A note from our pastor:
“For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”Ephesians 5:5
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
Our study verse this week falls into the category of the complex writing of the Apostle which needs careful consideration and rightful dividing of the word of truth.
As with many verses, this particular passage can be viewed as applying either to the eternal destination of heaven or to the temporal location of the church. However, without careful study and appropriate application either view can lead to false teaching.
On the one hand, based on the preceding context and the seeming call to action, it is easy to attempt to apply this to the church, which is the kingdom of God. In doing so, one could argue if a person is living in the behaviors mentioned in the verse, they are not fit to be members of the church. Certainly, all of the behaviors are sinful in nature and should be avoided. However, if this verse is strictly applied as a standard for church membership, would any person qualify? Would any person be able to claim they are clean or lacking all covetousness?
On the flip side, this verse could be applied to eternal salvation. In this view, one could argue that each of the sins listed in the verse is representative of how mankind is in their natural state. It would be true to argue in our natural state, exhibiting these sins, we are not fit subjects for heaven and immortal glory. However, the words left unspoken are, no one is a fit subject for heaven without the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ.
Given these thoughts, first, it is clear that a careful application of the verse is needed. Second, some verses can be both eternal and temporal in nature. In this verse, the Apostle gives us the absolute truth on the eternal side. If a person were left in the sins mentioned in this verse, he or she absolutely could not enter into heaven and immortal glory. However, the elect child of God has not been left in that state, therefore, on the temporal side if the disciple wants to enjoy the inheritance received of God we should leave those sins behind.
In the end, sometimes the most appropriate understanding of a verse is as a reminder of the eternal and an instruction in the temporal.
Our Prayers are with you daily,