Unfruitful Works of Darkness
A Sermon on Ephesians 5:8-13
8for you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10as you try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Do not participate in …
8For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11And have no fellowship with the unfruitful …
How does one know if they are a born-again Christian? What are some ways they can test their lives to see if they have been saved? What are the manifestations of darkness and why should one know them? In this sermon on Ephesians 5:8–13 titled “Unfruitful Works of Darkness,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones walks through a standard against which Christians can measure their lives, teaching that it is important to know these so that they can see whether or not they are producing the fruit that stems from being a follower of Christ and being changed by the Holy Spirit. The first manifestation is the mind—those who are in darkness are ignorant of God and the truth about themselves and the state of their souls. They deny that their sin is grievous enough to separate them from God, and they don’t see the need to submit their lives to the authority of Jesus Christ. Another manifestation is the will. Many people today are trying to make the world a better place— they see all the crime in the world and think that it will be fixed with more money or success. However, dealing with unrighteousness without addressing the underlying ungodliness will avail nothing; the foundational issue must be fixed in order to see change. This is what needs to be repaired in order for the world to be a better place.
The passage being discussed is Ephesians 5:8-13. The sermon focuses on living a life in conformity with one's Christian faith and profession.
Paul argues that Christians are now "light in the Lord" and should "walk as children of light." They are fundamentally different from non-Christians who remain in darkness.
There are three manifestations of darkness:
In the mind: Non-Christians are ignorant of God, his laws, themselves, the meaning of life, death, and the afterlife. They are ignorant of Jesus Christ and the need for salvation.
In the heart and emotions: Non-Christians do not want to hear or respond to the truth. They find the truth boring and irresponsive. Their hearts are hard.
In the will: Non-Christians live an "evil life" and are described as "children of the night." They do "hidden works of darkness" and "unfruitful works of darkness" that are "shameful."
The "unfruitful works of darkness" produce no value or contribution to the person or others. They lead to destruction. Examples are given of the fall of Rome due to internal moral rot and Jesus' words about the broad road leading to destruction.
Christians should be concerned about those in darkness and pray for revival so the church can share the light and knowledge of God with this "apathetic, godless, dark, ignorant, shameful generation."
The Book of Ephesians
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.