Vs. 11 "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."
In our last lesson we learned that "goodness and righteousness and truth" are fruitful works (vs. 9), and that these fruits Will be borne by the life illuminated by the Holy Spirit. And in considering vs. 10, "proving what is acceptable unto Lord," the following comment was made; "the best way to prove what is acceptable unto the Lord is to reprove the works of darkness," this truth is forcibly brought out by Paul in verse eleven.
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness." This is the saint’s negative responsibility. Not only is the saint to have no part with the unfruitful works of darkness, but his positive responsibility is to "reprove them." One form of reproof is not to get mixed up with those walking in darkness, "…for what fellowship hath righteousness wit unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? (2nd Cor. 6:14). Abstention from evil is gloriously good, but it is not all that is required of the disciple of Christ. Light not only reveals the safe path to walk in, it also and the same time exposes the dangers which would bedim the light.
The way and means of discharging the responsibility Enjoined in
verse eleven is outlined for the believer in Holy Writ.
Step # 2 - Mark them, "now I beseech you brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned…" (Rom. 16:17).
Step # 3 - Avoid them, or, simply keep away from them, "now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which ye received of us" (2nd Thes. 3:6). "Avoid them" (Rom. 16:17).
Step # 4 Reprove them, "This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them, that they may be sound in the faith" (Titus 1:13). "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them" (Eph. 5:11).
Step # 5 - Reject them, "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him Godspeed; for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds" (2nd John 10 - 11). "A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition, reject" (Titus 3:10).
Vs. 12 "For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret."
The redeemed are not to mention the fruits of darkness except in a disapproving manner. To mention them with any degree of favor bespeaks darkness in the soul. Example: homosexuality has no positive side, it is totally negative. Therefore, the born again person cannot affirm any good whatsoever about this unspeakable practice, and is to condemn it sternly. It is a sin for a Christian to take part in a discussion which has to do with the pros and cons of;
There are no pros in such things; therefore all dialogue must be
a condemnation of these things. We have no option in the matter, the
only recourse for the believer is to stand firm against all Manner
Vs. 13 "But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light,"
This verse further shows the imperativeness of the believer’s responsibility to expose the evils of darkness, for it is light that scatters darkness. Paul reiterates the words of Christ,
Saying of the church, "…Now are ye light in the world" (Vs. 9), (Matt. 5:14 "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on hill cannot be hid"). Simply, darkness cannot oppose itself; therefore the church must focus its light on the unmentionable evils of spiritual darkness.
While rebuke of evil is to be firm and inflexible, rebuke is
never to be issued just for the sake of rebuke. Rebuke should always
have as its end the hope of correction, one does not have to turn a
light on in dark room except to correct the vision impaired by
darkness. And so it is, in pointing out sin in another’s life, we
should not do it merely to let him know of it, but to turn him from
Some scholars believe Paul refers to Isaiah 60:1 in the quote of Vs. 14. "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is raised upon thee." Whether or not this is the text Paul in had mind, we do know when the light of Christ comes to rest upon the spiritually dead man, he is aroused from his sleep, he rises up and becomes partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light(Col. 1:12).
He is grateful for the light, it having revealed to him the awful danger he was in, and ignorant of. He looks and sees that his sin had carried him to the edge of a slippery precipice, and that he was rescued from the very brink of eternal disaster. In this redemptive light his duty is made clear, and he reproves others for their persistent trek toward the abyss without bottom.
Vs. 15 See them that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise".
Circumspectly, "Means to be cautious, careful, or prudent. In the sense in which it is used in relationship to the context, it means once true light has been given the recipient should be careful to walk in that light. It means to give the broadest observation, viewing every action and consequence, always bearing mind that we must give an account of the measure of light granted us. No circumstances confront the child of God, but that there is adequate Light to guide him in the proper handling of them.
Vs. 16 "Redeeming the time because the days are evil,"
Time is pregnant with opportunity, therefore the Christian is to take every opportunity and purchase time with it. The military divides time into good and bad. Time regarded as good, is the time spent doing that which by oath you said you would do while in the military, bad time is the time lost going contrary to your oath. Guardhouse, brig, or stockade penalties are considered bad time, and did not count toward fulfilling the enlistment period. Bad time hindered promotion, and usually had to be made up by extending the discharge date.
2nd Tim. 2:3 – 4 "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier." The discharge comes at the time of death or the rapture, and we should redeem every moment of time so as to be discharged with honor. Our oath was taken publicly in baptism, and we should employ all of our time walking in the newness of life, then, like Paul at the time of our departure, we can say, "I am ready to be offered."
"Redeeming the time because the days are evil," with each
opportunity to render service unto God, the devil will present to
the mind an infinite number of alternatives, especially is this true
today, for we see it manifested in the great falling away from
truth. Satanic powers of delusion are of such power, that many a
child of God has been deceived into thinking that they can opt
between good and evil. Examples:
2. "I can miss Wednesday night prayer meeting, because I have to g up early in the morning and go to work," (then watch TV until 11p.m.)
3. "We are not under law, but grace, and a life of regimen is no longer required."
Who does, such a one think he is deceiving? Certainly not God. Nether anyone who are concerned with redeeming the time for God. He is fooling only himself, and the worst kind of a lie is the one person that tells themselves. Surely, "the days are evil."
Let those that know the truth, take up the slack which indifference and willing ignorance causes, and they will not be ashamed at there Saviour’s appearing.