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Ephesians 5:11

ESV Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
NIV Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
NASB Do not participate in the useless deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;
CSB Don't participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them.
NLT Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.
KJV And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

What does Ephesians 5:11 mean?

Two commands are offered in this verse. First, believers are to completely avoid participating in sin. Paul's command here implies that sin is a waste of time and associated with darkness, which is opposed to the light of those living for Christ.

The second command is a contrast to merely avoiding sin. This instruction means to unmask or point out what is sinful. This does not mean speak in graphic detail about certain sinful actions (Ephesians 5:12). However, believers must define right and wrong and encourage others (and themselves) to live according to what is right. This is a powerful counter to the frequent charge against Christians of being "judgmental." While we must use righteous, humble judgment (John 7:24), we are actually commanded as believers to point out sin, for the benefit of others (James 5:20).

This need to expose sin requires believers to avoid particular actions, encouraging purity and unity in the body of Christ. This includes a careful personal life (Ephesians 5:15), wisdom (Ephesians 5:15), a productive use of time (Ephesians 5:16), focusing on God's will (Ephesians 5:17), and joining together with other believers for worship (Ephesians 5:18–20).
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