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To live in the corruption of the flesh is to place one’s self beyond the pale of a child of God.

Ephesians 5:5

You can be sure that no immoral, impure or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

Are you ever immoral? Impure? Greedy? At first glance, this verse can be read to say that if you ever committed one, two or all three of these things then you cannot enter the Kingdom of God. That is not what Paul is saying… but what he IS saying should scare you almost as much.

Do you engage in sexual sin on a regular basis? The Greek word used in this verse is porneia—porn in the modern use. Perhaps it’s not physical adultery, but Jesus taught in Matthew 5 that lust in the heart (and mind) is just as much of a sin as the “actual thing.” The statistics prove that sexual sin is the 800-pound gorilla in the room (or the church), and it’s not just a problem for laypeople, but for pastors, too. Sexual sin is a major issue in the Bible and if it’s something you engage in regularly, with little or no regret, you may fall under the very sobering news of today’s verse.

Are you greedy? Covetous? Always wanting more? Never satisfied with what you have? That’s a huge problem, too. You may not consider yourself to be an idolater, but that’s exactly what you are. You cannot worship God in a saving way when your real worship is directed at the created things rather than the Creator.

The great Preacher J. Vernon McGee drives this passage home:

“It is clearly understood that the unregenerate man who practices these sins has no portion in the kingdom of Christ and God. If a professing Christian practices these sins, he immediately classifies himself. No matter what his testimony may be on Sunday or what position he may have in the church, such a person is saying to the lost world that he is not a child of God. To live in the corruption of the flesh is to place one’s self beyond the pale of a child of God.”

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