IN THE UNFRUITFUL DEEDS OF DARKNESS: kai me sugkoinoneite (2PPAM) tois
ergois tois akarpois tou skotous:
(Do not: Eph 5:7; Ge 49:5, 6, 7; Ps 1:1,2; 26:4,5; 94:20,21; Pr
4:14,15; 9:6; Jer 15:17; Ro 16:17; 1Co 5:9, 10, 11; 10:20,21; 2Cor 6:14, 15, 16, 17, 18; 2Th 3:6,14;
1Ti 6:5; 2Ti 3:5; 2Jn 1:10,11; Rev 18:4) (Unfruitful: Pr
1:31; Is 3:10,11; Ro 6:21; Gal 6:8) (Deeds: Ep 4:22; Job 24:13, 14,
15, 16, 17; Jn 3:19, 20, 21; Ro 1:22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29,
30, 31, 32; 13:12; 1Th 5:7)
All verbs in
indicate commands, not suggestions!
hold mouse pointer over
underlined links for pop up of Scripture which stays open and can
Paul had just commanded them
Therefore do not be partakers with
them (the sons of disobedience upon whom wrath of God is coming)
for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord;
walk (live, behave, move around in society composed predominantly of
darkness and dead souls) as children of light (Eph 5:7, 8)
This principle of separation
of God's people from evil pervades the Old and New Testaments the
How blessed is the man who does (1) not
walk in the counsel of the wicked, (2) Nor stand in the path of sinners,
(3) Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! (Note
the axiomatic truth = if #'s 1-3 are disobeyed, the attitude and
actions in verse 2 will come to fruition. Corollary -- Are you in the
Word regularly? If not perhaps you might want to do an inventory of
#'s 1-3) But his delight
(Not drudgery or duty,
but devotion motivated by love for the Writer of the Law) is in the law of the
LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. (See notes
cp Ps 26:4, 5, Pr 4, 14,15, Jer 15:17)
In one of his most detailed calls
to separate from evil and evil people Paul writes...
Do not be bound together
with negative = stop doing this!)
with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and
lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in
common with an unbeliever?
16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the
temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND
WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
- Now! It's urgent.) FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord.
"AND DO NOT TOUCH
with negative = Stop touching
the "untouchables" --
Beloved what are you "touching"
that is dirty and filthy?) WHAT IS UNCLEAN;
and I will welcome you (An incredible motive for purity!).
18 "And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters
to Me," Says the Lord Almighty.
7:1 Therefore (term
of conclusion), having these promises
(What promises? Rehearse them in your heart and mind and let them
motive you to carry out the last part of this passage), beloved, let us cleanse
ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness
in the fear of God. (2Cor 6:14-18,
John Eadie writes that...
This admonition is much the same as
that contained in the 7th verse. Ro 6:21, 8:12; Gal. 6:8. A line of
broad demarcation was to separate the church from the world; and not
only was there to be no participation and no connivance (Ephesians
sun = with, reflecting intimate
= to partake, have fellowship - word study
koinonia) means to
join in fellowship with someone or participate in something with
someone. It means to be associated with someone in some activity
and so to be connected with them.
of the more familiar related noun
koinonia which is often
translated "fellowship" helps us understand why Paul is commanding his
these Gentile believers to
stop "fellowshipping" with
the unfruitful deeds of darkness.
Koinonia describes an
association involving close mutual relations and involvement.
It can also picture the sharing of one's possessions with the
implication of some kind of joint participation and mutual interest. It
can describe joint-participation in a common interest and activity (like
a partnership). Thus we can understand Paul's charge to not let this be
our lifestyle (present tense).
with a negative
commands them to stop an action already in progress or forbidding
continuation of joining in fellowship in the unfruitful deeds of
is found only 3 times in all of Scripture...
Ephesians 5:11 And
do not participate
in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;
Philippians 4:14 Nevertheless,
you have done well to share with me in my affliction.
Revelation 18:4 And I heard
another voice from heaven, saying, "Come
out of her, my people,
that you may not participate in her sins and that you may not
receive of her plagues
explains it this way...
says, "Therefore be not partakers with them," which is very
similar to the word participate in verse 11. But there is a
difference. Partakers means simply that you join in with somebody
and do what they do. It may be a one-time thing, maybe a two-time thing
or whatever. You just happen in a weak moment to come along side of them
and you do what they do. But the word (command) "Don’t
participate" goes a step further. It
means to share in common with. In the first situation you are partaking
of the deed. In the other it goes further and you are beginning to
absorb within you the very attitudes of the people that are around you.
Not only are you
partaking in the deeds, but you are sharing things in common with people
who wear garments of darkness. We are not to do that but are to wear the
garment of light. We have the power in the new garment to refuse the
deeds of darkness... We refuse the deeds of darkness when we wear the
right garment. We have the power to do that. So we can be in the world,
but not of the world. You see, a boat in water is by design. Water in
the boat is disaster. We are not to have the water in us, we are to be
in the water. We have to reach them for Christ, but not partake with
them and not share in common the deeds of darkness. Only in the garment
of Christ do we have the power to refuse the deeds of darkness.
from a = without, +
karpos = fruit,
produce) means barren, without fruit, unprofitable.
Akarpos - 7x in
the NT - Mt. 13:22; Mk. 4:19; 1 Co. 14:14; Eph. 5:11; Titus 3:14; 2Pet.
1:8; Jude 1:12
Now the deeds of the flesh are
evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery,
enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions,
factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of
which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who
practice (perform repeatedly or habitually - practice does not make
perfect!) such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians
With the fruit
of the Spirit...
But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,
self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23-notes)
(ergon from ergo = to work) refers to toil as an effort or
occupation. The implication is that it takes some effort for a believer
to push through the light of God's truth, the grace that enables
resistance and the "alarm bells" of the Spirit to intertwine oneself
with these deeds of darkness.
it was this feature of utter
barrenness that once prompted Paul to ask the Roman Christians, “What
fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed?” (Ro
(skotos) refers literally to physical darkness,
the essence of darkness, but in this context is used
figuratively to describe spiritual darkness.
describes the character of the life of the unconverted as void of truth
and virtue in intellectual and moral matters. Sin loves the dark and
like a decaying parasitic mold thrives in the darkness!
For example, John
And this is the message we have heard
from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no
darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk
in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in
the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one
another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1Jn
The realm of
darkness is presided over by the “power of darkness,”
"While I was with you daily in the
temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of
darkness are yours." (Lu 22:53, see
Satan rules those
headed for “eternal darkness”
but the sons of the kingdom shall be
cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping
and gnashing of teeth." (Mt 8:12).
These are springs without water, and
mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved.
2 Peter 2:17)
sinners love the darkness
And this is the judgment, that the
light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather
than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil
hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should
be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his
deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God. (Jn 3:19, 20,
It is that very
darkness from which salvation in Christ delivers sinners.
Again therefore Jesus spoke to them,
saying, "I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk
in the darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12)
For He delivered (rhuomai) us from the domain
= right and might)
of darkness ("darkness" does have power, especially the prince of
darkness and his hordes of God hating minions) (When did God deliver us?
At the inception of our salvation), and transferred (methistemi) us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, (See
But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal
PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, that you
may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness
into His marvelous light (What
a motivation for ministry!) (see note
1 Peter 2:9)
BUT INSTEAD EVEN
THEM: mallon de kai elegchete, (2PPAM):
(But: Genesis 20:16; Leviticus 19:17;
Psalms 141:5; Proverbs 9:7,8; 13:18; 15:12; 19:25; 25:12; Proverbs 29:1;
Isaiah 29:21; Matthew 18:15; Luke 3:19; 1Timothy 5:20; 2Ti 4:2 = expose
by preaching the Word - corollary "pabulum preaching" = no reproof or
exposure of sins of the hearers;
But instead even (but rather even) - This is a verbal "formula"
that gives special intensity to Paul's antithesis. Compare a similar
formula in Galatians 4:9.
As Eadie says...
It was a duty to have nothing to do
with the deeds of darkness; but it was a far higher obligation to
reprimand them. There was to be not simply negative separation, but
positive rebuke—not by the contrast of their own purity, but by formal
and solemn reproof. 1Co 14:24; 2Ti 4:2-note
related to elegchos
= bringing to light) strictly speaking means to bring to the light
and then to expose, to reveal things hidden, to convince, to reprove.
The idea is
to shame or disgrace and thus to rebuke another in such a way
that they are compelled to see and to admit the error of their ways. To
show someone that they have done something wrong and summon them to
In context Paul's charge is that
believers who are light in the Lord are to convict those who are
darkness (and in darkness) by turning the light on the darkness, by
walking as children of light, their lives convicting those in the
dark as much as their words (in fact the testimony of their walk
validates the sincerity of their words!)
I think we would be amazed at how
many silent sermons are preached by the way we conduct ourselves each
day! Are you convicted? I am! We must purpose in His power to
continually walk as children of the light.
calls for the Gentile
believers to do this as their lifestyle.
Elegcho - 17 times in
NT - Matt. 18:15; Lk. 3:19; Jn. 3:20; 8:46; 16:8; 1Co. 14:24; Eph.
5:11, 13; 1Ti 5:20; 2Ti 4:2; Titus 1:9, 13; 2:15; Heb. 12:5-note; James. 2:9;
Jude 1:15; Rev. 3:19.
There are 48 uses in the
Septuagint - Ge 21:25; 31:37, 42; Lev. 6:5; 19:17; 2Sa 7:14;
1Chr 12:17; 16:21; 2Chr. 26:20; Job 5:17; 9:33; 13:3, 10, 15; 15:3, 6;
22:4; 32:12; 33:19; 40:2, 4; Ps 6:1; 38:1; 50:8, 21; 94:10; 105:14;
141:5; Pr 3:11; 9:7f; 10:10; 15:12; 18:17; 19:25; 24:25; 28:23; 30:6; Is
2:4; 11:3, 4; 29:21; Jer. 2:19; Ezek 3:26; Ho 4:4; Amos 5:10; Hab
1:12; Hag 2:14;
Trench says that elegcho
“implies not merely the charge, but
the truth of the charge, and further the manifestation of the truth of
the charge; nay, more than all this, very often also the acknowledgment,
if not outward, yet inward, of its truth on the part of the accused; it
being the glorious prerogative of the truth in its highest operation not
merely to assert itself, and to silence the adversary, but to silence
him by convincing him of his error.” (Trench,
R. C. Synonyms of the New Testament. Hendrickson Publishers. 2000)
used in the Greek law courts not merely of a reply to an opposing
attorney, but of a refutation of his argument. No one could prove any
charges of sin against our Lord. No one could bring charges against Him
in such a way as to convince Him that He was guilty. (because of
course He wasn't)
Jesus said that
"everyone who does evil hates the
light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be
exposed (elegcho)." (Jn
Jesus describing the role of the
Holy Spirit says that
"He, when He comes, will convict
(elegcho) the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment"
Wayne Barber writes...
I think Paul is talking about something in line with what he said in
verse 1. Don’t talk it, walk it. He is saying,
"Since you now have a garment that is light, you don’t reprove the world
by what you tell them. You reprove the world by how you live."
It is my garment that exposes what is going on around me. If I am not
wearing my garment, then what I say means nothing anyway. When I am
wearing my garment, the garment of love, the garment that reaches out
and cares about other people, the garment that speaks of the
righteousness and the holiness of God, then that garment begins to
reprove the people around me. By wearing the garment of light, we
reprove those acts of darkness around us.
Charles Hodge comments...
The apostle having in the previous verse insisted on the duty of
Christians of so walking as to show by their works that they were the
subjects of divine illumination, adds here a statement of their duty in
reference to the sins of those still in darkness. Those sins he calls
“the unfruitful works of darkness.” By unfruitful is meant not merely
barren or worthless, but positively evil. For in a moral subject the
negation of good is evil. Works of darkness are those works which spring
from darkness, i.e. from ignorance of God; as “works of light” are those
works which light or divine knowledge produces.
The duty of Christians in reference to the works of darkness is twofold;
first, to have no communion with them; and secondly, to reprove them.
The former is expressed by the words me sugkoinoneite have not
fellowship with them. Those who have things in common; who are
congenial; who have the same views, feelings, and interests; and who
therefore delight in each other’s society, are said to be in fellowship.
In this sense believers have fellowship with God and with each other. So
we are said to have fellowship in anything which we delight in and
partake of. To have fellowship with the works of darkness, therefore, is
to delight in them and to participate in them. All such association is
forbidden as inconsistent with the character of the children of light.
Our second duty is to reprove them.
Elegchein is not simply to reprove in the sense of admonishing or
rebuking. It means to convince by evidence. It expresses the effect of
illumination by which the true nature of anything is revealed. When the
Spirit is said to reprove men of sin, it means that he sheds such light
upon their sins as to reveal their true character, and to produce the
consequent consciousness of guilt and pollution. In 1Corinthians 14:24,
Paul says the effect of intelligible preaching of the Gospel is
conviction—which is explained by saying “the secrets of the heart are
revealed.” The duty, therefore, here enjoined is to shed light on these
works of darkness; to exhibit them in their true nature as vile and
destructive. By this method they are corrected; as is more fully taught
in the following verses. The ethics as well as the theology of the Bible
are founded on the principle, that knowledge and holiness, ignorance and
sin, are inseparable. If you impart knowledge you secure holiness; and
if you render ignorant you deprave. This of course is not true of
secular knowledge—i.e. of the knowledge of other than religious
subjects; nor is it true of mere speculative knowledge of religious
truth. It is true only of that knowledge which the Scriptures call
spiritual discernment. Of that knowledge, however, intellectual
cognition is an essential element. And so far as human agency in the
production of the conviction of sin is concerned, it is limited to
holding forth the word of life; or letting the light of divine truth
shine into the darkened minds of men, and upon their evil deeds. (Ephesians