John Knox: The Founder of the Presbyterian Church

When we consider the Reformers, we may picture strong men and women with booming voices that echoed around the gathered crowd. We picture them as fearless, rebuking whoever contradicted the true teachings of Scripture, calling out heresy for what it was. But this...

Christ-Centered Teaching: How His Kingdom Comes

Introduction What is the message we have to preach, but this? “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Recently I preached this core Christian message. It was recorded, and subsequently broadcast on several sites that ended up on the Internet. I often receive replies to...

Husband of One Wife and Fighting Sexual Sin

On today’s Warriors of Grace episode, Dave talks about what it means to be a husband of one wife, along with providing strategies to learn to fight sexual sin with Scripture, joy in the Lord, and other practical guidance. What you’ll hear in this episode What it means...

Tim Chester- Truth We Can Touch: How Baptism and Communion Shape Our Lives

On today’s Equipping You in Grace show, Dave and Tim Chester talk about the purpose and nature of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, how Christian’s shared stories give them identity and shape the way they live, along with his new book, Truth We Can Touch: How Baptism and...

Monitor Your Motives

Philippians 1:15-18a, “Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely but thinking to afflict...

Pastor, Don’t Quit—Learn to Lament

When Ministry Wears You Out Years ago, I remember hearing a seasoned pastor say, “Ministry would be a cake-walk if it wasn’t for people.” His tongue-in-cheek statement revealed what people know: pastoral ministry is hard. It isn’t long until the passionate calling...
Exposing, Exposing the Darkness, Servants of Grace, Servants of Grace
Exposing the Darkness

Posted On June 17, 2019

Ephesians 5:11-14, “11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Continuing his exposition of our need to walk in the light of Christ and please God, Paul in Ephesians 5:11-14 explains that living apart from the darkness does not mean withdrawing entirely from the world. Instead, walking as children of the light means not engaging in the sins of the unbelieving culture even as we love the sinners around us (Eph. 5:11). When it comes to interacting with the world, we are not forbidden from making friends with those who are still enslaved to sin; instead, we are forbidden from acting in ways that displease God.

Paul helpfully 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. The interplay in the immediate context between light and darkness helps us understand how this exposure happens (Ephesians 5:7-14). 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 sinners for who they truly are and unveiling what they truly deserve — the wrath of God. 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.

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 (John 3:19–20; Acts 14:8–23; 19:21–41). Others will feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit and see the darkness of their deeds. They will turn from their sin to Christ and thereby begin to glorify the Lord (Matt. 5:14–16).

The light of God that shines through us both illumines and transforms, exposes, and cleanses. Those whom the light redeems become visible and that which is visible is light (Eph. 5:13–14). In other words, formerly dark individuals are cleansed and become lights through whom our Savior shines brightly. This is what happened at our conversion, and we continue to become ever brighter lights as we, through confession and repentance, expose our sin to God and flee from it.

Matthew Henry comments, “We must witness against the sins of others, and endeavor to convince them of their sinfulness in our words, but especially by the holiness of our lives.” Our holy living has consequences not only for our own sanctification but also for the eternal good of others. As we seek to please God, humbly admitting how we fall short of His standards, we provide a beacon of hope to those trapped in the darkness of sin.

Related Posts

Exposing, Exposing the Darkness, Servants of Grace, Servants of Grace

John Knox: The Founder of the Presbyterian Church

When we consider the Reformers, we may picture strong men and women with booming voices that echoed around the gathered crowd. We picture them as fearless, rebuking whoever contradicted the true teachings of Scripture, calling out heresy for what it was. But this...

Exposing, Exposing the Darkness, Servants of Grace, Servants of Grace

Christ-Centered Teaching: How His Kingdom Comes

Introduction What is the message we have to preach, but this? “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Recently I preached this core Christian message. It was recorded, and subsequently broadcast on several sites that ended up on the Internet. I often receive replies to...

Exposing, Exposing the Darkness, Servants of Grace, Servants of Grace

Husband of One Wife and Fighting Sexual Sin

On today’s Warriors of Grace episode, Dave talks about what it means to be a husband of one wife, along with providing strategies to learn to fight sexual sin with Scripture, joy in the Lord, and other practical guidance. What you’ll hear in this episode What it means...

Exposing, Exposing the Darkness, Servants of Grace, Servants of Grace

Monitor Your Motives

Philippians 1:15-18a, “Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely but thinking to afflict...

Exposing, Exposing the Darkness, Servants of Grace, Servants of Grace

Pastor, Don’t Quit—Learn to Lament

When Ministry Wears You Out Years ago, I remember hearing a seasoned pastor say, “Ministry would be a cake-walk if it wasn’t for people.” His tongue-in-cheek statement revealed what people know: pastoral ministry is hard. It isn’t long until the passionate calling...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share30
Tweet9
Share
Pin
Buffer