Paul continues to talk about God’s light shining into the darkness of the world in these verses.
11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
“Notice that it is the ‘deeds’ that have to be shunned, not the doers.”1 We live ‘in’ the world but we are not ‘of’ the world because we belong to Christ. We are not to completely separate ourselves from nonbelievers but we are not do be engaged in sinful behavior with them. If we separate ourselves completely from nonbelievers, who will shine the light of Christ in their lives?
12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.
It is not our job to discuss or gossip about the sin of nonbelievers. Instead, Paul uses the imagery of light when exposing sin. “Paul appeals to the effect of light in the natural world. It penetrates wherever it shines, so that everything is lit up by it. In the same way, whenever the light of Christ appears, it shows up sin for what it is.”1 The power of the Holy Spirit can convict people of their sin and show Christ’s light on their activity, revealing it for what it is.
14 This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
“Paul introduces the quotation as if everybody knew it, but not one knows where it came from. Almost certainly, being in poetry, it is a fragment of an early Christian hymn.” It may be from a hymn sung at baptisms. “Perhaps these were the lines which were sung as those arose from the water, to symbolize the passage from the dark sleep of paganism to the awakened life of the Christian way.”2
As we approach the weekend, look at who you spend your time with. Are you insulated by only spending time with other believers? We are not to become like nonbelievers by taking on their attitudes and actions, rather we are to shine the light of Christ to them. It is hard for us to shine His light into their darkness if we are never around them. Who does God want you to spend some time with so you can shine His light into their situation?
- The Scripture is from http://www.biblegateway.com
- First quote from “The Expositor’s Bible Commentary”, Vol. 11, Zondervan
- Second quote from “The letters to the Galatians and Ephesians”, The Daily Study Bible Series, William Barclay, Westminster Press