However, the primary thought of Ephesians 5:13 appears to be that those who participate in these unfruitful works of the darkness do not recognize them for sin. They have not been exposed to these perpetrators as being sins. However, in course of time along comes the light of Christian truth and it shines upon these unfruitful works that belong to the darkness. It exposes the real nature of them and makes very clear and plain that such works belong to the darkness and are sinful and are so shameful that those things that take place in secret by these perpetrators do not deserve to be related, or recounted or described, so as to put bad ideas in the hearts and minds of those who hear the accounts of these things. However, when, because of necessity and unavoidability, such shameful things are exposed by the light of Christian truth, then they stand revealed as sinful. This revelation of the sinfulness of these things is therefore a flash of light. It is an illumination and these things in their sinfulness become light to us. The sinfulness of these things is what is the light, not the shameful works in themselves. So these things that are reproved and made manifest are seen by Christians in their true light, namely, as things condemned by God and to be avoided and shunned by Christians.
● In the case of an accident involving dedicated Christians, would it be proper for one to enter a legal suit against a fellow Christian in order to claim the benefits of insurance that he has?—E. G., United States.
If this is the only means by which the one who sustained injury can get the compensation provided by the insurance, it would not be improper; it is up to him to decide whether he wants to take the matter to court or not. This is not the type of situation that the apostle Paul was discussing when he wrote about law suits, as recorded in 1 Corinthians 6:1-8. He was discussing instances in which persons who claimed to be Christian brothers were at odds with each other. The one felt that he had been defrauded by the other. But the apostle wisely showed that Christians ought to be able to settle matters privately, if not directly between the individuals concerned, then with the aid of other mature ones in the congregation.
However, when there is no such animosity between members of the congregation and the legal suit is simply a procedural arrangement required in order to obtain compensation from the insurance company, the situation is quite different. The course to be taken becomes a matter for personal decision.
● Why did the disciples of John the Baptist call him Rabbi, when Jesus plainly said: “You, do not you be called Rabbi”?—C. W., United States.
Not only did John’s disciples call him “Rabbi,” as shown at John 3:26, but Jesus’ disciples also called Jesus “Rabbi,” as shown in the inquiry recorded at John 1:38, which says: “They said to him: ‘Rabbi, (which means, when translated, Teacher,) where are you staying?’” It is clear from this text that Rabbi means teacher. John, who had been commissioned by Jehovah as a prophet to make ready the ways of Jehovah and to give knowledge of salvation to His people, was such a teacher, and his disciples recognized that fact.—Luke 1:76-79.
Of course, at John’s death he ceased to be a teacher, and it was after John had died that Jesus made clear to his disciples that he was now their teacher and that they were not to make distinctions among themselves by designating certain ones by the title Rabbi. “Do not you be called Rabbi, for one is your teacher, whereas all you are brothers.”—Matt. 23:8.
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“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
April 14: The General Priesthood—Christendom’s Forgotten Doctrine. Page 137.
April 21: The General Priesthood Today. Page 143.