A note from our pastor:
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”Ephesians 5:11
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
In our study verse this week, the Apostle continues his instruction regarding how the disciple of Jesus Christ should live from day-to-day. While on the surface, this verse may seem as a basic instruction in leading a moral life, to understand it fully it deserves closer examination.
The Apostle is clearly instructing the community of believers to avoid sinful behaviors which he calls the unfruitful works of darkness. He does not specify particular sins because he is setting forth a precept rather than a prescriptive guide. Importantly, as we consider this verse we must interpret it through the lense of Christ’s instruction for his disciples to avoid judging and condemning.
First, the Apostle instructs the community of believers to have no fellowship, not with the sinners, but rather with the sins themselves. In the world in which the Apostle was living and in the world we live in today we are going to work and live around those who are engaged in behaviors which are not pleasing unto the Lord. But the Lord told us we are in the world but not of the world. The Apostle is not contradicting this. His instruction is to not fellowship, or engage in, the unfruitful works themselves.
Second, the Apostle tells his readers to reprove “them”. The key understanding of this verse centers around the pronoun them. In this second phrase, the Apostle continues to refer to the sins as them. His instruction is not to reprove the individuals but to reprove the sins themselves. In order to understand this instruction, it is key to understand the meaning of the word reprove. Often this word is confused with condemn, but the better understanding of the word is to convince. In other words, the Apostle is telling his readers by their actions to prove these sinful behaviors bring about darkness.
The ultimate lesson the Apostle is teaching in this verse is for the disciple of Christ to seek after God in their day-to-day life and in doing so show those around them a better path. By seeking after Christ, may it show to others the blessings, joy, and peace which comes from pleasing God and not men.
Our Prayers are with you daily,