C. H. Spurgeon
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224. Child of Light And Works Of Darkness.

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

DIRECTIONS on how to live while here below are very needful. We constantly come into contact with ungodly men; this is unavoidable. But here we are taught to avoid such communion with them as would make us partakers in their evil deeds.

Three truths are incidentally mentioned: evil works are sterile, they are works of darkness, and they deserve reproof.

We must have no fellowship with them, neither at any time, nor in any manner, nor in any degree.

I. WHAT IS FORBIDDEN? "Fellowship with works of darkness."

This fellowship may be produced in several waysó

1. By personally committing the sins so described or by joining with others in bringing them about.

2. By teaching wrong doing, either by plain word or by just inference.

3. By constraining, commanding, or tempting: by threat, request, persuasion, inducement, compulsion, bribery, or influence.

4. By provoking, through exciting anger, emulation, or discouragement.

5. By neglecting to rebuke: especially by parents and masters misusing their office and allowing known evils in the family.

6. By counseling and advising, or by guiding by example.

7. By consenting, agreeing, and cooperating. By smiling at an evil attempt, and, in the rend, partaking in the spoil. Those who join with churches in error come under this head.

8. By conniving at sin: tolerating, concealing, and making light of it.

9. By commending, countenancing, defending, and excusing the wrong already done and contending against those who would expose, denounce, and punish it.

II. WHAT IS COMMANDED? "Reprove them:"

"Reprove" in the original is a word of large meaning.

1. Rebuke. Declare the wrong of it, and show your hatred thereof.

2. Convict. As the Holy Spirit reproves the world of sin, so aim at proving the world guilty by your holy life and bold witness.

3. Convert. This is to be your continual aim with those about you. You are so to reprove as to win men from ways of evil.

Oh, that we had more of honest and loving reproof of all evil!

III. WHY IT IS COMMANDED TO ME.

It is specially my duty to be clear of other men's sinsó

1. As an imitator of God and a dear child (verse 1).

2. As one who is an inheritor of the kingdom of God (verses 5-6).3. As one who has come out of darkness into marvelous light in the Lord (verse 8).

4. As one who bears fruit, even the fruit of the Spirit, which is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth (verse 9).

5. As one who would not be associated with that which is either shameful or foolish (verses. 12, 15). If our fellowship is with God, we must quit the ways of darkness.

IV. WHAT MAY COME OF OBEDIENCE TO THE COMMAND.

Even if we could see no good result, yet our duty would be plain enough; but much benefit may resultó

1. We shall be clear of complicity with deeds of darkness.

2. We shall be honored in the consciences of the ungodly.

3. We may thus win them to repentance and eternal life.

4. We shall glorify God by our separated walk and by the godly perseverance with which we adhere to it.

5. We may thus establish others in holy nonconformity to the world.

Let us use the text as a warning to worldly professors.

Let us take it as a directory in our conversation with the ungodly.


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