The Works of the Flesh Part 1

Galatians 5:19-21 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. 

‘Works of the flesh are manifest, which are these …’ There are seventeen works of the flesh noted here: Adultery. [Greek: moicheia] unlawful sexual relations between men and women, single or married (5:19; Matt. 15:19; Mark 7:21; John 8:3). Fornication. [Greek: porneia] same as adultery above besides all manner of other unlawful relations (Matt. 5:32). Uncleanness. [Greek: akatharsia] whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, and all other forms of sexual perversion (5:19; Matt. 23:27; Rom. 1:21-32; 6:19; 2Cor. 12:21; Eph. 4:19; 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1Thess. 2:3; 4:7; 2Pet. 2:1-22). Lasciviousness. [Greek: aselgeia] licentiousness, lustfulness, unchastity, and lewdness. Translated “lasciviousness” (5:19; Mark 7:22; 2Cor. 12:21; Eph. 4:19; 1Pet. 4:3; Jude 1:4); “wantonness” (Rom. 13:13; 2Pet. 2:18); and “filthy” (2Pet. 2:7). Lasciviousness is the promoting or partaking of that which tends to produce lewd emotions, anything tending to foster sex sin and lust. That is why many worldly pleasures have to be avoided by Christians – so that lasciviousness may not be committed. Idolatry. [Greek: eidololatreia] image-worship (5:20; 1Cor. 10:14; Col. 3:5; 1Pet. 4:3). Idolatry includes anything on which affections are passionately set; extravagant admiration of the heart (Eph. 5:5; Col. 3:5). Witchcraft. [Greek: pharmakeia] sorcery, the practice of dealing with evil spirits; magical incantations and casting spells and charms upon one through drugs, medications and potions of various kinds (5:20; Rev. 9:21; 18:23; cp. Rev. 21:8; 22:15.). Enchantments were used to inflict evil, pains, hatred, sufferings, and death, or to bring good, health, love and other blessings. Hatred. [Greek: echthra] enmity (Luke 23:12; Rom. 8:7; Eph. 2:15-16; Jas. 4:4); hatred (5:20). Bitter dislike, abhorrence, malice and ill will against anyone; tendency to hold grudges against or be angry at someone. Variance. [Greek: eris] Dissensions, discord, quarrelling, debating; and disputes. Emulations. [Greek: zeloi] envies, jealousies; striving to excel at the expense of another; seeking to surpass and outdo others; uncurbed rivalry spirit in religion, business, society, and other fields of endeavour. Translated “zeal” (John 2:17; Rom. 10:2; 2Cor. 7:11; 9:2; Php. 3:6; Col. 4:13); “fervent mind” (2Cor. 7:7); “envy” (Acts 13:45; Rom. 13:13; 1Cor. 3:3; 2Cor. 12:20; Jas. 3:14-15); “jealousy” (2Cor. 11:2); “indignation” (Acts 5:17; Heb. 10:27); and “emulation” (5:20). Wrath. [Greek: thumos] “wrath” (5:20; Luke 4:28; Acts 19:28; 2Cor. 12:20; Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:8; Heb. 11:27; Rev. 12:12; 14:8, 10, 19; 15:1, 7; 16:1; 18:3); “indignation” (Rom. 2:8); and “fierceness” (Rev. 16:19; 19:15). Turbulent passions; domestic and civil turmoil; rage; determined and lasting anger. Strife. [Greek: eritheia] “strife” (5:20; 2Cor. 12:20; Php. 2:3; Jas. 3:14, 16); “contention” (Php. 1:16; Rom. 2:8). Disputations; jangling; strife about words; angry contentions; contest for superiority or advantage; strenuous endeavour to equal or payback in kind the wrongs done to one.

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