5 “For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” (Ephesians 5:5–6 (ESV)
We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.” – Martin Luther
“I wish the reader to understand that as often as we mention Faith alone in this question, we are not thinking of a dead faith, which worketh not by love, but holding faith to be the only cause of justification. (Galatians 5:6; Romans 3:22.) It is therefore faith alone which justifies, and yet the faith which justifies is not alone: just as it is the heat alone of the sun which warms the earth, and yet in the sun it is not alone, because it is constantly conjoined with light.” – John Calvin
Luther and Calvin both correctly understood that man’s good works do not justify him/her before God (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:9-20; Ephesians 2:1-3). However, good works unto holiness are the biblical evidence that an individual is truly justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in the person and work of Jesus Christa alone (Ephesians 2:4-10; James 2:14-26).
The Apostle Paul strongly challenged the Ephesian Christians to no longer engage in sexual immorality, impurity and covetousness. To do such things was not proper for the believer in Christ.
Paul then states in today’s text that those professing believers who continue to engage in such activity have no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. In other words, those who continue to consistently sin and not put off their old self and put on their new self (Ephesians 4:22-24) are truly not converted. They remain lost and objects of God righteous wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3).
Dr. John Walvoord writes, “Paul sternly warned believers that the reason they are to abstain from evil deeds (specifically, immorality, impurity, and greed; cf. vv. 3 and 5) is that those who practice them are not a part of God’s kingdom. Those who have no inheritance in the kingdom have not been “washed,” “sanctified,” and “justified” as 1 Corinthians 6:9–11 so clearly demonstrates. A greedy person … is an idolater (cf. Col. 3:5) in the sense that greed, like idols, puts things before God.”
I encourage you to read Romans 6-8 and James 2:14-26 to grasp the importance of holiness as an evidence of one’s conversion by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Believers in Christ are not only to communicate the gospel but also live by the gospel.
Soli deo Gloria!