In Your Bible Read This Out Loud: Ephesians 5:5
Memorise This Verse: Colossians 3:5 ‘Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry’
Afterwards Talk About This: Discuss examples of greed in the church today
Something To Do Before Next Time: Think about why greedy people are called idol worshippers in the bible.
Written Diploma Work: List all the types of people that are mentioned alongside greedy people in Ephesians 5:5, Colossians 3:5 & 1 Corinthians 6:9.
Meditate Word By Word On This Verse: 1 Corinthians 6:9
This chapter will consider the area of greed and some of the serious warnings that the bible gives against greed and some biblical examples of greed attracting the judgement of God. In recent times some sins have retained their guilt and shame amongst the people of God (such as sexual immorality and theft) whilst certain sins have become a lot more acceptable – greed being a good example as it has become so entrenched in our society.
There are some sins that are very plain to us (such as when we lie or steal) however, greed is not so easy to detect and can very subtly overtake us. This specific section will look at the biblical viewpoint against greed and listed below are 3 foundational scriptures which all contain the word greed that will be referred to.
Ephesians 5:5 ‘No immoral, impure, or greedy person – such a man is an idolater – has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ’
Colossians 3:5 ‘Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these the wrath of God is coming’
1 Corinthians 6:9 ‘Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God’
The first point of consideration is that both Ephesians 5:5 and Colossians 3:5 show that a greedy person is in fact an idol worshipper and hence money is an idol and false God that people are bowing down to a point that was strongly made in the opening chapters of this book. For example, suppose the next time you go to church the person next to you brings in an idol and starts to bow down to it during the worship time – is it not the case that there would be an uproar in church? However, every Sunday in thousands of churches around the world, Christians are unknowingly smuggling idols into church services these idols are there wallets and their credit cards. The reason being that when you give yourself over to greed and the love of money you allow money to be your God instead of Jesus and you become an idol worshipper.
The second point of consideration is that Ephesians 5:5 and 1 Corinthians 6:9 both show that a greedy person will have no inheritance in the Kingdom of God – there would appear to be two ways of looking at this statement. The first is that Paul is arguing that greediness is a characteristic of those who aren’t saved and hence a when a Christian is greedy they look and act like an unsaved person.
The second is that through greed, the Christian excludes himself from his inheritance in the Kingdom of God and forfeits the blessings that could be his. Either way, through greed we will not avail ourselves of the full resources of the Kingdom of God and we will exchange our glorious inheritance (Ephesians 1:8) for a few miserable earthly treasures.
Moreover, it will certainly come as a shock to see the type of people that the bible puts in the same class as greedy people listed below are the people listed in Ephesians 5:5 and 1 Corinthians 6:19 are right in amongst them, greedy people are listed. It must surely be a rude awakening for any greedy Christian to realise that they are classified in the bible alongside homosexuals and male prostitutes!
- Sexually immoral
- Male prostitutes
- Homosexual offenders
Moreover, Colossians 3:5 says that the wrath of God is coming against all the sins that it lists and one of them obviously is greed – it is sad but true that a major group of people that will be in hell and experience God’s wrath will be greedy people. It goes without saying that it is the rejection of Jesus alone that will send people to hell but obviously people will reject to follow Jesus for many reasons – a major reason being that people follow money and careers. Remember that Jesus said in Luke 16:13, ‘You cannot serve both God and money’ in their greed many are serving money instead of God and because of this, as Colossians 3:5 says, the wrath of God is coming.
The final point of consideration is that greedy people will actually never, ever be satisfied and through greed and selfishness and the constant pursuit of more, many people will never find contentment. This is a truth that applies to sadly, so many people and the happiness that they seek for will always elude them as it is only by being a giver and surrendering your money to God, that you will break the break of greed over your life. Greed and selfishness are like an addictive drug such as cocaine – they will always create a craving for more and the happiness they provide is only fleeting and temporary. The following quote from
Ecclesiastes 5:10 applies to so many people – hopefully you already know this secret, ‘Whoever loves money never has enough whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income’.
A House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations
Pray for Guatemala
11,385,295 people, declining Catholic majority
Traditional Catholic strength has been weakened but church growing strongly
This study contains the personal beliefs and practices of of the author who recommends them to the reader. The author takes no credit for their success where applied and likewise takes no responsibility for any failure or disappointment.
The House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations at the end of each section is based on Operation World 21st Century Edition © Patrick Johnstone, Jason Mandryk. Published by Paternoster. All scriptures are NIV © Hodder & Stoughton.