Thursday, 6 October 2016
For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Ephesians 5:5
There is an emphasis here which is lacking in the translation. It says, “For knowing you recognize.” The NIV gives a good sense by saying, “For of this you can be sure.” It is at once a warning and a statement of great clarity. It is something that should be obvious on the surface to all who contemplate what will be said.
After this, we are given a direct list of personalities which concerns what will then be explained. These are fornicators, unclean people, and covetous men. The last are then explained as idolaters. The list corresponds to those just mentioned in verses 3 & 4. He first warned that such sins not even be named among us. Then he says that such people have no “inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”
People who live in such a manner as described here have misplaced priorities. They look to the things of the world and not to the things of God. Until they come to God through Christ, they remain apart from His forgiveness and salvation.
Having said this, a verse such as this, when taken out of context, can be used to demonstrate a loss of salvation is possible. However, Paul will show this is not the case as he continues with his words. In a similar warning which is found in 1 Corinthians 6, Paul followed up the warning with the words, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
The actions are past tense and they indicate the complete nature of the sanctification and justification of the individual. Although it will be stated differently here in Ephesians, the same thought carries through. Once one is saved they remain saved. From that moment they are granted an “inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”
The words here in Greek are tou Christou kai Theou, “the Christ and God.” There is one article applied to both “Christ” and “God” which perfectly demonstrates the oneness of the two. It is a consistent thought found throughout the New Testament that Jesus Christ is fully God. One must truly abuse Scripture to find a separation between God and Christ. They are one and the same.
Life application: Each of us has set up idols in our hearts. We have been unclean and covetous at times as well. And yet, because of applying the blood of Christ to our lives, we are now washed clean and are considered pure before God the Father. Thank God for Jesus Christ who cleanses us from all impurity!
Lord God, if we truly look at our lives, we cannot deny that we have engaged in all of the things which are opposed to Your splendor. We have coveted, we have lied, we have been unclean in our hearts and actions too. And yet, because of Your great love with which You love us, You sent Jesus to pay our sin debt. His shed blood is fully sufficient to cover our sins and to keep covering them throughout our lives. How marvelous this thought is, especially when we stumble and fall. Thank You for the power of the blood of the Lord Jesus to purify us once and for all! Amen.