Ephesians 5:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ephesians 5:11, NIV: Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

Ephesians 5:11, ESV: Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

Ephesians 5:11, KJV: And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

Ephesians 5:11, NASB: Do not participate in the useless deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;

Ephesians 5:11, NLT: Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.

Ephesians 5:11, CSB: Don't participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them.

What does Ephesians 5:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

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).