“Therefore do not be partakers with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” 15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
(Eph 5:7-17 NKJ)
To say there is much darkness in the world is to state the obvious. We know in part what darkness looks like from verses 3-6 of Ephesians Chapter 5. Today we see this darkness manifested in many different ways. I don’t know about you but I thought pedophilia was practiced only by a few perverted and corrupt people, mainly amongst non-Christian men against little children, who were abducted, and even against their very own flesh and blood. However, it is coming to light more and more that this heinous sin is far more pervasive amongst many individuals and groups, who see children not as human beings made in the image of God; but rather as evolved creatures with little or no value to be used for their own vile passions. However, it doesn’t stop at sexual abuse; it goes into far deeper and darker. There is human trafficking of children, organ harvesting and even being sacrificed in satanic rituals too hideous to detail. These crimes against children are being perpetrated by people on all sorts of levels in society. It is especially practiced by many wealthy and prominent people in high ranking positions; in corporate, political and even in many religious institutions, including churches.
Yet, this is only one element of the works done in darkness. We see homosexuality paraded about like it is just normal human behavior. We have seen hate and violence incited against those who seek to live righteously, who seek to live peaceably, earn a wage, or build a legitimate business. We are beginning to see politicians and wealthy people in high corporate positions seeking to censure, suppress, or oppress those with whom they disagree. We are also seeing many other crimes against humanity go unpunished and in some cases criminals being rewarded for their acts of violence. Injustice walks the streets of darkness! Hate is ok as long as you are on the side of evil, walking in darkness. On the other hand, doing what is right and good in the eyes of the Lord is viewed as evil. In other words, they call good evil and evil good for their own advantage and perverted pleasure, just as in the day of Israel’s fall into idolatry, according to Isaiah 5:20; and as far back as the Garden of Eden when Satan deceived Adam and Eve.
We are not only not to be partakers with those who practice darkness (v. 9), we are not to have fellowship with them (v. 11), nor even speak of those things that are done in darkness as though they are ok to be practiced by those who are inclined to do so (v. 12). We are not to speak in a manner that says these dark activities are not really sin; or even to say having an affection for these sins is not a sin, which is contrary to what Jesus said in Matthew Chapter 5:22, 28; Mark 7:21-23, that sin begins in the heart (see also Jeremiah 17:9; James 1:14-15). Moreover, we are not to talk about the things done in darkness in casual conversation. No, it is shameful to do so, just as these dark activities are shameful for anyone to do. So, what are we to do? We are told in the passage before us that we are to expose darkness, to expose the works done in darkness, as it says in verse 13. Yet, how do we expose the darkness? The answer is found in verse 9.
In that verse we learn that the light that exposes darkness is the goodness of God, His righteousness and truth; all of which point us to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The fruit that is identified here shines forth in a very real way through God’s created universe, especially in all the earth, as it says in Psalm 33:5. However, in the context of the passage in Ephesians it is referring to the light shining through sinners who have been born again by the Holy Spirit, as the fruit of the Spirit produced in each and every believer becomes more and more manifest in the person’s life.
Galatians 5, verses 22-23 provide us with a more complete list of the fruit of the Spirit. However, in the passage before us these graces or fruit are summarized in three words, goodness, righteousness and truth, all of which tells us how we are to walk in the light so as to shine the light of the gospel and expose darkness. These reveal a vast contrast between the works of those who walk in the light and the works of those who walk in darkness, as Hendricksen says it in his commentary. Let’s take a brief look at them.
Goodness involves our outward conduct in doing good works to help our neighbor, as seen in Galatians 6:10 and 1 John 3:17-18. We are to practice goodness or good works to not only those who of the household of faith, those with whom we agree and think are “deserving” of our help; we are also to show kindness towards those who are unbelievers and even our enemies, according to Romans 12:19-21. By helping those who are our enemies and are in need, we will heap coals of kindness on their heads that will expose the darkness of their hate-filled, vengeful and malicious heart, and by God’s grace convict them and bring them to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. At the very least, your kindness will expose their darkness that is in their lives and add to their guilt before God, who showed His goodness to them through your kindness toward them. Goodness in a very real way is also seen as doing what is right. Many times we must show the goodness of God to someone, not because we think he or she deserves it; but rather because it is the right thing to do, according to God’s commandment, as Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:43-48. This leads us to the next fruit; righteousness.
Righteousness is doing what is right and pleasing in the eyes of the Lord; to walk in the righteousness that is according to what God says is right in His word; that is to walk rightly. One aspect of walking rightly is to conduct ourselves in a just manner. Leviticus 19:15 helps us with what it means to conduct ourselves in righteousness from a judicial sense. Those who walk in darkness don’t care about justice; they don’t care about doing what is right according to God’s word; but rather doing what is right in their own eyes, or what will further their own interests. They will convict and condemn a person without hearing all the facts of the case. Even after hearing the facts judgment will be made, not based on the facts; but rather what fits best to further their evil agenda, whatever that may be. In other words, those who are favored (or pay the bribe) will be judged favorably and those who are not favored (or unwilling or unable to pay a bribe) will be judged unfavorably; and, perhaps, judged more harshly than the offence merits. Sounds much like what is happening in Washington DC, doesn’t it? Yet, it is not seen just within the political and even the judicial realm of society, it is also seen in many churches that have either jumped to unfounded judgments against a person, or not giving the person a proper hearing, or the opportunity to defend him or herself. How many of us have judged someone based on their outward appearance, or judged a person before hearing his or her side of the story? Walking in the light in doing what is right and pleasing in the eyes of Lord will expose the darkness of the injustice that is practiced. It hears the facts, weighs them and makes a judgment to determine guilt or innocence; and if found guilty, the appropriate of level of punishment or recompense needed to pay for the offence. Further, just as our Father in heaven has shown us mercy in sending His Son to pay the penalty for our sins, so also doing what is right may involve showing mercy to a guilty person, especially someone who has repented of his sin and shown real amendment. Let’s remember we, who are in Christ, are a living testimony to God’s abounding unmerited favor and the riches of His mercies in not giving to us what we deserve, even as His chosen people. In fact, isn’t it true that all flesh is living under the mercies of God each and every day? No one is getting what he deserves; that is, to be struck down for his or her rebellion, hatred, idolatry and sexual sin in whatever form that may take.
Finally, both the fruit of goodness and righteousness find their definition in truth, the last fruit listed; truth that is revealed to us in Scripture. Truth encompasses the other two fruits of the Spirit and the other two fruits keep truth from becoming just cold sterile knowledge. In other words, they give feet to truth and give it life – a living truth; just as good works is evidence that our faith is not a dead faith that even the demons possess (James 2:19-20).
The light of the truth removes the veil of darkness to expose sin for what it is – SIN. Jesus said in John 3:19-20, “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.” In exposing the works done in darkness with the truth the sinner can no longer hide behind that evil veil. Truth exposes not only the naked truth of his rebellion against God, of his hatred, of his vengeance, of his greed, of the violence he conspires against his neighbor, and the malicious intentions and vial passions of his evil heart; the truth also works to convict the sinner of the evil darkness that he so loves. It is because of the great conviction that weighs on the heart of the sinner when truth exposes the darkness in which he walks; he will by nature flee back to the darkness. This fleeing will be expressed either in lashing back in rebellion and anger against the truth teller, or the person will quietly acknowledge his sinful ways with an uncaring, impenitent heart, as he seeks ways to either change the subject or flee the scene that has brought a heavy weight of guilt upon him.
Since the inclination of the sinner’s heart is to run back into his or her works done in darkness; it is only by the Holy Spirit working grace in his heart that the sinner’s eyes will be opened, and with a broken and contrite heart toward his sins come to Christ for salvation from the penalty of his sins which is eternal damnation in hell, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth by those who refuse to turn away from walking in darkness to walk in the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, for all of us who are in Christ by faith alone, let’s not slumber or sleep, but rather wake up to the urgency of our day, for darkness is spreading deeper and deeper, wider and wider; and the souls of those who walk in darkness are in grave danger, and in peril of an eternity of great suffering and torment. Let this horror of the Lord constrain our hearts to be willing and eager, in-season and out-of-season, to speak the truth of the gospel of Christ, not to just expose the works that are done in darkness; but, in love, to also proclaim the gospel of Christ, the power of God to salvation for all who believe in Him, who embrace with a believing heart all the benefits Christ obtained for sinners like you and me in His one atoning sacrifice on the cross and in His resurrection; that is, the forgiveness of sins, righteousness, salvation and everlasting life to the praise and glory of God through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Each and every day pray that the Lord will give you the grace to walk in the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ to expose the darkness with all goodness, righteousness and truth to the glory of God
If you are waking in darkness, today, won’t you by faith rise up from the dead and come out of the darkness and into the light of Jesus Christ in repentance of your sins? Embrace with a believing heart Jesus Christ and all of the benefits He obtained in His one atoning death on the cross and in His resurrection; that is, the forgiveness of sins, righteousness, salvation and everlasting life – then, begin walking in His light so you might also expose the darkness and bring glory to God – to Whom belong all glory, honor, wisdom and power, forever!
Soli Deo Gloria!
For your awareness, I am providing the following symbols of those who are engaged in pedophilia in one form or another. These symbols are a way of communication for pedophilias and indicate the child’s gender the person prefers, so that when you see this symbol being worn or displayed you will know that person is walking in darkness, who needs to hear the gospel of Christ (even those who are not wearing or displaying these symbols and is walking in darkness need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ):