Summary: The 1) Relational Struggle (Galatians 5:20b-21a) and 2) Personal Struggle (Galatians 5:21b) with sin.
A political career marked by unfulfilled promise came to an end Friday as Ontario Conservative Leader John Tory announced his resignation following a devastating by-election defeat Thursday. Although he was able to succeed as CEO of Rogers Cable Inc., managing partner at his family’s law firm, and commissioner of the Canadian Football League, his 4 1/2 years at the helm of the provincial Conservatives were drowned out by Mr. Tory’s lack of political insight, as one observer remarked.
In an emotional press conference, Mr. Tory, 54, laid out his own shortcomings. He acknowledged his failure to unite contrasting elements in his own party, including some who actively worked against him in this week’s byelection in the riding of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock. Mr. Tory on Friday said he was unable to adapt himself to the "show business" of contemporary politics. http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/story.html?id=1361854
When there are personal failings coupled with group conflict, the results are always disastrous. When the Apostle Paul wanted to contrast the life of a spirit filled Christian with someone dominated by the works of the flesh he commented on the nature of Sexual and religious defilement.
The struggle with sin marks one who is led by the Spirit. Someone who exists in the flesh does not struggle with what they are most comfortable with. In Galatians 5:20b-21, Paul outlines several pitfalls to watch out for in personal and group dynamics. Understanding the nature of these pitfalls helps us to avoid those things that will be destructive and provide personal directions for living a Spirit controlled life. It has a bearing on our personal, relational and divine relationship
1) Relational Struggle (Galatians 5:20b-21a)
Galatians 5:20b-21 (idolatry, sorcery), enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, (drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God). (ESV)
• These sins are against the neighbor, essentially a breaking of the Fifth Commandment
The third group of sins relates to human relationships, which are defiled by these specific sins as well as by many others. It represents the breakdown of Christian community.
• There is a degradation from feelings (e.g., hostilities) to actions (quarrels) to results (factions) (Witherington III, Ben: Grace in Galatia : A Commentary on St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. Grand Rapids, MI : Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998, S. 400)
Quote: SIN WILL:
1. TAKE YOU FARTHER THAN YOU PLANNED ON GOING.
2. KEEP YOU LONGER THAN YOU PLANNED ON STAYING
3. COST YOU MORE THAN YOU PLANNED ON PAYING.
(Wade Martin Hughes, Sr. Kyfingers@aol.com)
1) Emnity/Hatred (echthrai) is in the plural form, denoting primarily a feeling of enmity between groups (Walvoord, John F. ; Zuck, Roy B. ; Dallas Theological Seminary: The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL : Victor Books, 1983-c1985, S. 2:607)
Titus 3:3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. (ESV)
The New Testament Ethic explains what the intent of the law meant:
1 John 3:15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. (ESV)
• It closely relates to the Greek work for enemy (echthros). This form of hatred includes any kind of political, racial, or religious hostility, whether public or private (Philip Graham Ryken. Galatians: Reformed Expository Commentary. P&R Publications 2005. p. 230).
• Racism, for example, is the spirit that looks with evil suspicion on anyone of a different race, tongue, nation, or creed (Boles, Kenneth L.: Galatians & Ephesians. Joplin, Mo. : College Press, 1993 (The College Press NIV Commentary), S. Ga 5:20)
• If the list of eight social sins here are meant to be seen as the mirror opposites of those qualities or actions listed as the fruit of the Spirit in vss. 22–23, then enmity/hatred is contrasted with love in this discussion (Witherington III, Ben: Grace in Galatia : A Commentary on St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. Grand Rapids, MI : Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998, S. 400)
These often result in:
2) strife/variance/Discord/wrangling/contention/quarreling (eris) among individuals, including bitter conflicts.
• Strife is rivalry or discord, which comes from a quarrelsome spirit. (Philip Graham Ryken. Galatians: Reformed Expository Commentary. P&R Publications 2005. p. 230).
• Wrong attitudes invariably bring wrong actions.
• One may therefore translate “they argue/quarrel with one another,” or “they fight with one another with words.” (Arichea, Daniel C. ; Nida, Eugene Albert: A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. New York : United Bible Societies, 1993 (UBS Handbook Series; Helps for Translators), S. 138)