By Oscar M. Baker
"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 God" (Eph. 5:5). This text appears in the practical section of Ephesians, chapters 4-6. It appears in a section concerning the walk of the members of the body;
- And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us (verse 2) .
- Walk as children of light (verse 8).
- See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise (verse 15).
In Eph. 1:11 we read of an inheritance obtained. The context is predestination. This is something certain and sure. But here in 5:5 we find no inheritance for some who walk not as they should. At first sight this might seem to be a contradiction. But in Col. 3:24 we read, "Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance." This also is in a context of the worthy walk, what they should do. Vincent says that of the inheritance means that which consists or is in the inheritance.
So it appears that there is an inheritance which cannot be forfeited and which has to do with one's standing. And there is an inheritance or reward which has to do with one's walk or state. So that is why the apostle warns in Col. 2:18, "Let noman beguile you of your reward." There is something one may miss.
Eph. 1:13 speaks of the sealing with the holy spirit of promise, "Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession." This inheritance is in the realm of predestination and redemption. And it is guaranteed by the sealing. But on the other hard, there is this reward or inheritance connected with the state, or behavior, or walk, which may be forfeited. Chapters 2 and 3 of Colossians are occupied with this subject.
Some have been lulled to sleep by the idea that the member of the body is so perfect that he cannot sin, that he can lose nothing. But that is far from the truth. The Christian life is a continual wrestling with principalities, powers, and world rulers (kosmokraters) of darkness the prince of whom is Satan. There is a need of the whole armor of God in these days.
This reward of the inheritance can be spoken of as the prize or the crown. But probably the greatest reward to the believer would be the words "Well done thou good and faithful servant." That would be music to the ear. At one time Satan doubted the Word of God, he thought that he was indestructible, and was like or better than God. This pride was his downfall.
Let us who have a high and holy calling beware lest we get high minded and fall into the same snare. We dare not accept the philosophies of men or the traditions of the elders. Let us work for a crown to throw down at His feet.