Galatians 5:19-21 "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 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."
We have already covered much of this in detail and tonight we will finish the lusts of the flesh. Some may be wondering, why would you spend so much time on the lusts of the flesh? Take a look at the last verse of this passage: they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
I think that it is extremely important that we understand what God expects from us regarding our Christian behavior. We live in the midst of a society that has influenced the church. Postmodern thought has crossed sacred boundaries and spilled onto holy ground. The postmodern mindset is that there is no, central focal point- (God), there isn’t any central truth- (the Word of God); instead, truth and focus is what we choose. We create our own boundaries and attach our own meanings to thoughts and words.
In this postmodern thought, who is to say what sin is? What may be sin for you may be fun for me. Who are you to apply an overall reaching standard, which provides a context for acceptable or unacceptable behavior? As a matter of fact, you offend me with your narrow-minded ways. I don't want to go to your church, if you are going to force those views on me.
The result is that the people perish in the pews, because the preacher allows society to dictate his message rather than the Word of God. He refuses, for fear of empty pews, to preach a message revealing sin. And the people remain in their sinful lifestyles; they continue in selfishness; they continue in pre-marital sexual relationships; they continue checking in at the bar on their Facebook page; they continue in homo-sexual lifestyles; they continue their addiction to porn; they continue to stagger, weakened in their anemic Christianity, sitting under a cancerous, false gospel that is destroying the life of God on the inside of them. This is why I point it out because the Christian should be given the truth so that he can properly evaluate his stance, so that he can properly determine whether he is truly in the faith, so that he will not be deceived, and when he breathes his last physical breath here, and takes his first spiritual breath in eternity that he will not awaken in an eternal torment that he was never warned about!
...strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like... These are the words we will be covering today. "and such like." This phrase informs us that this list is not all inclusive; instead, it is a roadmap intended to make believers aware of what type of behaviors are contrary to the character of Christ, and therefore, contrary to the character of a true Christian.
Our original teaching covered mostly sexual sins. Last week the ones we covered affected our social encounters with others. Those behaviors were rooted in selfishness; furthermore, many of the ones we will cover tonight are also exhibited in the lives of selfish people.
(1). Strife (KJV) Selfish ambition (NIV) Vigorous conflict; rivalry.
Many of us have faced this scenario at the workplace. Other people, through selfish ambition, attempt to make themselves look good, while making others look bad. This describes the "dog eat dog" world we live in- "every man for himself." But this mindset is contrary to the heart of God.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
The idea of strife can also be something that resides in the mind long before it is manifested outwardly:
Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
(2). Seditions (KJV) Dissensions (NIV)- disunity; division: schisms and factions. This scenario can take place anywhere ranging from the church, to the house, to society in general.
The most obvious scenario to me would be a group of women who congregate by themselves and talk about others negatively; they talk about how the others are not as good as them, and in their heart, believe they are not good enough to be in their group. Therefore, they leave them hurting on the outside of the group, and the whole while they are gossiping about how unworthy they are; instead, of speaking life into them.
We have to be careful about this type of thing in the church, we can begin to think we are so right and everyone else is so wrong that we begin to separate and isolate ourselves from other members in the body of Christ.
(3). Heresies (KJV) Factions (NIV)- these two words seem to be completely different when compared between the two translations. Typically, when we hear the word heresies, we understand the word to mean false doctrine. Therefore, it may seem as though someone missed it in the translation since heresies and factions seem to be so much different. In reality, the word does have a factious idea to it. Strong's Greek Dictionary describes this word a couple different ways. One way it is described is as a group of men who have separated themselves and follow their own teachings.
Also, it is defined as capturing a city by storm. For the most part, we would believe that this word describes bad principles related to doctrine. Therefore, when these two concepts are combined, the result is a cult. You end up with groups of people with bad doctrine who separate themselves from the rest of the church, ultimately, resulting in taking its followers hostage like a city that is taken by storm.
(4). Envyings (KJV) Envy (NIV)- uneasy distress- torture of the mind- a grieving or emotional distress over the good of others, that any should be in an equal, or in a better condition than themselves.
Someone tells you they got a raise; you’re not happy; instead, you’re unhappy because you didn't get a raise, you didn't get to preach, you didn't get a new car, a new house, a new dress, and it eats at you; there is a lack of peace in your life over the whole situation.
(5). Murders (KJV)- this is the final result of all the above lusts of the flesh boiling over in the heart of humanity. The final result is the heart of Cain: hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies and envy taking over, ultimately resulting in murder.
(6). Drunkenness and Revelry (KJV) Drunkenness and Orgies (NIV)- these lusts of the flesh are very much applicable to our lives in South Louisiana. The definition specifically uses the idea of intoxication and sexual intercourse, specifically orgies, in the midst of Bacchus worship- this my friends is Mardi gras.