For this you know, that no fornicator, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
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To teach us that covetousness is such a dangerous thing, he calls it idolatry, no sin being greater than this. But why is covetousness called idolatry? Idolatry usurps the honor of God and claims it for the creature. The holy name of God, which belongs solely to the Creator, is thereby applied to creatures. Covetousness is viewed on a level with idolatry because the covetous person similarly usurps for himself what belongs to God and hides them away. Covetousness withholds the resources offered by God for the common use of all. It hoards them to itself so that others may not use them. .
"For know this well "says the apostle, "that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.".
Etenim docens Apostolus meditari vel ipsa voce esse castos, scribit: "Hoc enim scitote, quod omnis fornicator "et caetera, usque ad illud: "Magis autem arguite."
Neither let the new heretics flatter themselves in this, that they say that they do not communicate with idolaters; although among them there are both adulterers and fraudulent persons, who are held guilty of the crime of idolatry, according to the saying of the apostle: "For know this with understanding, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, whose guilt is that of idolatry, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God."
Since he has listed three sins first, then added another three, his instruction requires him to explain that the first three are more serious, seeing that he has said that these first three are not even to be named among the saints. .
Nor covetous person, which is a serving of idols. It is clear enough by the Greek that the covetous man is called an idolater, whose idol in mammon; though it may be also said of other sinners, that the vices they are addicted to are their idols. (Witham)
Are those merely guilty of silliness and inordinate levity to be kept out of the kingdom of God? Are they excluded on the same basis as those sins that he has marked off specifically? It would seem a cruel sentence not to pardon the weakness of human frailty, so that our words condemned us even when said in jest…. Yet in making this distinction [between lesser and more serious sins] we are not making excuses for silliness and levity. They do not exclude from the kingdom. But they are not negligible and remind us that just as “the Father has many mansions” and “one star differs from another in glory,” so too will it be in the resurrection of the dead. .
There were, it is likely, in the time of our forefathers also, some who weakened the hands of the people Jeremiah 38:4, and brought into practice that which is mentioned by Ezekiel,— or rather who did the works of the false prophets, who profaned God among His people for handfuls of barley Ezekiel 13:19; a thing, by the way, done methinks by some even at this day. When, for example, we say that he who calls his brother a fool shall depart into hell-fire, others say, What? Is he that calls his brother a fool to depart into hell-fire? Impossible, say they. And again, when we say that the covetous man is an idolater, in this too again they make abatements, and say the expression is hyperbolical. And in this manner they underrate and explain away all the commandments. It was in allusion then to these that the blessed Paul, at this time when he wrote to the Ephesians, spoke thus, For this ye know, that no fornicator, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, which is an idolater, has any inheri...