Let us go deeper into the freedom that is ours in Christ. If you have not already, see original post, Christ Sets Us Free – Not Just A Cliche!
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Gal 5:1
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Gal 5:16-18
Works of the Flesh – Is where we will remain in bondage
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
Word-description of these works
- Adultery: Words of Jesus in Matt 5:27-28; “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
- Fornication: 4202 porneía (the root of the English terms “pornography, pornographic”; cf. 4205 /pórnos) which is derived from pernaō, “to sell off”) – properly, a selling off (surrendering) of sexual purity; promiscuity of any (every) type.
To Note: God was explicit in the OT in often referring to His people as being adulterers not in the sense of physical sexual practice but that of their heart in their loves and allegiances (see Jer 3:7-9, Ez 16:31.) Jesus spoke of it in Matt 12:39 “But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.”
- Uncleanness; the act of pollution, defilement
- Lewdness; outrageous conduct, conduct shocking to public decency, a wanton violence, wantonness, lewdness
- Idolatry; service (worship) of an image (an idol)
- Sorcery; 5331 pharmakeía (from pharmakeuō, “administer drugs”) – properly, drug-related sorcery, like the practice of magical-arts, etc.
- Hatred; 2190 exthrós – properly, an enemy; someone openly hostile (at enmity), animated by deep-seated 2190/exthros (“enemy”), implies irreconcilable hostility, proceeding out of a “personal” hatred bent on inflicting harm (DNTT).
- Contentions; 2054 éris(a primitive word, NAS dictionary) – literally quarrel, strife; properly, a readiness to quarrel (having a contentious spirit), affection for dispute
- Jealousies; [2204 (zéō) is “formed from the participle of the Latin ferveo, ‘to boil or ferment,‘ is an exact translation of this word, which means ‘to seethe or bubble,‘ and is therefore used figuratively of mental states and emotions”
- Outbursts of wrath; When 2372 /thymós (“expressed passion”) is used of people it indicates rage (personal venting of anger, worth).
- Selfish Ambitions; Ancient Greek uses 2052 /eritheía (“mercenary self-seeking”) of acting for one’s own gain, regardless of the discord (strife) it causes. 2052 /eritheía (“selfish ambition”) places self-interest ahead of what the Lord declares right, or what is good for others
- Dissensions; 1370 dixostasía (from dixa, “separately” and 4714 /stásis, “a standing, stance”) – properly, separate-standings (“standing apart”), used of divisions which wrongly separate people into pointless (groundless) factions
- Heresies; 139 haíresis (a feminine noun derived from 138 /hairéomai, “personally select, choose”) – properly, a personal (decisive) choice.
- Envy; grudge, spite 5355 phthónos (a primitive word, perhaps akin to 5351 /phtheírō, “decay, break-down, corrupt”) – properly, strong feeling (desire) that sours, due to the influence of sin; (figuratively) the miserable trait of being glad when someone experiences misfortune or pain. 5355 /phthónos (“the feeling of ill-will“) refers to the jealous envy that negatively “energizes” someone with an embittered mind. 5355 /phthónos (“ill-will”) conveys “displeasure at another’s good; . . . without longing to raise oneself to the level of him whom he envies, but only to depress the envied to his own level”
- Murders; Begins in the heart as explained by Jesus in Matt 5:20-22
- Drunkenness; to attain intoxication
- Revelries; 2970 kṓmos (originally, village-merrymaking that took place at the gathering of the grapes, Souter) – a riotous party (drunken feast) which hosted unbridled sexual immorality; hence, revelings (debauched “partying”)
As we walk onward and upward in and towards Christ, our striving and attaining is to be to be good fruit bearers. I believe that as we are diligent to cast off the practices that Gal 5:19-21 describe, that we will surely have the fruit of the Spirit to show for it! May we be a people who walk circumspectly (Eph 5:15-16), in that we are careful in all we think, say and do – and live as unto Christ Jesus our Lord – Amen!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Gal 5:22-26