Ephesians 5:5-6

In Ephesians 5:5-6 Paul continues to teach us about how we should live as a Christ Follower. In these verses, he makes clear the consequence of conduct that does not align with God’s standards. “For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” At first glance, this verse may seem to say that anyone guilty of these particular sins will not receive eternal life. But that isn’t really what Paul is saying here. It is true that an unclean person has no inheritance in God’s Kingdom.

But if God’s kingdom is alive in us, a transformation has occurred so that we cannot live life practicing these things. We are a new creature created by Christ Jesus and as such will not continue living in sin. Guzik explains “Paul’s idea in this passage can be applied out of context in a condemning way. One might say, “Well, I’ve thought about committing fornication, so that means that I have fornicated in my heart and that means that I am as guilty as someone who has actually committed the act of fornication. Since I am as guilty as that one, and they have no inheritance in the kingdom of God, neither do I, because of my thoughts about fornication.” This deceptive thinking goes against the plain sense of God’s word.”

Paul specifically calls out sexual sins and covetousness as sins that Christ Followers must not tolerate in their lives. He relates coveting in relationship to idolatry where we make something an idol that takes a place of prominence that displaces God. Idolatry is very subtle and can sneak into our lives and seem to be harmless, yet it is a sin that we must not allow to remain in our lives if we are going to walk with Jesus. When these sins are in our life, the enemy will try and convince us that they aren’t that bad and we can deal with it later, or even worse, we can just ignore them.

The enemy will try and deceive us, either by whispering untruth into our ear, or more likely through someone else who will excuse our behavior, often because they don’t want to be confronted by their own sinful choices. “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” We cannot allow empty words to excuse or minimize poor judgment which might lead us to the practice of these sins. It is certain that the wrath of God will come on those who hang on to sin. We must follow the direction of God’s Word and repent of our sin to follow Jesus!

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