Journal Entry // August 31, 2022
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. (ESV)Ephesians 5:11
What is the essential factor in our everyday battle against sin and darkness? The key element of our walk with Christ is to expose the unfruitful works of darkness. We are to bring into the light those thoughts, words, actions, habits, mindsets, desires, and pleasures that are kept hidden away in the secret dark crevices of our hearts. We are not to be complicit or engage with these unfruitful works but to expose them. We are to expose them to ourselves, to a trusted friend, to church leadership, and to Christ. We should first start with ourselves and with Christ, then bring in others as we find ourselves in need of accountability and correction. The key action here is to expose the darkness in our hearts so that it no longer remains hidden or obscured. We need to expose these dark unfruitful works that are secret and private and bring them into the light of Christ. Exposing them to the gospel and letting Christ bring transformational forgiveness through our repentance.
This is the essential lesson of walking the path of holiness. Everything about the unfruitful works of darkness will convince me to keep it secret and keep it safe. It will bring all kinds of logic and justification to my mind in order to keep the darkness hidden from the light of the gospel. The darkness knows it is vile and wretched. It knows that if I can only see the hideousness of the unfruitful works and how they malign the glory of Christ in my life, that I would do away with them. The exposure of the darkness to the light of the gospel is essential to bring that realization to my mind and prove the fallacy of the rationalization I have set up to continue in the darkness.
The hardest part about exposing the unfruitful work of darkness within me is that I must first admit that it lives within me. I must humble myself before the Lord and others to expose the works of darkness. I must admit my weakness and failure. I must take accountability for my actions and accept the consequences. For the works of darkness are not just nagging little problems that occasionally trip me up. No, these works of darkness are cesspools that reside within my heart and lead me away from Christ. They may seem so simple and of no concern. I may hold a grudge against a person I work with. I may think indecent thoughts about another person. I may be jealous of another’s possessions. All of these I could keep in my head without anyone knowing but God and myself. But the more I dive into these cesspools of disobedience, the more I turn away from Christ. The more I wander off the good and righteous path of obedience and faith. Eventually, I will find that I have arrived at the gates of hell.
I should make no mistake in understanding that this is the true path and intention of the works of darkness. They are not clever ploys to find loopholes in righteous holy living. They are a poison that has only one purpose… to bring the wrath of God upon me. So I fight these works of darkness not in my own strength of will, but only in the gospel light of Jesus Christ. I must expose them to the light of the gospel and view them as they truly are. I must be vigilant in destroying this darkness from my life. Their only destruction is through the gospel. Through gospel repentance and faith in Christ alone. Through seeing the works of darkness for what they truly are and as I expose them to the gospel of Christ I will find humility and forgiveness in Christ. He is gentle and kind. He forgives me over and over again. He will always come to expose these works of darkness in my heart. All for my good and his glory. To the praise of his holy and precious name.