Bro. Caleb Taft
Realizing our Riches | Ephesians 5:5-7
5 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. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
Verses three and four deal with the sins and verses five through seven deal with the people who commit the sins. Verses like five have been removed from their setting and used to teach a false idea that our salvation is dependent upon our works. Removing a verse from its context is like removing a diamond from an engagement ring, the diamond and ring both suffer loss. The setting on the ring was specifically designed to fit and complement the diamond and the diamond specifically cut to fit and compliment the ring. It is obvious, when read in context, that Paul is not warning them to make sure they’re not whoremongers, or unclean persons, or covetous people but rather he is warning the Ephesians to not be "partakers with them" as stated in verse seven.
Do you see how Paul separates this group of lost people from the ones he is addressing? He is warning the Ephesians, and us, to not be partakers with them (the group in verse five). This poses a question: Can saved people sin in the similitude of whoremongers, unclean persons, covetous men, and idolaters? This question has an obvious answer. Yes. Have you ever coveted? Have you ever Idolized something or person over God? I think almost every, honest, Christian would have to say yes, I have. David sinned in the similitude of a fornicator, covetous man and murderer. Was He saved or lost? Without doubt he was a forgiven man; A forgiven, saved man who partook in the sins common of unregenerate men. That is the warning here, to not partake in sins that are common among whoremongers, idolaters, and unclean people.
My stance on forgiveness and salvation from sin is that it is totally by grace through faith and not of works. This is the stance I believe to be scriptural. What is not scriptural is to remove works from the Christian life altogether. Good works are a part of the saved person’s life, they played no part in the salvation of our soul but from that point forward they play a vital role in our maturity and walk with the Lord, I would go as far as to say that they are evidence of a new nature that is given to us at our second birth. The Spirit of God moves in and we now have new nature that hates the old works of the flesh (fornication, uncleanness, idolatry. etc..) and desires the fruits of the Spirit as found in Galatians 5. A person whose life is totally devoid of "good works" makes us wonder and worry if they possess what they profess; If any man be in Christ he is a new creature. I believe this is in line with what Paul is saying here. He addresses a group of people who have no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God and calls them whoremongers, unclean persons, covetous men, and idolaters, that is who these people are. It is not simply what they do but who they are. For the Ephesians who Paul is addressing, it would be totally out of their new nature to partake in the things that would be totally normal for whoremongers to partake in, fornication. No one is surprised when a whoremonger fornicates, but when David took Bathsheba, it was a tragedy and a shock, and as verse six says "let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." David is a prime example of this very text, He wasn't a whoremonger by trade, but He partook in the sin of whoremongers and suffered the wrath of God, then, and for the remainder of his life, in that the sword never departed from his house.
If you are one of His people then you are not a whoremonger or an unclean person or a covetous man or an idolater, you are "dear children", you are "Beloved", you are "saints at Ephesus." These titles are how Paul addressed these people and that is not what they do but who they are. It is very possible for fornicators to do a good deed, contrary to the usual nature, but that does not make them saints. In that same sense, it is very possible for saints to sin, contrary to their new nature, but that does not make them whoremongers and covetous and idolaters. With that statement I add the warning that Paul issued in verse six: "Let no man deceive you with vain words." Paul said it like this in Galatians 6:7
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
If you, as a "dear child", sin in the similitude of sinners you will reap in the similitude of sinners. Beloved David's home was destroyed by His partaking in the sins common to whoremongers. His soul was saved, his sins were forgiven but he reaped the seeds of sin sown until his dying day. That is the warning Paul issues; "Be not ye therefore partakers with them." David's titles were "Shepard of Israel" "A man after God's own heart" that is who he was, that was the norm, the usual and his partaking in sin did not change who he was, but it did change how he was. So will be the Christian who partakes in the sins of whoremongers and idolaters, although contrary to the new nature in you, it will not change who you are, but will change how you are. Your identity can no more suffer than Christ can suffer again but your experience will suffer greatly and if you play sinful games, you will win sinful prizes. "Therefore" be not partaker with "Them."
According to the Riches of His Grace!