Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
Note 13 at Eph. 5:7: Paul is warning the Christians not to commit sin like the lost do. But if they do, does God's wrath come on them? The answer is yes and no.
Note 13 at Eph 5:7: Paul warned Christians not to commit sin like the lost do. But if they do, does God's wrath come on them? The answer is yes and no.
God's wrath against our sin was placed on Jesus (Ro 5:9; 2Co 5:21; 1Th 1:10, and 5:9). Therefore, God's wrath does not come directly or intentionally on believers, even when they sin. However, true believers love God and do not want to do anything to displease Him (1Jo 3:3, see note 8 at 1Co 6:12 and note 16 at Ro 5:9). Knowing that God's wrath comes on the unbelievers for such actions (see note 12 at Eph 5:6) reveals that these actions are not pleasing to God, and therefore, true believers are motivated not to sin.
Christians can, however, indirectly experience the wrath of God through sin. In the book of Revelation, God warns His people to come out from among Babylon lest they become partakers of her sins and receive her plagues (Re 18:4). Moses told the children of Israel to depart from the tents of the wicked (Korah) so that they would not be consumed in their judgment (Nu 16:26). God's wrath is directed toward His enemies (see note 12 at Eph 5:6), but if Christians are sleeping with the enemy, they might get caught in the line of fire. Lot was a righteous man (2Pe 2:7-8) whom God sought to deliver from His wrath directed at the sinners in Sodom and Gomorrah (Ge 19). Lot's association with Sodom and Gomorrah caused his wife to disobey, and as she was turned into a pillar of salt, Lot suffered greatly. God's wrath did come into Lot's life but not by God's choosing.
It is not God who punishes us, His children, when we sin. Our punishment has been placed on Jesus. But sin will punish us. Therefore, we need to avoid sin as much as possible but realize that when we do sin, God still loves us and has delivered us from His wrath by placing our punishment on Jesus.
Note 14 at Eph 5:7: Paul did not say that we should stay away from all unbelievers. Even Jesus was called a friend of publicans and sinners (Mt 11:19 and Lu 7:34). When Jesus was asked, "Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?" He answered, "They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Lu 5:30-32).
What Paul was stating here is that we should not adopt the lifestyle and behavior of unbelievers by having a part or share in their evil deeds. It is possible to have relationships with the lost that are positive, where we are influencing them, but relationships where we are being influenced by unbelievers are spiritually unhealthy.
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