Ephesians 5:5
For this you know, that no fornicator, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) For this ye know.—The true reading of the original is curiously emphatic. It runs thus: For this ye know, knowing . . . But, as it uses two different words, in the former clause properly “ye know” and the latter “learning to know,” the sense seems to be: “For this ye know, learning it afresh so as to know it better.” Whatever else is doubtful, this is certain; yet it admits of an ever growing certainty.

Covetous man, who is an idolater.—Comp. Colossians 3:5, “Covetousness, which is idolatry.” Whatever becomes the chief object of our desire, so as to claim our chief fear and love, is, of course, an idol; for “ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Perhaps in this metaphorical idolatry, as in the literal, there are two distinct stages, passing, however, by invisible gradations into each other—first, the resting on some visible blessing of God, as the one thing in which and for which we serve Him, and so by degrees losing Him in His own gifts; next, the absolute forgetfulness of Him, and the setting up, as is inevitable, of some other object of worship to fill the vacant throne.

Hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and [of] God.—The phrase “the kingdom of Christ and God,” though probably it does not in strict technicality declare the identity of “Christ” and “God,” yet implies that the “kingdom of the Christ” is, as a matter of course, “the kingdom of God,” for “the Christ” is by prophetic definition “Emmanuel,” i.e., “God with us.” The unworthy Christian has indeed “an inheritance” in it, to his own awful responsibility; but in the true spiritual sense he is one “who hath not,” “from whom shall be taken that which he hath” (Matthew 13:12).

Ephesians 5:5-7. For this ye know — Of this ye cannot be ignorant, favoured as you have been with the light of the gospel, that no whoremonger, &c., hath any inheritance — Here or hereafter; in the kingdom of Christ or of God — That is, purchased by Christ, and bestowed by God. The reason why the apostle, in this and his other epistles, condemned fornication and every sort of uncleanness in such an express manner, was because the heathen avowedly practised these vices even in their temples as acts of worship, which they thought rendered them acceptable to their gods. But how different from such practices is the conduct enjoined in the gospel, which teaches that they who continue in such abominations, shall for ever be excluded from the presence and glory of God. Nor covetous man — That is, the man whose chief desire and care is to increase his wealth, either that he may spend it on the gratification of his lusts, or may hoard it up; who is an idolater — As placing that love, delight, and confidence in riches, which ought to be placed in God alone; or because he sets up something else, whatever may be the object of his covetous desires, and something comparatively very base and contemptible, in the place of God, as if it could be the ground of his dependance, and the source of his happiness. Let no man deceive you with vain words — Or sophistical arguments, as if you might live in the commission of such sins, and yet find mercy with God, or escape punishment. For because of these and the like things, cometh the wrath of God — And the dreadful effects thereof, on the children of disobedience — Even on the Gentiles, though not favoured with the light and aids which you have, demonstrating to you the infinite evil of all such practices, and affording you sufficient power to avoid them. Now, if even heathens are punished for such practices, much less can we suppose that professing Christians, who have so much greater advantages for practising purity and virtue in all their branches, and are under such strong and peculiar engagements so to do, shall escape with impunity if they pursue a similar line of conduct. Be not ye therefore partakers with them — In these abominations, if ye would not finally partake in that dreadful punishment which they are bringing on themselves thereby.5:3-14 Filthy lusts must be rooted out. These sins must be dreaded and detested. Here are not only cautions against gross acts of sin, but against what some may make light of. But these things are so far from being profitable. that they pollute and poison the hearers. Our cheerfulness should show itself as becomes Christians, in what may tend to God's glory. A covetous man makes a god of his money; places that hope, confidence, and delight, in worldly good, which should be in God only. Those who allow themselves, either in the lusts of the flesh or the love of the world, belong not to the kingdom of grace, nor shall they come to the kingdom of glory. When the vilest transgressors repent and believe the gospel, they become children of obedience, from whom God's wrath is turned away. Dare we make light of that which brings down the wrath of God? Sinners, like men in the dark, are going they know not whither, and doing they know not what. But the grace of God wrought a mighty change in the souls of many. Walk as children of light, as having knowledge and holiness. These works of darkness are unfruitful, whatever profit they may boast; for they end in the destruction of the impenitent sinner. There are many ways of abetting, or taking part in the sins of others; by commendation, counsel, consent, or concealment. And if we share with others in their sins, we must expect to share in their plagues. If we do not reprove the sins of others, we have fellowship with them. A good man will be ashamed to speak of what many wicked men are not ashamed to do. We must have not only a sight and a knowledge that sin is sin, and in some measure shameful, but see it as a breach of God's holy law. After the example of prophets and apostles, we should call on those asleep and dead in sin, to awake and arise, that Christ may give them light.For this ye know - Be assured of this. The object here is to deter from indulgence in those vices by the solemn assurance that no one who committed them could possibly be saved.

Nor unclean person - No one of corrupt and licentious life can be saved; see Revelation 22:15.

Nor covetous man, who is an idolater - That is, he bestows on money the affections due to God; see Colossians 3:5. To worship money is as real idolatry as to worship a block of stone. If this be so, what an idolatrous world is this! How many idolatrous are there in professedly Christian lands! How many, it is to be feared, in the church itself! And since every covetous man is certainly to be excluded from the kingdom of God, how anxious should we be to examine our hearts, and to know whether this sin may not lie at our door!

Hath any inheritance, ... - Such an one shall never enter heaven. This settles the inquiry about the final destiny of a large portion of the world; and this solemn sentence our conscience and all our views of heaven approve. Let us learn hence:

(1) that heaven will be "pure."

(2) that it will be a "desirable" place for who would wish to live always with the licentious and the impure?

(3) it is right to reprove these vices and to preach against them. Shall we not be allowed to preach against those sins which will certainly exclude people from heaven?

(4) a large part of the world is exposed to the wrath of God. What numbers are covetous! What multitudes are licentious! In how many places is licentiousness openly and unblushingly practiced! In how many more places in secret! And in how many more is the "heart" polluted, while the external conduct is moral; the soul "corrupt," while the individual moves in respectable society!

(5) what a world of shame will hell be! How dishonorable and disgraceful to be damned forever, and to linger on in eternal fires, because the man was too polluted to be admitted into pure society! Here, perhaps, he moved in fashionable life, and was rich and honored, and flattered; there he will be sent down to hell because his whole soul was corrupt, and because God would not suffer heaven to be contaminated by his presence!

(6) what doom awaits the "covetous" man! He, like the sensualist, is to be excluded from the kingdom of God. And what is to be his doom? Will he have a place apart from the common damned - a golden palace and a bed of down in hell? No. It will be no small part of his aggravation that he will be doomed to spend an eternity with those in comparison with whom on earth, perhaps, he thought himself to be pure as an angel of light.

(7) with this multitude of the licentious and the covetous, will sink to hell all who are not renewed and sanctified. What a prospect for the "happy," the fashionable, the moral, the amiable, and the lovely, who have no religion! For all the impenitent and the unbelieving, there is but one home in eternity. Hell is less terrible from its penal fires and its smoke of torment, than from its being made up of the profane, the sensual, and the vile; and its supremest horrors arise from its being the place where shall be gathered all the corrupt and unholy dwellers in a fallen world; all who are so impure that they cannot be admitted into heaven. Why then will the refined, the moral, and the amiable not be persuaded to seek the society of a pure heaven? to be prepared for the world where holy beings dwell?

5. this ye know—The oldest manuscripts read, "Of this ye are sure knowing"; or as Alford, "This ye know being aware."

covetous … idolater—(Col 3:5). The best reading may be translated, That is to say, literally, which is (in other words) an idolater. Paul himself had forsaken all for Christ (2Co 6:10; 11:27). Covetousness is worship of the creature instead of the Creator, the highest treason against the King of kings (1Sa 15:3; Mt 6:24; Php 3:19; 1Jo 2:15).

hath—The present implies the fixedness of the exclusion, grounded on the eternal verities of that kingdom [Alford].

of Christ and of God—rather, as one Greek article is applied to both, "of Christ and God," implying their perfect oneness, which is consistent only with the doctrine that Christ is God (compare 2Th 1:12; 1Ti 5:21; 6:13).

Nor covetous man, who is an idolater; because he serves Mammon instead of God, loves his riches more than God, and placeth his hope in them.

Hath any inheritance; without repentance; for he speaks of those that persevere in such sins, whom he calls children of disobedience, Ephesians 5:6.

In the kingdom of Christ and of God; not two distinct kingdoms, but one and the same, which belongs to God by nature, to Christ as Mediator. By this phrase he intimates, that there is no coming into the kingdom of God but by Christ. For this ye know,.... Or, "know ye this", as the Alexandrian copy, and some others, and the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions read:

that no whoremonger, nor unclean person; anyone that is guilty of fornication, adultery, incest, &c.

Nor covetous man, who is an idolater: as every man is, that indulges his lusts, the idols of his own heart; and who serves divers lusts and pleasures, and gives up himself to work all uncleanness with greediness; never having his fill of sin, but is ever craving and coveting it; as well as he who is immoderately desirous of worldly things: the covetous man may be called an idolater, because the idolater and he worship the same in substance, gold and silver, and brass, or what is made of them; the covetous man admires his gold, lays it up, and will not make use of it, as if it was something sacred; and through his over love to mammon, whom he serves, he neglects the worship of God, and the good of his own soul, and puts his trust and confidence in his riches: now no such person

hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ, and of God; meaning either a Gospel church state, in which persons of such characters, and living in such sins, ought not to be; or else the kingdom of heaven and of glory, which may be called the kingdom of Christ, because it is in his hands, for his people; and it is his righteousness that gives a title to it, and his Spirit and grace which make meet for it; and it is by his power saints are preserved unto it; and he will put them into the possession of it; and which will greatly consist in the enjoyment of him: and this is also the kingdom of God, either of Christ who is God, or of God the Father; it being of his preparing and giving, and which he calls unto, and makes meet for; and this may be said to be an inheritance, because it is peculiar to children, the bequest of their heavenly Father, and is not purchased or acquired by them, but comes to them from the free donation of God, through the death of Christ; and to have an inheritance in it, is to have a right unto it, a meetness for it, and to be possessed of it: now the meaning of these words is, not that all who have been guilty of these sins shall be excluded the kingdom of God, but all such who live and die in them, without the grace of God, and righteousness of Christ.

{2} For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an {b} idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

(2) Because these sins are such that the most part of men do not consider them to be sins, he awakes the godly to the end that they should so much the more take heed to guard themselves from these sins as from most harmful plagues.

(b) A bondslave to idolatry, for the covetous man thinks that his life consists in his goods.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Ephesians 5:5. Paul returns to the vices mentioned Ephesians 5:3, and assigns the reason for their prohibition.

ἴστε γινώσκοντες] indicative; Paul appeals to the consciousness of the readers, which, considering their familiarity with the principle laid down, was at all events more natural to him, and more in keeping with the destination as a motive (γάρ), than the imperative sense (Vulgate, Valla, Castalio, Vatablus, Erasmus Schmid, Estius, Grotius, Wolf, Bengel, Koppe, Rückert, Matthies, Olshausen, Bleek, and others). The participle, however, is not here to be explained from the well-known Hebrew and Greek mode of connecting the finite verb with its participle (Winer, p. 317 f. [E. T. 446]), inasmuch as γινώσκ. is another verb; but it denotes the way and manner of the knowing.[256]

ΠᾶςΟὐΚ ἜΧΕΙ] See on Ephesians 4:29, and Winer, p. 155 [E. T. 209].

Ὅ ἘΣΤΙΝ ΕἸΔΩΛΟΛΆΤΡΗς] applies to the covetous man, whom Paul declares in a metaphorical sense to be an idolater, inasmuch as such an one has made money and property his god, and has fallen away from the service of the true God (comp. Matthew 6:24). Comp. Php 3:19; Colossians 3:5; and the passages from Philo and the Rabbins, which express the same mode of regarding covetousness and other vices, in Wetstein, and Schöttgen, Horae, p. 779. Doubtless πορνεία and ἈΚΑΘΑΡΣΊΑ are also subtle idolatry; but only with regard to avarice does Paul, here and at Colossians 3:5, bring it into special relief, in order with thoroughly deterrent force to make this felt ΚΑΤʼ ἘΞΟΧΉΝ as antichristian (comp. 1 Timothy 6:10). For Paul, in particular, whose all-sacrificing self-denial (2 Corinthians 6:10; 2 Corinthians 11:27) stood so sharply contrasted with that self-seeking passion, such a peculiar branding of ΠΛΕΟΝΕΞΊΑ was very natural. Zachariae, Koppe,[257] Meier, Harless, as also Fritzsche (de conformat. N.T. critica Lachm. I. 1841, p. 46), refer ὅς ἐστιν εἰδωλ. to all three subjects. Unnecessary deviation from that which after the singular of the relative must most naturally suggest itself to the reader, and opposed to the parallel Colossians 3:5, where ἥτις ἐστὶν εἰδωλολατρεία has its reference merely to the ΠΛΕΟΝΕΞΊΑ assured by the use of the article ΤῊΝ ΠΛΕΟΝΕΞΊΑΝ, and it is only afterwards that the comprehension of the before-named vices by means of the neuter plural ΔΙʼ Ἅ comes in.

ΟὐΚ ἜΧΕΙ ΚΛΗΡΟΝΟΜΊΑΝ] Comp. on Ephesians 1:11. By means of the present tense the certain future relation is realized at present. See Bernhardy, p. 371.

ἐν τῇ βασιλ. τοῦ Χριστοῦ κ. Θεοῦ for the Messianic kingdom belongs to Christ and God, since Christ and God shall have the government of this kingdom. Christ opens it at His Parousia, and rules it under the supreme dominion of God (1 Corinthians 15:27) until the final consummation, whereupon He yields it up to God as the sole ruler (1 Corinthians 15:24; 1 Corinthians 15:28). But, after Beza, Zanchius, Glass, Bengel (comp. also Calovius), Rückert and Harless have explained it, on the ground of the non-repetition of the article: “of Him, who is Christ and God,” so that Christ is here spoken of as God.[258] Incorrectly, since ΘΕΌς had no need of an article (see Winer, p. 110 f. [E. T. 151]; comp. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΊΑ ΘΕΟῦ, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Corinthians 15:50; Galatians 5:21), and Christ, in accordance with the strict monotheism of the apostle (comp. Ephesians 4:6), could not be called by him Θεός in the absolute sense, and never has at all been called by him Θεός. See on Romans 9:5; Colossians 2:2. Comp. Beyschlag, Christol. d. N.T. p. 203 f. The designation of the kingdom as βασιλεία of Christ and of God is climactic (comp. on Galatians 1:1), and renders the warning element more solemn and more powerful to deter, through the contrast with the supreme holiness of the kingdom.[259]

On the proposition itself, comp. Galatians 5:21.

[256] This you are aware of from your own knowledge, so that I need not first to instruct you with regard to it, that, etc. Comp. the classic ὁρῶν καὶ ἀκούων οἶδα, Xen. Cyr. iv. 1. 14. Τοῦτο thus applies to the following ὅτι, not to ver. 3 f., as Winer maintains. See Kühner, II. § 631. 2.

[257] Koppe, we may add, allows a choice between two arbitrary alterations of the literal meaning. The sense in his view is either: “quae quidem flagitia regnant inter gentiles idololatras,” or: “as little as an idolater.”

[258] Yet Rückert is of opinion, inconsistently enough, that the question whether Paul in reality here meant it so cannot be decided, because he is not here speaking of Christ in general, but only incidentally making mention of His kingdom.

[259] Comp. also Ernesti, Urspr. d. Sünde, I. p. 207 f.Ephesians 5:5. τοῦτο γὰρ ἴστε γινώσκοντες: for this ye know, being aware that. The TR reads ἐστε = ye are (with [523]3[524] [525], Theod., Theophyl., etc.), taking it with the participle as = “ye are aware”. But ἴστε (which is supported by [526] [527] [528] [529]*[530] [531], Vulg., Goth., Sah., Boh., Arm., Chrys., etc.) must be preferred. The phrase ἴστε γινώσκοντες is explained by some as a Hebr. form, following the well-known use of the inf. with the fin. verb, or as having the force of the participle with the fin. verb in such expressions as γινώσκων γνώσῃ (Genesis 15:13); and so the RV renders it—“ye know of a surety”. But in such formulæ the same verb occurs in both cases, whereas here we have two distinct verbs. Hence it is best rendered—“ye know, being aware that”. It is an appeal to their consciousness of the incompatibility of such sins with the inheritance of the Kingdom of God. It is not necessary, therefore (with von Hofmann), to put a full stop between the ἴστε and the γινώσκοντες, and make ἴστε refer to the preceding statement. Nor is there any reason for taking ἴστε as an imper. (so Vulg., Beng., etc.) instead of an indic. The τοῦτο refers to what follows, and the γάρ introduces a reason for the former injunctions. These injunctions are enforced by a reference to the reader’s own knowledge, and that reference to their knowledge is made in direct appeal to their consciousness.—ὅτι πᾶς πόρνος ἢ ἀκάθαρτος: that no fornicator or unclean person. On the Hebr. formula πᾶςοὐκ, “every one … shall not,” see on Ephesians 4:29 above and Win.-Moult., p. 209.—ἤ πλεονέκτης: or covetous man. The πλεονέκτης appears here again to have its proper sense, and not any secondary application.—ὅς ἐστιν εἰδωλολάτρης: who is an idolater. This reading of the TR has the support of [532] [533] [534] [535] [536], Syr.-Harcl., Boh., Arm., Chrys., etc. But there are two interesting variants, viz., ὅ ἐστιν εἰδωλολατρεία, which is the reading of [537], Vulg., Goth., Syr.-Pes. (probably), and ὅ ἐστιν εἰδωλολάτρης, which is given by [538] [539], 672, Jer., etc. The choice must be between this last and the TR. On the whole the former is to be preferred (with LTTrWHRV) on textual grounds, and that reading will then have the force of “which is the same as an idolater”. Some (Harl., etc.) refer the relative (ὅς) to all three previous nouns; but the analogy of Colossians 3:5 is against that. It is true that fornication and uncleanness might also well be called forms of idolatry. But the point here seems to be that the covetous, grasping man in particular, who makes a god of Mammon, is much the same as the worshipper of an idol; and the πλεονέκτης is thus made synonymous with the εἰδωλολάτρης in order to stigmatise avarice as a specifically anti-Christian vice, essentially incompatible with the spirit of self-sacrifice which is of the very being of Christianity and was inculcated so strenuously by Paul himself.—οὐκ ἔχει κληρονομίαν: has inheritance. The ἔχει is taken by Meyer as a case of present for future, marking a looked-for event as just as certain as if it were already with us. But it is rather a proper present, appropriate here as the expression of a principle or law; cf. Win.-Moult., p. 331.—ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ χριστοῦ καὶ Θεοῦ: in the Kingdom of Christ and God. The clause has been understood as an affirmation of Christ’s Godhead, as if = “the Kingdom of Him who is at once Christ and God” (Beza, Beng., Rück., Harl.); and some, with this view of its import, have held it to be an example of the application of Sharp’s rule. But that rule is inapplicable here by reason of the fact that Θεός is independent of the article and occurs indeed without it in the phrase Θεοῦ (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Corinthians 15:50; Galatians 5:21). Θεοῦ has the same climactic force here as in 1 Corinthians 3:22, etc. The kingdom is Christ’s, committed to Him now, but to be delivered up at last to God, who is to be sole and absolute Sovereign (1 Corinthians 15:24; 1 Corinthians 15:28).

[523] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[524] Codex Mosquensis (sæc. ix.), edited by Matthæi in 1782.

[525] Codex Angelicus (sæc. ix.), at Rome, collated by Tischendorf and others.

[526] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[527] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[528] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).

[529] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[530] Codex Boernerianus (sæc. ix.), a Græco-Latin MS., at Dresden, edited by Matthæi in 1791. Written by an Irish scribe, it once formed part of the same volume as Codex Sangallensis (δ) of the Gospels. The Latin text, g, is based on the O.L. translation.

[531] Codex Porphyrianus (sæc. ix.), at St. Petersburg, collated by Tischendorf. Its text is deficient for chap. Ephesians 2:13-16.

[532] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).

[533] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[534] Codex Mosquensis (sæc. ix.), edited by Matthæi in 1782.

[535] Codex Angelicus (sæc. ix.), at Rome, collated by Tischendorf and others.

[536] Codex Porphyrianus (sæc. ix.), at St. Petersburg, collated by Tischendorf. Its text is deficient for chap. Ephesians 2:13-16.

[537] Codex Boernerianus (sæc. ix.), a Græco-Latin MS., at Dresden, edited by Matthæi in 1791. Written by an Irish scribe, it once formed part of the same volume as Codex Sangallensis (δ) of the Gospels. The Latin text, g, is based on the O.L. translation.

[538] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[539] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.5. ye know] More lit., ye know with acquaintance, or recognition; as if to say, “you know it with full recognition of the fact and the right.” R.V. “ye know of a surety”; but the Gr. seems to imply, as above, the reasons along with the certainty.

no whoremonger … hath] Lit. every fornicator … hath not; a form of phrase which perhaps accentuates the individual exclusions from the kingdom. But it must not be pressed.

who] Read, which; the Gr. relative pronoun, in the probable reading, being neuter. As if to say, “which word means, or implies, idolater.”

an idolater] See the close parallel Colossians 3:5. Lightfoot there says, “The covetous man sets up another object of worship besides God,” or, more truly still, instead of God. And this is so, whatever is the object of his avarice. Monod remarks that this clause points rather to the miser than the seducer; and most certainly it includes the miser. But there is a terrible fitness also in the other application; and we cannot but think that “covetousness” had, in the apostolic age, a familiar reference, among other references, to immoral cupidity. See on Ephesians 4:19.

inheritance] On the Gr. word, see note on Ephesians 1:18. It conveys regularly the thought of possession by title, whether actually enjoyed or in prospect. An “inheritor” (clêronomos) may be thus either a present occupant, or an expectant “heir,” as context may indicate. Here probably the expected possession of glory is mainly in view, though we cannot exclude some reference to the organic antecedent to glory—the present possession of “life eternal.” See further next note.

the kingdom of Christ and of God] the realm of the Son, Who “gave Himself for our sins,” that He might be our “Lord” (Galatians 1:4; Romans 14:9); and of the Father, Who gave the Son that the redeemed might “yield themselves unto God” (Romans 6:13). The secret of admission to this kingdom, and of congenial life in it, is “to know the only true God and Jesus Christ Whom He hath sent” (John 17:3). The more common phrase “kingdom of God” is here displaced by one specially suggestive of the holy conditions of membership implied in the mention of Christ.—See note on Ephesians 4:32, on the word “God” in such collocations.

What is the “Kingdom” here? On the whole, the glorified state, the goal of the process of grace. True, the word often, with obvious fitness, includes the period of grace in this life, in which most truly the Christian is a subject of the King (see e.g. Matthew 11:2; Matthew 13:41; Matthew 21:43; Romans 14:17; Colossians 1:13). But usage gives the word a special connexion with the final state, glory; cp. esp. Matthew 25:34 (specially in point here); 1 Corinthians 15:50. See also the passages, closely akin to the present, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:21; where the “shall not inherit” (as in 1 Corinthians 15:50) points to the idea of a coming “kingdom.” Doubtless the state of will and life here in view excludes man, from God’s point of view, from the present phase of His kingdom, in its spiritual essence (see 1 John 3:6; 1 John 3:15 &c.; though the imagery is different). But the phase to come, that of perfect and eternal result and development, is naturally the predominant phase of the word. The practical meaning here, then, is “no such moral rebel can be, while such, a citizen of and pilgrim to the heavenly city.” See Revelation 21:27.Ephesians 5:5. Ἔστε, be ye) [knowing. Engl. V. makes it Indic., Ye know]. The imperative, Galatians 5:21.—ὅς ἐστιν εἰδωλολάτρης, who is an idolater) Colossians 3:5. Avarice (covetousness) is the highest act of revolt (desertion) from the Creator to the creature, Matthew 6:24; Php 3:19; 1 John 2:15 : and it too in the highest degree violates the commandment concerning the love of our neighbour, which resembles the commandment respecting the love of God. It is then idolatry, and therefore the greatest sin, 1 Samuel 15:23.—τοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ Θεοῦ, of Christ and of God) The article only once expressed indicates the most perfect unity [of God and Christ], 1 Timothy 5:21; 1 Timothy 6:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:12. Comp. Mark 14:33. Elsewhere it is double for the sake of emphasis, Colossians 2:2.Verse 5. - For this ye know well; an appeal to their own consciences, made confidently, as beyond all doubt. That no fornicator, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom. Covetousness, the twin-brother sin of uncleanness, is denounced as idolatry. It is worshipping the creature more than the Creator, depending on vast stores of earthly substance in place of the favor and blessing of God. It must receive the doom of the idolater; instead of inheriting the kingdom, he must die the death. The doom in this verse is not future, but present - not shall have, but hath, inheritance, etc. (comp. Ephesians 1:11, 18). The lust of greed overreaches itself; it loses all that is truly worth having; it may have this and that - lands, houses, and goods - but it has not one scrap in the kingdom. Of Christ and God. The two are united in the closest way, as equals, implying the divinity of Christ and his oneness with the Father in the administration of the kingdom. Ye know (ἴστε γινώσκοντες)

The A.V. fails to give the whole force of the expression, which is, ye know recognizing. Rev., ye know of a surety.

Idolater

Compare Colossians 3:5, and see on 1 Corinthians 5:10.

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