Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Ephesians 5:13

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

But all things that are reproved - Dr. Macknight paraphrases this verse as follows: "Now all these reprovable actions, ελεγχομενα, which are practised in celebrating these mysteries, are made manifest as sinful by the Gospel; and, seeing every thing which discovers the true nature of actions is light, the Gospel, which discovers the evil nature of the actions performed in these mysteries, is light."

The apostle speaks against these mysteries as he speaks against fornication, uncleanness, and covetousness; but by no means either borrows expression or similitude from them to illustrate Divine truths; for, as it would be a shame even to speak of those things, surely it would be an abomination to allude to them in the illustration of the doctrines of the Gospel.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

But all things that are reproved - Margin, discovered. The word used here properly means proved, demonstrated, reproved, or convicted (see the notes on John 16:8); but it seems here to be used in the sense of disclosed, or discovered. The sense is, that “its true nature is demonstrated;” that is, it is made known.

Are made manifest by the light - The sense is, “light is the means of seeing what things are. We discern their form, nature, appearance, by it. So it is with the gospel - the light of the world. It enables us to see the true nature of actions. They are done in darkness, and are like objects in the dark. Their form and nature cannot then be known; but, when the light shines, we see what they are;” compare notes on John 3:20-21.

For whatsoever doth make manifest is light - “Anything which will show the real form and nature of an object, deserves to be called light.” Of the truth of this, no one can doubt. The meaning in this connection is, that that system which discloses the true nature of what is done by the pagan, deserves to be considered as “light;” and that the gospel which does this, should be regarded as a system of light and truth. It discloses their odiousness and vileness, and it stands thus in strong contrast with all the false and abominable systems which have upheld or produced those vices.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Filthy lusts must be rooted out. These sins must be dreaded and detested. Here are not only cautions against gross acts of sin, but against what some may make light of. But these things are so far from being profitable. that they pollute and poison the hearers. Our cheerfulness should show itself as becomes Christians, in what may tend to God's glory. A covetous man makes a god of his money; places that hope, confidence, and delight, in worldly good, which should be in God only. Those who allow themselves, either in the lusts of the flesh or the love of the world, belong not to the kingdom of grace, nor shall they come to the kingdom of glory. When the vilest transgressors repent and believe the gospel, they become children of obedience, from whom God's wrath is turned away. Dare we make light of that which brings down the wrath of God? Sinners, like men in the dark, are going they know not whither, and doing they know not what. But the grace of God wrought a mighty change in the souls of many. Walk as children of light, as having knowledge and holiness. These works of darkness are unfruitful, whatever profit they may boast; for they end in the destruction of the impenitent sinner. There are many ways of abetting, or taking part in the sins of others; by commendation, counsel, consent, or concealment. And if we share with others in their sins, we must expect to share in their plagues. If we do not reprove the sins of others, we have fellowship with them. A good man will be ashamed to speak of what many wicked men are not ashamed to do. We must have not only a sight and a knowledge that sin is sin, and in some measure shameful, but see it as a breach of God's holy law. After the example of prophets and apostles, we should call on those asleep and dead in sin, to awake and arise, that Christ may give them light.