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Ephesians 5:5

ESV 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.
NIV For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a person is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
NASB For this you know with certainty, that no sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, which amounts to an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
CSB For know and recognize this: Every sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
NLT 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.
KJV 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.

What does Ephesians 5:5 mean?

Following his instructions in verses 3 and 4, Paul summarizes that those who live like this are not true believers. Ephesians 2:2 explained that those who persist in sinful living are under the influence of Satan, not Christ. Paul, at least in this verse, is drawing a distinction between those who "walk" in these kinds of sins, and those who are part of the kingdom of God. For that reason, some speculate that Paul is implying that those who fall into such sins will lose their salvation. While this single verse separates salvation from those who participate in such sins, other passages certainly note Paul's view that nothing can separate the believer from God (Romans 8:37–39).

In the greater context of Ephesians, Paul's intent is to make a distinction between the lives of believers and unbelievers. Believers are supposed to live distinctly differently. Instead of sexual immorality and vulgar speech, believers are to exhibit pure lives and live with gratitude. Unbelievers are marked by their evil actions and will not inherit the kingdom of God. However, believers are certainly given the gift of eternal life (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8–9). Because of this, they should live in a way that imitates God (Ephesians 5:1), turning from the sinful practices of their life before Christ.

Christians are capable of sin, even though we are saved (1 John 1:8). Thankfully, Christ is willing to forgive (1 John 1:9), and the salvation we have can never be lost (John 10:28). Those whose lives are marked by persistent sins, such as those mentioned here by Paul, however, have reason to closely examine their spiritual lives.
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