5 Therefore become imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father];2 and walk continually in love [that is, value one another—practice empathy and compassion, unselfishly seeking the best for others], just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God [slain for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.
3 But sexual immorality and all [moral] impurity [indecent, offensive behavior] or greed must not even be hinted at among you, as is proper among saints [for as believers our way of life, whether in public or in private, reflects the validity of our faith].4 Let there be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse [obscene or vulgar] joking, because such things are not appropriate [for believers]; but instead speak of your thankfulness [to God].5 For be sure of this: no immoral, impure, or greedy person—for that one is [in effect] an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God [for such a person places a higher value on something other than God].
6 Let no one deceive you with empty arguments [that encourage you to sin], for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience [those who habitually sin].7 So do not participate or even associate with them [in the rebelliousness of sin].8 For once you were darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light [live as those who are native-born to the Light]9 (for the fruit [the effect, the result] of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),10 trying to learn [by experience] what is pleasing to the Lord [and letting your lifestyles be examples of what is most acceptable to Him—your behavior expressing gratitude to God for your salvation].11 Do not participate in the worthless and unproductive deeds of darkness, but instead expose them [by exemplifying personal integrity, moral courage, and godly character];12 for it is disgraceful even to mention the things that such people practice in secret.13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light [of God’s precepts], for [a]it is light that makes everything visible.14 For this reason He says,
“Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine [as dawn] upon you and give you light.”
Ephesians 5:13Paul, who was privileged to study under the brilliant Gamaliel (Acts 22:3), is probably speaking from the viewpoint of ancient Greek science. Even the philosopher Plato maintained that vision essentially is the process of light forming an image of an object it touches and conveying that image to the eyes. So Paul may mean that what is actually seen is an image composed of light (like the photographic process), and since light is always reliable and its physical properties are constant, nothing exposed to light escapes being revealed. Spiritually speaking, to the extent that a believer functions as Light (v 8), he will expose the sins of unbelievers simply by his presence, just as it is the nature of light to expose whatever it touches.
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