Galatians 5:19-21 – Continued

Revelation 17 – False Religion – Continued

As we get started, let us remember that the flesh is so strong that it often keeps us from doing what we should.  The second point that we should keep in mind is that the only hope of ever controlling the flesh is to walk in the Spirit of God – in His presence and His power (Galatians 5:16) and in the power and strength of Christ (Ephesians 6:10).

“This I say then, walk [live] in the Spirit, and ye SHALL NOT FULFILL THE LUST of the flesh.  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law” (Galatians 5:16-18). 

POINT TO REMEMBER:  The flesh fails to keep the law.  No person keeps the law all the time; the flesh causes the believer to fail, and no matter how hard we try, we cannot do everything the law says – not all the time.

So, what is the answer?

FACT:  It is essential to know the answer, for every time we fail to keep the law, the law is broken, and we stand condemned.  We cannot satisfy the demands of the law, not perfectly.  Therefore, we are guilty and must pay the penalty.

NOTE another fact: our consciences condemn us.  They bother and bug us if we are trying to live for Christ and yet continue failing time after time.  Again, what is the answer?

FACT:  The Spirit of God is the answer; being led by the Holy Spirit will free us from the flesh and from the condemnation of the law (see Romans 8:2-4 and identify the principles).

“For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me ” (Romans 7:15-20; 8:2-4).

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal [fleshly], but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;” (2 Corinthians 10:4).

All of this means that the Holy Spirit frees us to live as Christ lived, to actually live out the life which Christ lived.  The active energy of life, the dynamic force and being of life, all that is in Christ Jesus, is given to the believer.  The believer actually lives in Christ Jesus (I Peter 2:21 – we follow His example, we follow in His steps).

And the Spirit of life which is in Christ frees the believer from the fate (law) of sin and death.  This simply means that the believer lives in a consciousness state of being free, he breathes and senses a depth of life, a richness, a fulness of life that is indescribable.  He lives with power — power over the pressure, strain, impediments, and bondages of life  — even the bondages of sin and death. 

He lives now and shall live forever.  He senses this and knows this.  Life to him is a SPIRIT, A BREATH, A CONSCIOUSNESS of being set free through Christ.

NOTE:  Even when he sins and guilt sets in, there is a tug of war,  a power (Holy Spirit) that draws him back to God.  He asks forgiveness and removal of the guilt (I John 1:9), and immediately upon asking, the same power (the Holy Spirit) instills an instantaneous assurance of cleansing. The Spirit of life, the consciousness of living instantaneously, the believer feels free again, and the believer feels full of life in all its liberating power and freedom.  The believer bubbles over with all the depth of richness and fulness of life itself.  The believer is full of the Spirit of life.

NOTE:  Life itself becomes once again a spirit, a consciousness of living.  He lives now and forever (John 3:16).

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:2-3).

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14).                                                          

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, and that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (John 16:13). 

  • Now let’s continue with Galatians 5:19-21; not only is this a problem in the Age of Grace but will also be involved in the problems of the end time – remember we are looking at the work of the  FLESH:  As we have been seeing, the works or acts of the flesh show us just how strong the flesh is.

Note a fact of extreme importance: the flesh, itself is not sinful.  The flesh or human body is given by God; it is for God’s use.  In fact, when a person is converted to Christ, his body becomes a temple for God to dwell in, through the Holy Spirit   (I Corinthians 6:18-20)

NOTE:  The Christian is not told to cleanse himself from the flesh but from “the lusts of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16), from the filthiness of the flesh” (2 Corinthians 7:1), and from “the works of the flesh” (Romans 13:12; Galatians 5:19).

NOTE:  The works of the flesh are the fruit of indwelling sin, and sin originates in the heart, not in the flesh.

The sins of the flesh that we have been investigating in Galatians 5:19-21 are clearly seen throughout society; and tragically they are not only seen on the daily newscasts of every city, but within every community, home and life on the planet earth.  The very presence of such fleshly sins shows just how strong the flesh is and how helpless man is to control his flesh.

  • Now let’s continue our investigation of the works of the flesh with the 10th word of Galatians 5:19-21 is, “Wrath” (thumoi):  it means, burst of anger, indignation; a violent, explosive temper; quick-tempered explosive reactions that arise from stirring and boiling emotions.  But it is anger which fades away just as quickly as it arose.  It is not anger that lasts.

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20).

“An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression” (Proverbs 29:22). 

  • The 11th word “Strife” (eritheiai):  unfortunately, strife is too common in a lot of churches and among Christians.  This word means to be involved in conflict, struggle, fighting, contention, factions, dissension, a party spirit, a cliquish spirit.

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves” (Philippians 2:3).

“Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers” (2 Timothy 2:14).

“It is an honor for man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling” (Proverbs 20:3).

  • The 12th word is ‘SEDITIONS” (DICHOSTASIAI):  this word means division, rebellion, standing against others, splitting off from others.

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.  Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king” (I Samuel 15:23).

“Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin” (Isaiah 30:1).

“I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts” (Isaiah 65:2).


“But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.  Presumptuous are they, selfwilled and they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities” (2 Peter 2:10).

  • The 13th word is “heresies” (aireseis).  This means rejecting the fundamental beliefs of God, Christ, The Holy Spirit, the Scriptures, and the church; believing and holding to some teaching other than the truth (Bible).

“But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9).

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (I Timothy 4:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12).

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily [quietly, secretly] shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the LORD that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter 2:1).

“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness” (2 Peter 3:17).

  • The 14th word is “Envyings (phthonoi):  This word goes beyond jealousy.  It is the spirit…
    • that wants not only the things that another person has but begrudges the fact that the person has them.
    • that wants not only the things to be taken away from the person but wants him to suffer through the loss of them.

“A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones” (Proverbs 14:30).

“Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long” (Proverbs 23:17).

“Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them” (Proverbs 24:1). 

“Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying” (Romans 13:13).

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up” (I Corinthians 13:4).

“Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another” (Galatians 5:26).

  • The 15th word is “Murders” (phonoi): This word means to kill, to take the life of another person.  Murder is sin against the sixth commandment. 

“He saith unto him, Which?  Jesus said, ‘Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness’ ” (Matthew 19:18).

“Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.  For this, Thou shalt not shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Romans 13:8-9).

“But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters” (I Peter 4:15).

“Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him” (I John 3:15).                                                                                

  • The 16th word is Drunkenness (methai): The meaning is taking drink or drugs to affect one’s senses for lust or pleasure; becoming tipsy or intoxicated; partaking of drugs; seeking to loosen moral restraint for bodily pleasure.

“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting (dissipation- squandering of resources), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares (Luke 21:34).

“Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying” (Romans 13:13).

“Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:10).

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess…”  Ephesians 5:18).

“For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night” (I Thessalonians 5:7).

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1).

“Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? Who hath babbling? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes?  They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine” (Proverbs 23:29-30).  God’s definition of an alcoholic.

“Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!” (Isaiah 5:11).

“For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured at stubble fully dry” (Nahum 1:10).

  • The 17th word is Revellings (komoi):   This word means carousing, uncontrolled license, indulgence, and pleasure; taking part in wild parties or in drinking parties; lying around indulging in feeding the lusts of the flesh; orgies.

“For in the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings (orgies), banquetings (carousing), and abominable idolatries” (I Peter 4:3).

“And shall receive the reward of unrightousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time.  Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children” (2 Peter 2:13-14).

“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” (Galatians 5:21).

“And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink and rose up to play”  (Exodus 32:6; I Samuel 30:16).

Galatians 5:21 – We will now look at two key words – Flesh and Judgment:  the judgment of those who live by the flesh.  Very simply, they SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD!  This can be clearly seen: if God is righteous, then people must live righteous lives in order to be accepted by Him. 

However, people ignore the fact of God’s righteousness.  People divorce their behavior from religion.  People…

  • profess religion.
  • practice religion.
  • talk religion.
  • defend their beliefs about religion.

However, they go ahead and live like they want regardless of their religion preferences.  If they want to do something, they do it feeling that God will forgive them.  There are few people who really think that God will reject them.  They feel that they will have done enough good to be acceptable to God…

  • enough kindness
  • enough religion
  • enough good works
  • enough service to others

In the final analysis, most people just think God will accept them.  This attitude comes from a false concept of God, a concept that looks upon God as a father who is indulgent and who gives his children the license to do some wrong.

NOTE:  This is a fatal mistake.  It was the mistake that some of the Galatian church members were making, and it is a mistake that teeming multitudes of religious people have made down through the centuries.  This is also the mistake that people living at the end of time will be making as they attack and kill millions at Israel (Jews) and true Christians.

“Know ye not that the unrighteous SHALL NOT INHERIT the kingdom of God?…” (I Corinthians 6:9).

True believers are to inherit the kingdom, a new heavens and earth, where God will rule and reign.  They are to be given eternal life (finding out that God’s promise is real – John 3:16) and given the glorious privilege of being citizens in God’s kingdom and world.

FACT:  True Christians are to live with God and serve Him in PERFECTION for all eternity (see Reward – I Corinthians 9-23; I Corinthians 6:2-3; and Luke 16:9-13).

NOTE:  This glorious privilege is to be given ONLY to genuine believers, those men and women who have TRULY given their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ — given their lives to live as Jesus Christ says to live.

FACT:  No matter how religious a person is – no matter how much zeal a person may have in keeping religious rituals and in attending services and in giving to charity – if he does not live a pure and righteous life, he “shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

“Know ye not that the unrighteous SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD?…” (I Corinthians 6:9).

“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20).

“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption” (I Corinthians 15:50).

“And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27).

“For without [the kingdom of God] are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whatsoever loveth and maketh a lie” (Revelation 22:15).

If you are in doubt about your salvation or have never accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, please read John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-13 and follow the principles found.

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