Wednesday, 12 October 2016
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. Ephesians 5:11
In verse 9, the “fruit of the Spirit” was mentioned. This was explained as “all goodness, righteousness, and truth.” Further, it was implied that this is “what is acceptable to the Lord” (verse 10). Now, in contrast to that, we are instructed on “the unfruitful works of darkness.” With such things, we are to “have no fellowship.”
This means that we are not only to not participate in them, but we are not to be adjoined to those who do participate in them while they are so engaged. By being around people who are carousing and conducting their lives in unholiness, we will become infected by that state as well. This is what “fellowship” implies.
Rather than having such fellowship, we are rather to “expose” them. The word from which “expose” is translated gives the idea of confronting, admonishing, convincing, rebuking, and the like. We are to act in such a manner that a complete contrast is set up between our “fruit of the Spirit” and their “unfruitful works of darkness.” In so doing, we will hopefully convict them of their sin and have them turn from such things. If we fellowship with them while they are so engaged, that will never come about. We are to stand apart and demonstrate those attributes which are acceptable to the Lord.
Paul speaks of such things in Romans 6 as well. There he says –
“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
What is important to understand here is that by being admonished to not fellowship with such unfruitful works, we can – in fact – fellowship with them. We are given the choice as to how we will conduct our walk. It is unfortunate that so many blood-bought believers in Christ choose to spend their time, not in pursuing what is pleasing to the Lord, but in engaging in exactly what they are asked to refrain from.
In the end, our rewards and losses will be based on how we apply the precepts of the word of God to our lives. What a sad meeting with the Lord it will be for many who have chosen to ignore these warnings, and to continue to fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.
Life application: In order to bring others to a state of conviction concerning their own sin, we cannot fellowship with them while they are engaged in those sins. In so doing, we are then condoning their wickedness and keeping them from understanding their need for Christ. We have been given a gift in our salvation. Let us be grateful for it, and show that appreciation by walking in accord with that which is pleasing to the Lord.
Lord God, all-powerful and glorious, You have given us the gift of salvation through the shed blood of Christ. Help us to realize the high cost that was paid to free us from the sin-debt we owe, and to never again fellowship in the unfruitful works of darkness. Instead, help us to walk as children of light, exposing that which is contrary to Your will. May our life and actions bring others to a state of heartfelt conviction over their sins and a turning to You for freedom from their wayward walk. May our actions speak out boldly, turning many to You. Amen.