Works of the Flesh

As Paul begins to tell the Galatians the practical ramifications of his concern for them, he sets being led by the Spirit against being led by the flesh. And he gives a list of examples of fleshly behavior.

Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
(Galatians 5:16–21, NRSV)

That is quite a list, and it is not inclusive. Mind, these are not matters of law, but matters of being led by either the Spirit or the flesh.

Some of the things on the list I have not seen in the church, but many of them I have. There are some items on that list that are ongoing problems plaguing the church. We tend to ignore those things.

But note, “those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Let’s be a little tougher on ourselves than we have been in the near past. There is a behavioral requirement to being a Christian.

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