Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
God does not want anyone to be left confused or illiterate with regard to His will. In our last devotional God addressed the flesh in contrast to the Spirit. We already know that God is not talking about the skin and underlying flesh of the person. The flesh is also called the “natural man” in the Bible.
The verses we have quoted in this devotional deal with the manifestation of the flesh. The first several works mentioned here have to do with moral issues.
“Adultery” and “fornication” are somewhat related, but they are also different. Both of them deal with intimate relations. Adultery is committed by married individuals. Fornication is committed by single people. This would also include the sodomite agenda of today.
We know in our world that there is an increasing of immorality taking place. When I was a young person is was a shame for a woman to be pregnant but not married. Today, that is a symbol of pride. It is celebrated just like a pregnancy of a married woman. There is also the living together outside of wedlock which is becoming very acceptable. However, none of this is acceptable to God and never will be acceptable to God.
“Uncleanness” is moral impurity in a general sense. This would include immoral jokes, pornography and other forms of immoral literature. The “romance novels” would fit into this category as well. There has been much suggestive talk in our world and that all fits into this category. The entire rock and country music scene has promoted uncleanness since its inception and it is not surprising that we are witnessing an increase of the abuse of women and men due to this. The immodest apparel worn by many is also part of this whole scene.
“Lasciviousness” is also closely related to uncleanness. It has to do with the frame of mind of impure and lustful thoughts. We see that being acted out by those who kidnap young children and then abuse them and murder them. Sadly, we even hear of some parents who sexually abuse their own children.
God taught the nation of Israel that this entire list of works was not to be tolerated within the camp of Israel. The nation of Israel was to be built upon a “Theocracy” which is “God rule”. God knew that the Jews were born just as lost as any other person. He also knew they were capable of committing any sin that a Gentile could commit. However, the nation of Israel was not to tolerate these sins in their camp. The nation of Israel was to be the people of God.
The true local church has not replaced Israel, but it is to be the people of God. It cannot tolerate these sins within its membership either. Lost people need to attend a true church. They need to be taught that the immorality they are likely accustomed to in the world, is not God’s design, and it should never be accepted as normal.
In verse 20 God is continuing to address the works of the flesh. These works express themselves more from a faulty spiritual and emotional level.
“Idolatry” is anything that a person allows to come between himself and God. This is with regard to a formed idol such as an image of some thing or some person. It can also be some other thing like a vehicle or a house or even children.
“Witchcraft” refers to the occult. Witches were around in Bible times and they are still around today. The Greek word translated as “witchcraft” is where we get our word “pharmacy” from. The whole realm of “magic” would be included here. It involves spiritual deception.
I was recently told of a new “barbie” doll that supposedly teaches children to learn some of the rudimental matters of yoga. Apparently the doll talks to the child as they play with it. We know the devil is working hard to indoctrinate children and adults in all things evil. Barbie dolls are not a good thing for children to play with in the first place, but the manufacturers have learned the attraction of them and are using them in a much more influential manner now.
The drug culture that our world is promoting would also fit into this matter of witchcraft. All of that is designed to open the users up to occult practices. Apparently the gunman that killed those 19 children and 2 teachers in Texas was using marijuana. Marijuana is a drug that causes psychosis. It messes with the mind. The increase in violence is not an accident. It is being caused in large measure by the things that people involve themselves in. One of those things is the use of marijuana. This man fought with his mother and grandmother because they did not want him using this drug, among other things.
The next few works mentioned deal with the emotions. Hatred deals with hostility toward others. The gunman who killed those children and teachers in Texas acted on hatred. The solution to that problem is not to take the guns away. Criminals will always find their weapon. They do not care about obeying the law. If this young person would have been saved and walking in the fear of God, he never would have done what he did.
Our world is fixated on “racism, and hate speech”, but they have no idea what they are talking about. Almost everything is called racism by a certain segment of society. God never divides people by race. That is an evolutionary term and needs to be rejected by God-fearing people. God speaks of nations. Rather than accepting the normal talking points of “white people” and “coloured people”, we need to identify people by their nationality. God speaks of Egyptians, and Amalekites and Babylonians, etc.
Within any nation, there will be bad people and there might be some good people. When a person gets saved they receive the righteousness of Christ and they do not behave like the wicked.
“Variance” has to do with someone who is looking for a fight. Some people are just not content unless they can be trying to stir up trouble. There is a man who tried to gain centre of attention during the “freedom convoy” who was eventually arrested and may still be in jail. He is known as a trouble maker and his media postings show him as a trouble maker. God says a person like that will not enter heaven.
“Emulations” has to do with being envious, jealous, bitter. These traits will lead to other problems if they are not addressed. It is important to pay attention to these things in children’s lives and help them to see they are not acceptable. The public school system encourages this in children. Wise parents understand the need to keep their children out of the public school system. Teach them at home. Parents need to be saved and attend a good church that will help them in the training of their children.
“Wrath” has to do with losing one’s temper. Rather than letting children go to their room and stomp their feet or punch the wall or scream and holler to deal with their anger, they need to understand this is not acceptable and needs to stop. Tolerating this is not helpful.
“Strife” deals with dirty tricks and nastiness. The political debates in this country are full of strife. The politicians think this is how they will prove their worthiness to lead their party and the country. What they actually do is prove they are not fit to lead a dead dog around. The media loves this but godly people do not.
“Seditions” has to do with causing dissension. It is what we are seeing happening by our PM at this time. It is also happening in the current U.S. government. It is trying to overthrow order and replace it with chaos to further their wicked agenda. The current WEF in Davos would also fit into this camp. Klaus Schwab should be arrested and imprisoned for the crime of sedition. Instead he is respected as an influential leader who is destroying the order of the world.
The Bible points out that Barabbas was a man who was in prison for sedition. The Jews demanded that this violent criminal be released and that Jesus Christ be crucified.
“Heresies” has to do with being opinionated, stubborn and bullheaded. The apostle Paul disputed with the people at Mars Hill. He was not opinionated, stubborn or bullheaded. He was right and was seeking to help them to see they were going the wrong way and believing the wrong things. Jesus was also not opinionated, stubborn or bullheaded. He was right and He exposed the heresies of the false teachers.
Those who know the truth do not look for a way to get together with others and sing “kumbaya” or some other foolishness. Those who are saved need to be motivated by the love of God to help others to see the need to turn to God and reject their pagan ideas. This is the opposite of what heresy is.
In verse 21 we are given the last of the works of the flesh that God mentions here.
“Envyings” has to do with an unhealthy and sinful emotion relating to someone else’s abilities which you do not have. Rather than improving on your own abilities. the envious person tries to destroy the person they assume is better than they are.
“Murders” would include the murder of unborn children as well as those who hate others and wish them to be dead. Murder starts with hatred and if not addressed can lead to the outward action of violence.
“Drunkenness” if more than exceeding the “legal” limit of alcohol consumption. Proverbs 20 and 23 give very clear teaching on the danger and sin of alcohol. There are other passages as well. As we see in the end of this verse, a born again Christian cannot participate in any of this.
“Revellings” has to do with the party life. It is not surprising to hear that fights and killing break out at these events. They are evil to begin with and they can devolve to worse events.
There is nothing praiseworthy in these verses. God put them here to help us to understand that while man may redefine terms and words, God is very clear. He holds man accountable according to His words, not man’s corruptions of His Words.
Paul reminds us that he has warned of the consequences of this lifestyle. God addressed it in Genesis 6 and elsewhere as well. The concluding words of this verse are very sobering. There is no ambiguity here. The flesh does not like such simple and clear truth. The flesh wants to find some wiggle room in this list.
Those who live by this standard forfeit any opportunity to inherit the kingdom of God. That place is reserved for those who have turned to God in repentance and put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a special place and it is a beautiful place.
We need to keep in mind that Paul was directed to write about the liberty that a child of God has in Christ. The works mentioned in these verses do not provide liberty. They are all bondage. Jesus Christ did not participate in any of them and He did not go to the cross to make allowance for any of them either. Those who are saved need to reflect on the cross and the severity of that event.
God hates sin and He expects His children to also hate sin. He provided salvation and He also equips His children to glorify Him.