“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.” Ephesians 5:11-12
I’ve been pondering this question, “what does it mean to expose the unfruitful works of darkness?” So I thought I’d share my thoughts and some Scriptures to help you understand where my thinking is at on this topic at this point in my faith walk.
So often we think (believe) that by speaking of the darkness that surrounds us, it somehow exposes that darkness, but let’s take a closer look at some of the words in the above passage. What is fellowship? It is mixing, mingling, having interaction and familiarity with something or someone. How about works? Works are the deeds or actions that characterize someone or something. Now what about expose? To expose means to illuminate, to bring into the the light.
Using these new meanings, we can restate verse eleven in this way,
“Do not to be familiar with the actions of those who dwell in darkness, but instead shine the light on them.”
So how are we supposed to shine the light? Are we to shine the light with our words, speaking about all the wicked things that those in darkness are doing? Heaven forbid; for even Paul says it is shameful to do so. So then how are we to expose the “unfruitful works of darkness”?
The conclusion I have come to is this; the best way to expose the unfruitful works of darkness is to “BE LIGHT”. Be Light that will expose who they are by living in stark contrast to what they do. And the only way I know to do that is by keeping His commandments to the best of my ability with a heart that loves Him and desires fellowship with Him. Counter the works of darkness with His works of Light.
“For the mitzvah (commandment) is a lamp,
And the Torah (instruction) a LIGHT;
Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,” Prov. 6:23
“Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a LIGHT to my path.” Psalm 119:105
“The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of LIGHT. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.” Luke 11:34
“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in G-d.” John 3:19-21
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” 2 Cor. 6:14
“For you were once darkness, but now you are LIGHT in the L-rd. Walk as children of LIGHT (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the L-rd. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the LIGHT, for whatever makes manifest is LIGHT.
Therefore He says:
‘Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Messiah will give you LIGHT.’
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:8-16
“But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of LIGHT and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.” 1 Thess. 5:4-5
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that G-d is LIGHT and in Him is no darkness at all.
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yeshua Messiah His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:5-7
We don’t need any help focusing on or walking in darkness; we come by it naturally in our current human skins. We are fooling ourselves if we think that we are “shining the light on darkness” by focusing our attention on the wicked deeds done in the dark and making others familiar with those wicked deeds.
If we can muster the strength inside of us to walk in the Light as He is in the Light, then we will begin to shine, until we are as bright as the stars in the heavens.