Galatians 5:19-21

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.

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