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)
“Faith is a living, restless thing. It cannot be inoperative. We are not saved by works; but if there be no works, there must be something amiss with faith.” – Martin Luther
Martin Luther and John 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. He warned them that those who profess Christ are not truly converted if they live an ungodly life.
Paul then says, “Let no one deceive you with empty words.” Paul warned the Ephesian believers that there would be deceivers who would seek to mislead them with an empty gospel. Perhaps the empty gospel had to do with living an ungodly life when the Gospel of Christ brings newness of life.
It is because of sexual immorality, among other sins, that God’s wrath is coming. It will surely come upon the sons of disobedience to God.
Dr. John MacArthur writes, “Paul had taught this truth many times when he pastored the church at Ephesus and it should have been clear in their minds. God never tolerates sin, which has no place at all in his kingdom, nor will any person whose life pattern is one of habitual immorality, impurity, and greed (see v. 3) be in his kingdom, because no such person is saved (1 Cor. 6:9–10; Gal. 5:17–21; 1 John 3:9–10). No Christian will be sinless in this present life, but it is dangerously deceptive for Christians to offer assurance of salvation to a professing believer whose life is characterized by persistent sin and who shows no shame for that sin or hunger for the holy and pure things of God. They are headed for wrath (2:2) and believers must not partner in any of their wickedness (5:7).”
Soli deo Gloria!