Ephesians 5:6-13 Do not participate, instead expose them!
by Dennis Peterson
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord ; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth ), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
In this outline we will be looking at two truths that the Bible clearly shows us about daily living. The first being that Christians are told by our God not to partake or be involved with the unfruitful deeds of darkness. The second is to be involved in exposing the darkness because we are of the light. These two truths are for our daily lives and for the glory of God! It is for our own good and the good and love of others that we apply these two great truths given in Holy Scripture for today! This morning we will look at these two truths in their context and then see how they apply in areas like sanctity of life.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
The word we read DECEIVE is the Greek word “apatao” which means to deceive by giving a distorted impression or false sense of reality; to trick; to cheat!
Then we read with empty words!
“Let no one deceive you with empty words.” We get an impression that the point is that we need to have our guard up and be critical thinkers and not accept everything that people throw our way as if they speak authoritive truth! We need to have our ears open but with discernment to see if what is spoken is based on anything other than truth! There is no reason to ask the question, Why would you believe that ? because it has already been given as fact. There is no reason to feel bad about asking where someone came to that conclusion and with what authority do they base it. When someone says, “I don’t know?” or “unbiblical viewpoint” we have a responsibility for the well being and hopefully to stop false teaching by exposing it through God’s Word! We know the Bible does not speak “empty words” but TRUTH! Someone may say “I don’t believe the Bible” well that’s ok because I still believe and know it’s the Word of Truth and will not fail me.
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Here is a reason for correcting wrong thinking…
because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
We are worried that their wrong thinking will bring God’s wrath upon them as we are guided by reason to help them.
Is this not a good reason to correct wrong understanding?
7 Therefore do not be partakers with them;
Here we see a clear command to not be partakers with deception and empty speaking! We are children of light, that is w are Born-Again believers and have a new way of thinking in Christ Jesus. We think Biblically as our Lord does. We don’t allow unfruitful ideas capture our mind and responses. We are
told and need to apply not being partakers with those who do not speak truth! We will look at this in verse 11 a little more deeply.
Our scripture in verse 8 gives us a great reason to not partake with those who oppose God’s will as shown in scripture…
8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord ; walk as children of Light!
In God’s Word we see the contrast between light and darkness over and over again. Light is always in the positive and connected with God and His holiness and therefore us who are believers. Darkness is always connected with the demonic and the things which are against God. Even the eternal dwelling of unbelievers is connected with darkness and wrath of God!
AS CHRISTIANS we have been transferred from the Kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light! This is where we are reminded of the verse from…
2 Cor. 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
We are changed people by the blood of Christ Jesus being applied to us removing our sin and setting us in a new direction for Christ!
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
As we just have seen we are the light in the world we are living in and our light is to expose darkness with heavenly light!
So when we read…
Ephesians 5:8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord ; walk as children of Light!
We read “formerly” = what we were before.
“But NOW” = change of position.
Then we read…
“Now you are Light in the Lord ; walk as children of Light!”
So now that we are not the same as we were before and have a change of position from darkness to light we are to WALK as the children of light we are IN THE LORD! We are told to walk in the light because we now already are people of the light! We don’t walk like we did formerly but as new creations that we are in Christ Jesus!
Here are some obvious fruit of being in the light…
9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth ),
GOODNESS – those things that everyone recognizes as a good thing to be doing!
RIGHTEOUSNESS – our behavior that is just before God!
TRUTH – the integrity of what we say God stands by in His Word!
The fruit of these three traits continue to grow in our lives and are expressed with greater value in our progressive Christian walk! These three are opposed to darkness!
Moving to the next scri
10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
As Christians in a day where we have the Bible in written form and electric form we basically can have the Word of God with us everywhere we go. When swimming or where we can’t have the Bible in hand it should be embedded in our minds to draw from and to answer those who oppose the truth.
1 Peter 3:13-17
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?  But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,  but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you;  yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.  For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
So if we are always to have an answer, then we should always be in the Bible preparing ourselves and to help others with the Words of God flowing from our lips!
and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,
So applying these truths should make us do the following…
11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.
To not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness does not give us a pass in just removing ourselves from society and confining ourselves so we have no effect on our culture of darkness.
“Many believers have a passive avoidance ethic and
that is all. In other words they think: if I avoid the works of
darkness, and don’t do them myself, then I am doing my
Christian duty. I’m clean. I’m in the light. But that is not
what verse 11 says. It says you are only doing half your
duty. “Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness”—
that’s an avoidance ethic. That’s half your duty. But it goes
on, and in fact puts stress on the next phrase because
it is easily overlooked and because it can be very costly:
“Rather even expose them!” Don’t just avoid the works
of darkness, expose them. This is not avoidance. This is
So we can see there are two sides of our encounter with darkness…
Do not participate, instead expose them!
The message we are given is to not be part of darkness and its deeds but to expose the darkness with Truth! We must never forget to use gentleness and tact but we engage and correct the wrong thinking and actions that oppose God’s will. We do this by sharing facts and truths that put a wrench in wrong thinking and cause the listener to rethink their position with Biblical Truth! We use truth with love to capture the minds that have been blackened by errors of the world.
13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
Knowing these truths we just studied gives us reason to take the facts we know about things like sanctity of life and apply them, teach them and help others to understand why we take a bold stand on them. See I could have thrown a bunch of Sanctity of life truths at you at the start and you would have not known why it is so important to know the truths. Now that we know what God’s principle of Do not participate, instead expose them applies to sanctity of life.
Here are some truths to share with those who feel a lady has the right to kill her unborn baby…
From… Exposing the Dark Work of Abortion
By John Piper
• To expose the fact that approximately 30% of all babies
conceived in America are killed by abortion.
• To expose the fact that medically women are told not to
have abortions before the seventh week of pregnancy
(see the Yes/Neon booklet), and yet by the eighth week
the heart of the baby has been beating for a month,
there are measurable brain waves, there is response to
touch, there’s thumb-sucking, grasping with the hands,
swimming with the arms in the amniotic fluid, distinct
arms and legs and sexual organs. This much must—
not may, must—be present before most abortion centers
will cut the baby to pieces with a suction machine
4,000 times a day.
• To expose the fact that 9,000 babies were killed after
the 21st week of pregnancy in 1987, fully formed and
on the brink of being able to breathe for themselves—
• To expose the fact that in Minnesota we have a fetal
homicide law that makes it “murder to kill an embryo
or fetus intentionally, except in cases of abortion”—in
other words, it’s unlawful to kill the unborn child unless
the mother chooses to have it killed. And that is a
strange and dark criterion for lawful killing.
• To expose the fact that there are thousands of crisis
pregnancy centers in this country ready to help, and
almost all of them are free—unlike the abortion mills
that charge plenty of money—and the older the baby,
the more they charge.
• To expose the fact that there are no unwanted babies
in Minnesota. Mary Ann Kuharsky (President of Pro-
Life Minnesota) said in the Tribune she would take any
baby whose life depended on it, and there are hundreds
Piper shows Inconsistency…
1. Existing fetal homicide laws make a man guilty of
Manslaughter if he kills the baby in a mother’s womb
(Except in the case of abortion).
2. Fetal surgery is performed on babies in the womb to
save them while another child the same age is being
3. Babies can sometimes survive on their own at 23 or 24
weeks, but abortion is legal beyond this limit.
4. Living on its own is not the criterion of human personhood,
as we know from the use of respirators and dialysis.
5. Ultrasound has given a stunning window on the womb
that shows the unborn at eight weeks sucking his
thumb, recoiling from pricking, responding to sound.
All the organs are present, the brain is functioning, the
heart is pumping, the liver is making blood cells, the
kidneys are cleaning fluids, and there is a fingerprint.
Virtually all abortions happen later than this date.
24 Days A baby’s heart begins to beat!
43 Days Brain Coordinates Movements
8 Weeks All Organs are Functioning
9 Weeks Has Permanent, individual Fingerprints.
10 Weeks Baby Can feel Pain.
12 Weeks A Baby Can Smile, Suck Thumb, and make a fist!