Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 5

When should Christians warn people about their wrong acts?

Ephesians 5:11-13

Sometimes Christians need to show people that their behaviour is wrong and evil (Leviticus 19:17). Paul compares that duty to a light that shines into the darkness. The light shows whatever the darkness was hiding.

Often, people try to hide their evil acts. They do that because they themselves consider their behaviour to be shameful. They are hiding their guilty actions from other people of course - but also, like Adam and Eve, they themselves are trying to hide from the truth (Genesis 3:9-10). In other words, people pretend, even to themselves, that they have done nothing wrong. They make excuses for their wrong behaviour (Genesis 3:11-13), for example, that they are not worse than anyone else.

The Bible teaches us not to hide our evil deeds, but to confess them (Proverbs 28:13). When we confess our wrong and evil behaviour to God, God can forgive us because of the death of Christ (1 John 1:7-10). So, we need to know the truth about our own wrong and evil behaviour (Romans 3:23). The Bible often uses the light as a word-picture for the truth (for example, see John 1:1-17).

Sometimes Christians lack wisdom when they try to warn someone about his evil deeds. A Christian parent may have to punish his child and a Christian policeman has to arrest a criminal - but in most situations, the Christian has no right or power to force the person to stop his wrong behaviour. He can only speak to that person about the matter in a careful and serious manner. Also, the Christian should deal with the matter in a humble (not proud) manner. He should remember that he too has been guilty of many wrong and evil acts. However, God has forgiven him - and God is eager to forgive that other person, too (Isaiah 55:7).

Next part: To become a Christian is to start a new life (Ephesians 5:14)


Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 1000+ page course book.


© 2019, Keith Simons.