matter to God. For Jesus called us out of the world and to be separate (unlike the world). We are to no longer conform our lives to the ways of this sinful world but we are to be transformed in mind of the Spirit of God so we can live holy lives, pleasing to God (Rom 12:1-2).
And we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit which means we are living under the Holy Spirit’s control and no longer under the control of the flesh. For we can’t walk according to the flesh and according to the Spirit at the same time. The two are opposed to each other.
And, when we are filled with the Spirit, and we are living under the Spirit’s control and guidance over our lives, then we will be led of the Spirit to encourage our fellow believers to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God. And the Spirit will lead us to share words of encouragement with the body of Christ for their strengthening and building up in the body of Christ.
The Lord may have us share a poem, or a song, or a hymn, or a Scripture, or a word of exhortation, or a word of testimony, or he may have us share something which encouraged us, like something the Lord taught us during our times of daily devotions with him. All this is for the edification of the body of believers in Jesus Christ.
And we are to do this with thanksgiving in our hearts to God for all that he has done for us and is doing in our lives, and for all that he is doing through our lives, too, so that he gets all the glory and praise, and not ourselves.
Awaken the Dawn
An Original Work / January 15, 2013
Based off Psalm 57 (NIV 1984)
O my God, have mercy on me!
In the Lord, my soul takes refuge.
In the shadow of Your wings, Lord,
I find shelter till the storms pass.
I cry out to my God Most High.
He fulfills His purpose for me.
He sent His Son to die for me,
So I could be saved.
I am in the midst of lions;
Men whose teeth are spears and arrows;
Whose tongues are sharp; words accusing.
They spread a net, my feet to catch.
They dug a pit, in hopes I’d fall.
O God, be exalted o’er all.
Let Your glory shine to all men,
So they may be saved.
Steadfast is my heart, O my God;
I will sing of all Your wonders.
Awake, my soul! Sing praise to God!
Early I will rise and praise Him!
I’ll praise God among the nations;
I will sing among the peoples.
God’s love reaches to the heavens,
So we may be saved.