19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
21 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.
Verse 16 describes the inner desires of our sin nature. These verses describe the effects — the outward expressions of the character of the flesh.
evident (v.16) — open, where everyone can se. Lust is hidden, its effects are outward and visible.
adultery — not listed in the best Greek texts
fornication — specific sin
uncleanness — impurity of mind, sensual impurity
lewdness — insolent disregard for decency — contempt for public opinion and shameless outrage of public decency
sorcery — Greek pharmakia — drugs associated with occult powers. Drugs used in witchcraft, but also witchcraft without drugs
hatred — the opposite of love
wrath — result of jealousy
dissensions — connected to jealousy, taking sides, one party against another, divisions, standing apart
heresies — sedition advanced to a spirit of enmity — choosing an opinion contrary to the Word of God, perhaps in reference to the Judaizers.
envy — desire to have what another has (whereas jealousy only desires to deprive another)
revelries — the consequence of drunkenness
and the like (v.21) — things similar to these
tell you … told you (v.21) — Paul repeats his warning of the inevitable consequences
do such things (v.21) = practice — not isolated acts but course of conduct. Practice until they become characteristic, second-nature
The word do is from prasso which means “to do, to practice.” It is durative in action, thus speaking of the habitual practice of such things, which indicates the character of the individual. The Word of God bases its estimation of a person’s character, not upon his infrequent, out-of-the-ordinary actions, but upon his habitual ones, which latter form a true indication of character. Such people, the apostle says, shall not inherit the kingdom of God. — Galatians in the Greek New Testament, by Kenneth S. Wuest, page 158-159.
inherit (v.21) — birthright by virtue of sonship
kingdom of God (v.21) — sphere of God’s rule
In context — these things cannot be avoided by obeying a law, but only be walking in the Spirit.