Works of the Flesh
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21, KJV)
Paul tells us Jesus did not give us freedom from sin just to go out and commit more sin (Galatians 5:13, 16-17, 24-25; Romans 6:1-2). In our text, Paul says,
The works of the flesh are manifest. This means “open to sight, visible.” It is the opposite of hidden. Paul’s conclusion in this passage: those who continue in the works of the flesh will not go to Heaven!
Sins of Impurity
- Adultery and Fornication. These two terms cover all unlawful sexual relations. Jesus tells us this is the only Scriptural reason for divorce and remarriage (Matthew 19:9).
- Uncleanness. Other definitions are: “immoral, lustful, impure, indecent” (Ephesians 4:19; Romans 1:24; 2 Corinthians 12:21).
- Lasciviousness. This sins includes the lack of self-control, sexual excess, no shame. This is something we stop doing when we become Christians (Romans 13:13; 1 Peter 4:3-4).
Sins Against True Worship
- Idolatry. Idolatry is placing anyone or anything before our devotion to God. It is also the worship of any image that represents false gods (Matthew 4:10; Revelation 19:10; Colossians 3:5).
- Witchcraft. The Bible condemns this practice (Deuteronomy 18:9-12; Exodus 22:18; Acts 8:9-24; Acts 19:19).
Sins Against Love
- Hatred. This includes private hatred, family feuds, and deep-seated ill-will. Hatred is a poison that will destroy the hater.
- Variance (contentions). This is hate at work (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).
- Emulations (jealousies). It is a
work of the fleshto feel resentful toward another for something they have.
- Wrath. Cain was angry and killed his brother Abel (Genesis 4:5-8). Moses was angry and struck the rock (Numbers 20:10-11). The Christian life does not include this attitude (Colossians 3:8; Ephesians 4:31; James 1:19-20).
- Strife (selfish ambition). This causes division among brethren (Philippians 2:3; Galatians 5:15; James 3:16).
- Seditions and heresies. Strife and seditions war against unity (John 17:20-22; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13; Ephesians 4:3).
- Envyings and Murders.
Love envieth not(1 Corinthians 13:4). Cain’s envy led to murder. Joseph’s brother’s envy caused them to sell him into slavery (Genesis 37:4-5, 20-27). The envy of the Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day caused them to crucify Him.
Sins Against Self-Control
- Drunkenness. The Bible condemns any use of alcoholic beverages (Proverbs 20:1; Proverbs 23:29-35).
- Revellings. This includes drinking parties, orgies, and dancing which causes lust (1 Peter 4:3-4).
- And such like. Anything Paul misses in his list is covered in this phrase.
[T]hey which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
God wants us to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). We can resist temptations through God’s Word (Matthew 4:1-11). Let’s determine to put aside the
works of the flesh and produce the
fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
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