5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication,
There is a grave danger lurking ahead for some who profess to be
Christians. It is the danger of being deceived into thinking that we will not be
held accountable for a continued lifestyle of sin. The Bible says, Do you
not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived.
Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor
thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the
kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
The sinful acts of the flesh described in Galations 5:19-21 is a
reference to a lifestyle -- not mere isolated acts of sin. If believers fall
into such sins, and sincerely repent (1 John 1:9), God will forgive and restore His
fellowship. But a continued lifestyle identified with this behavior reveals an
absence of Gods presence a soul who is lost, destined to spend eternity in
the lake of fire (Rev 21:8). Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is
good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen
God (3 John 1:11 NIV).
The following is a list of the 17 mentioned sinful works of the flesh,
along with the original Greek words and their definition. The Bible warns that persons
with these kind of lifestyle acts will not inherit the kingdom of God. So, read them
carefully and take a self examination of your own life.
1. Adultery - MOICHEUO ...to apostate
(to depart), or to break the marriage covenant. The Hebrew word for adultery, NAAPH,
is similar, meaning to break wedlock. The word adultery does not necessarily refer to sex,
but deals primarily with the betrayal of a sacred covenant and commitment. Adultery is a
sin of unfaithfulness (Matthew 5:28).
2. Fornication - PORNEIA Harlotry,
sexual impurity [sometimes used as a spiritual metaphor of idolatry]. This would
include premarital sex, homosexual sex or any sexual activity outside the sanctions of
marriage (1 Cor. 6:18).
3. Uncleanness - AKATHARSIA Impure, or
foul, [demonic] (2 Cor. 7:1).
4. Lewdness - ASELGEIA Licentiousness,
lasciviousness, lack of restraint (1 Cor. 9:25).
5. Idolatry - EIDOLOLATRES Image
worship. Idolatry is often associated with worshipping an idol, but scripture links
it to covetousness (Col. 3:5), because it can also be the worship of material possessions.
6. Sorcery - PHARMAKEIA Drugs, magic,
witchcraft [that which deceives, manipulates or controls.] (1 Sam. 15:23).
7. Hatred - ECHTHRA Hostility,
opposition, enmity. (1 John 3:15) Bitterness, hatred and unforgiveness is contrary
to every principle of Christianity (1 John 3:15), inasmuch as those who retain
unforgiveness cannot be forgiven of their own sins (Matt. 6:14-15).
8. Contentions - ERIS Quarrel,
wrangle, Variance, contention, debate, strife (Col. 3:12-13).
9. Jealousy - ZELOS Heat
jealous, envy, indignation, emulation (zeal) from ZEO; hot or boil.
10. Wrath - THUMOS Passion [as if
breathing hard], fierceness, or indignation (James 1:20). Romans 2:8-9 says that
those who are contentious and who yield to indignation and wrath, are doing evil, and can
expect tribulation and anguish.
11. Selfish Ambition - ERITHEIA
Faction, contention [provocation] (James 3:16).
12. Dissension - DICHOSTASIA Disunion,
dissension, division (Rom. 16:17).
13. Heresies - HAIRESIS A choice,
disunion, or sect. [from HAIREOMAI to take for ones self, or to
prefer.] Heresy is a term which can describe false teachings, but it means even more
than that. It is teaching of certain preferences which brings disunity in the
body, and draws persons apart into dissenting groups. Heresy does not necessarily have to
be false teaching, but can be pressing opinions which serve to divide, rather than unite
Gods people (2 Pet. 2:1).
14. Envy - PHTHONOS Jealousy, spite,
ill-will (2 Cor. 12:20).
15. Murders - PHONOS Slaughter, unjust
killings (John 8:44).
16. Drunkenness - METHE Intoxication,
under the influence, drunk (Eph. 5:18).
17. Revelries - komos Rioting, wild partying
[letting loose] (1 Pet. 4:3).
As we have already stated, the Bible warns ...they which do
such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:21). It goes without
saying, this is an extremely serious warning.
Unfortunately, there are professing believers... people who go to
church on Sundays, who assume that because they call Jesus their Lord, Hell wink at
these so-called little character flaws. However, Jesus warned that not all
those who profess to be His followers would enter heaven only those who follow Him
with their lives. Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter
the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven (Matt. 7:21).
If ones lifestyle consists of works of the flesh, theres
only one thing can detour their dreadful destination. They must repent and forsake a
lifestyle of sin, to turn about and live for the Lord. Repentance means to turn
around and walk in a new lifestyle (2 Cor 7:10). Any person who truly
repents and becomes born-again, is empowered by the Spirit of God to walk in a new
lifestyle. The Scriptures say that old things pass away and all things
become new (1 Cor. 5:17). Instead of justifying continued sinful behavior, persons
who wish to follow Christ must forsake a lifestyle of sin and walk in the newness of
Christs life. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you
obey its evil desires (Rom. 6:12 NIV).
Do not misunderstand. In no way do we suggest that you must
earn salvation by doing good works (Eph. 2:8-9) nor are we implying
that Christians will never stumble in sin or imperfection (1 John 2:1). But what we are
saying is that a genuine experience of salvation produces good works (James
2:20) in effect, a godly change in a persons lifestyle. The same Holy Spirit
who brings grace to cover all our sins (Rom. 8:2), also brings a new nature, to which we
are to yield our lives. Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of
the flesh (Gal 5:16).
Confess and forsake Sin
His grace and forgiveness is available for all manner of sin,
whatever it may be. Jesus will forgive all sins that we confess to Him (1 John 1:9)
but remember, we must also forsake them. He who covers his sins will not
prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy (Prov. 28:13).
True repentance means that we will make every effort not to repeat our former sins and will seek to walk in the nature of Christ. Such was Davids desire in his repentant prayer. Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psa. 51:9-10).