A. Text: Galatians 5:19-21
1. Paul said the works of the flesh are “manifest” which means “apparent, evident, or known” (v. 19).
2. He then concludes teaching that these known works will keep anyone partaking in them out of the kingdom of Heaven (v.21).
3. Thus, we can see the importance of studying these things because they will keep us from eternal life.
B. Identifying the terms:
1. Works: “an act, deed, or thing done”
a. The works we are to do are the ones that glorify God (Matthew 5:16).
2. Flesh: “the flesh, denotes mere human nature, the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God”
a. Paul in his letter to the church at Ephesus defines this term well (Ephesians 2:2-3).
I. Works of the Flesh Listed in Galatians 5:19
A. Adultery “to have unlawful intercourse with another’s wife, to commit adultery with a spouse of another…”
1. God ruled on adultery both in the Old and New Testaments:
a. Exodus 20:14
b. Romans 13:9
2. God had a plan for man to have his own wife and to fulfill her physical desires (I Corinthians 7:2-3).
3. The punishment of the Old Law was severe for adulterers (Leviticus 20:10).
B. Fornication-“illicit sexual intercourse” Notice that fornication is a broader term than adultery. Both sins are physical, whereas we will see the mental sin of lasciviousness later in this lesson.
1. Paul makes a clear point on fornication (I Corinthians 6:18).
2. Fornication is the only exception to the one man / one woman for life rule on marriage (Matthew 19:9).
3. Fornication would include sins such as: homosexuality, bestiality, harlotry, adultery, or any other type of unlawful sexual intercourse.
C. Uncleanness- “in a moral sense: the impurity of lustful, luxurious, profligate living, of impure motives”
1. The opposite of unclean would be pure. It is the things which are pure that we should focus on in our Christian lives (Philippians 4:8).
2. What type of heart [mindset] should we have: Matthew 5:8
D. Lasciviousness-“unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence”
1. Many of the things we have discussed are sins that begin in our hearts & defile us, and lasciviousness is no different (Mark 7:20-23).
2. Jesus spoke very clearly about lust in the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5:27-30).
II. Works of the Flesh Listed In Galatians 5:20
A. Idolatry- “the worship of false gods
1. The Law of Moses showed God’s disgusts for the practice of idolatry:
2. Paul used the word “flee” in describing what action Christians should take towards idolatry (I Corinthians 10:14).
B. Witchcraft- “sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it”
1. Notice what Isaiah said: Isaiah 8:19-20
2. Paul called a “sorcerer” a child of the devil and showed the power of God over the power of “black magic” (Acts 13:6-12).
C. Hatred “enmity [hostility]”
1. Being a hateful kind of person needs to be a thing of the past, not present or future for Christians (Titus 3:3).
2. Notice what the Lord said about one who hates his brother: I John 3:15.
D. Varianc- “contention, strife, wrangling”
1. The church at Corinth was told that they were still of the flesh in part because there was strife among them (I Corinthians 3:3).
2. We are told to avoid contention (Titus 3:9).
3. The Bible tells us to contend [fight] for the faith (Jude 3), but being a contentious person is surely what is condemned here.
E. Emulations- “an envious and contentious rivalry, jealousy”
1. Where the attitude and action of envy and strife exists there is evil (James 3:16).
2. We told not to walk in jealousy (Romans 13:13).
F. Wrath-“evil passion, angry, heat, anger forthwith boiling up and soon subsiding again”
1. Wrath needs to be removed from our lives:
G. Strife- “apparently, in the NT a courting distinction, a desire to put one’s self forward, a partisan and fractious spirit which does not disdain low arts”
1. Notice Philippians 2:3.
2. Reference the similarities in point “II” letter “D”.
H. Seditions-“dissension, division”
1. Those who would cause division in this manner are to be marked and avoided as they serve not our Lord, but themselves (Romans 16:17-18).
2. Division is sinful in the body of Christ (I Corinthians 1:10).
I. Heresies-“dissensions arising from diversity of opinions and aims”
1. It is false teachers who bare this trait (II Peter 2:1-3).