The Works Of The Flesh.

The Works Of The Flesh.

In Galatians 5:16-18, the scripture makes it clear that the flesh and Spirit are constantly opposing each other and this opposition is what leads the human beings into making the wrong decisions at the end of the day.

And in verse 18 of the above scripture, the Bible advices human beings to remain in the lead of the Spirit if they do not wish to fulfill the desires of the flesh which will lead them to eternal damnation.

and in verses 19 to 21, the Bible lists about fifteen works of the flesh that human beings must try their possible best to avoid. And it is these fifteen works of the flesh we are going to look at in this religious discourse.

The works of the flesh.

The works of the flesh mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21 are:

  1. Sexual immorality.
  2. Worship of idols (idolatry).
  3. Witchcraft or sorcery.
  4. Enmity.
  5. SAtrife.
  6. Jealousy.
  7. Anger.
  8. Rivalries.
  9. Dissensions.
  10. Divisions.
  11. Envy.
  12. Drunkenness.
  13. Orgies.

1. Sexual immorality.

Sexual immorality is the art of willingly participating in any kind of sexual behavior which may include the following:

  1. Adultery: This is a sexual activity that occurs between someone who is officially married.
  2. Fornication: This kind of sexual act involves two unmarried people.
  3. Homosexuality: Is a kind of sexual activity practiced by two males.
  4. Lesbianism: Is a sexual act practiced by two females.
  5. Incest: This is the act of sleeping with ones own sibling or any blood relation.
  6. Masturbation: This is the act of touching oneself in order to derive sexual pleasure.

In 1 Corinthians chapter one, we see how Paul noted that there was so much sexual immorality in Corinth to the point that people were even sleeping with their step-mothers.

And in the same 1 Corinthians 10:8, the same Paul reminds us of how God destroyed about 23,000 Jews in the wilderness for engaging in sexual immorality.

Again in 1 Corinthians 6:18, Paul commands us to flee from sexual immorality because it is the only sin that involves the body.

Literally, I think Paul said this because he knew that it is through sexual immorality that people will contact all kinds of sexually transmitted diseases that might even lead to their untimely death.

Finally, in 1 Corinthians 7:2, Paul advices everyone to get married if they want to escape sexual immorality.

2. Worship of idols (idolatry).

Idol worshipping or idolatry is the process of having extreme admiration love or reference to either a living or dead human being or animal which is often times represented by a symbol.

In Exodus 20:3, God Himself warns us not to have any other God apart from him and even goes on to add that He is a jealous God who visits the sins of the parents o the children and even down to the fourth generation .

The reason God warned us against idolatry is that He is the One who spent the time and energy to create human beings and as such can never destroy them. But when they abandon Him to worship other gods, those gods would make them engage in several activities that will destroy them and their children.

In the book of Leviticus 18;21, we discover that there was a certain god called Molech, who was demanding infant sacrifice and as a result of that God warned the Israelites not to sacrifice their children to Molech.

But in 2 Chronicles 33:6 and 2 Kings 21:6, we see how one of Israel’s most deadly King Manessah sacrificed his son to Molech.

Now to prove that He is not wicked like those gods who will demand human sacrifice from us, he made an example in Genesis 22 by commanding Abraham to go and sacrifice his only son Isaac; but when Abraham got to the place of sacrifice and was about to sacrifice Isaac, God exchanged him with a lamb that was used for the sacrifice.

So we can see why Idolatry is something we should all run away from.

3. Witchcraft or sorcery.

Sorcery is the art of consulting mediums in order to seek the outcome of the future or inquire whay something happened in the past.

In 1 Samuel 28:3-25, we see how Saul who had previously pursued all the sorcerers from Israel disguised himself to visit the witch of Endor to inquire about the fate of his kingdom against the Philistines.

Before now, Saul who was God’s mouthpiece in Israel was late, and the people of Philistine had set up camp in Shunem and were fully prepared to attack the Israelites.

Saul who was already struck with fear and terror was eager to know the outcome of the war, so he consulted all the prophets in Israel who were unable to hear anything from the LORD.

After the Prophets in Israel were unable to tell Saul anything from the LORD, he decided to disguise himself to visit a medium who can invoke the spirit of Saul for Paul to inquire about the outcome of the war.

And even though the witch was able to invoke Samuel, Saul was greatly cursed by the spirit of Samuel. And the story ends with Saul being killed in that very war with the Philistines.

4. Enmity.

Enmity is simply the art of people opposing and having a great dislike for one another. It is a synonym for the word enemy.

Now way back in the Jewish law people were asked to hate their enemy and pay people back in the same coins. But when Jesus came He made it clear in Mathew 5:43-48 that Christians should not hate their enemies as commanded by the Jewish law but rather they should love them and pray for those who are persecuting them.

He ended the command by saying that this will go to prove that we are the children of the Father in heaven.

5. Strife.

Strife is simply a very strong conflict that is ongoing among Christians because of any issue that is hard to resolve.

The outcome of strife is mainly division because when both parties are unable to resolve the issue on ground, the are going to split and each depart to where they were taking sides. And it is also worth mentioning that strife often times lead to death.

There are countless instances of conflict in the Bible, and the first of them all is the hostilities between Cain and Abel which led to the former murdering the latter. We can see this story in Genesis 4:1-16.

6. Jealousy.

Jealousy is simply the process of feeling a certain kind of threat or fearful expectations from someone whom you feel is in a better position or situation than yourself.

This feeling always arise from the fact that that person is going to take what you have away from you.

7. Anger.

The greatest example of why we should not be angry in the Bible is the example of Moses who broke faith with God in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Hadesh in the desert of Zin.

In Numbers 20:1-13 God told Moses and Aaron to speak to the rock so the children of Israel can get the water they were complaining about. But when Moses and Aaron assembled the Israelites before the rock, he was angered by the way they were complaining and as a result of that struck the rock with the staff God gave to him.

This incidence caused God to forbid Moses from entering the promised land.

8. Rivalries.

Rivalry s means competing for the same goal, position or superiority in the church.

I have personally seen so many people dying and some ending with deadly diseases because they were seeking for a particular position in the church.

And the reason why there is so much rivalry in the church is because of what people are expecting to gain when they attain the expected position.

In the Bible we have seen so many instances of rivalries and their result.

Esau and Jacob became rivals because of the formers blessings the latter took from their father.

Saul became rivals with David when he realized that the people were praising David for winning so many wars for the Israelites.

Our Lord Jesus showed us how to overcome the spirit of rivalry in Luke 9:46-48 when the disciples asked Him who is going to become the greatest in the kingdom of God, the Lord replied that unless one becomes like a little child he will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Again in Mathew 20:25-28, He told the disciples that whoever wants top be great among them should become a servant.

In Philippians 2:3-4, Paul advises Christians against doing anything out of rivalry but instead should humbly consider others as more important than theirselves.

9. Dissensions.

Dissension is a strong disagreement that might lead to a quarrel as the Bible observes in 2 Timothy 2:23-24. In several instances the scripture warns us against arguing.

In 2 Timothy 2:14, Paul urges us to keep reminding the people of God that that they should not quarrel about words because instead of adding value to people it ruins those who care to listen.

10. Divisions.

Dividing into groups will cause people to pursue goals or interests that might bring oppositions. And the worst part of it is that when people are divided, they will never be able to grow because those from the other groups will be reluctant to help those in another group.

In Romans 16:17, the apostle Paul warns Christians to keep away from those who are fond of causing divisions.

The opposite of division is unity and so the apostle Paul states in 1 Corinthians 1:10 that all Christians should agree with what they say and avoid divisions and instead be united in their way of thinking and judging things pertaining to the Christian faith.

11. Envy.

Sometimes people confuse envy for jealousy and vice versa but there is a great difference between both words.

Jealousy is simply being worried about someonw else trying to take waht yoou have while envy is when you want to take what someone else has.

From the story of Cain and Abel, we discover that envy can lead to murder because Cain ended up murdering his brother simply because God accepted Abel’s sacrifice and rejected his own.

To avoid envy we must always be reminded of the fact that positions, conditions and situations in life are prone to change and as a result of that we might be in a more better position than that person we are trying to jealous.

If Cain had this knowledge., he would have tried to offer the same sacrifice his brother offered to God and see if He would not accept it instead of going ahead to kill his brother and incurring the wrath of God.

12. Drunkenness.

The only thing I want us to know about drunkenness is that when you are drunk you will not be able to control your actions and as a result of that you are bound to misbehave.

13. Orgies.

Orgy is a wild party that involves getting drunk and engaging in sexual activities with multiple or groups of people.

The children of Israel committed this sin in the wilderness and were greatly punished by God.