Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21).
Everyday, we have the choice to walk in the spirit with our human spirit ruling us, or to walk in the flesh with our un-renewed mind, emotions, will, and body ruling us. Walking in the flesh brings sin and death. Walking in the spirit produces righteousness and life!
Walking in the spirit is not automatic, but your humanity is set by default to walk in the flesh! You only walk in the spirit on purpose! As you walk in the spirit, the flesh habits fall off!
Here’s a basic overview of the works of the flesh that we must resist. The sobering thought is that if you stop walking in the spirit with your human spirit in charge, you will revert back to these fleshly traits found in Galatians 5:19-21:
Adultery in the Greek is moicheia. It means unlawful sexual relations with someone besides a marriage partner. Fornication is porneia. Porneia is any kind of sexual activity outside of marriage. Uncleanness is akatharsia . Akatharsia means impurity of all kinds; homosexuality, lesbianism, and all forms of deviant sexual behavior that corrupts society. Lewdness is aselgeia. Aselgeia is being involved in anything that stirs up sexual desire and lust. This could be manner of dress, body language, looks, words, or actions. Idolatry is eidoloatreia.
Eidoloatreia means the worship of an image and includes any activity that is used to meet a need that only God can meet. It is an extravagant admiration of the heart. Sorcery is pharmakeia. Pharmakeia is demonic activity that is fostered by the use of drugs, alcohol, etc. of various kinds. It is the opening up of the human personality to the realm of the demonic through the sedation of the central nervous system. Hatred is echthra. Echthra is bitterness, anger, the tendency to hold grudges, and the desire for bad things to happen to others. Contentions is eris. Eris is strong disagreements, discord, quarreling, disputing and debating constantly. A person involved in eris enjoys contention and disagreement!
Jealousies is zeloi. Zeloi is the strong desire to outdo others, striving to excel and surpass others by any means. Outbursts of wrath is thumos. Thumos is strong, angry, heated emotions, or rage. Selfish ambitions is eritheia. Eritheia is the striving to outdo others in word or action, the desire that bad things happen to others who wrong you, or to have the bad things happen to others that they perform against you.
Dissensions is dichostasia. Dichostasia is the desire to stir up disorder, rioting, rebellion, and strife in government, religion, or community. Heresies is hairesis. Hairesis is purposely disagreeing with commonly accepted tenets and beliefs in religion or civic policy. Here it means clinging to opinions that oppose the Word of God. Envy is phthonoi. Phthonoi is jealousy, dislike and anger when others are blessed and receive more than you. One scholar says that this is the most base and degrading of all human emotions. Murders is phonoi. Phonoi means the desire to harm others, the desire to ruin another’s life, to kill, to hate.
Drunkenness is methai. Methai is being enslaved by alcohol, living in debauchery and intoxication on a regular basis. Revelries is komoi. Komoi is being involed in drunken parties where all kinds of illicit sexual activity is engaged in with no limits.
The sobering fact for us all is that we all have the potential to live in the lusts of the flesh! And these lusts of the flesh to nothing but destroy. Let’s pursue with passion our relationship with Jesus and allow the Spirit of God to keep us free from these things by obedience to the Word!