Tuesday, 31 May 2016
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, Galatians 5:19
In Paul’s words, “Now the works of the flesh are evident…” several points arise. The first is that some of these in the list he will provide are sins of the mind. Therefore, “flesh” is speaking of the corrupt human nature rather than the physical body itself. This corrupt nature manifests itself in these acts which are contrary to holiness and godliness. The list here from Paul’s hand is similar to that which Jesus mentioned in Matthew 15 –
“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.” Matthew 15:18-20
Another point is that these are considered “works” to Paul. When one works, they receive wages for their work. Therefore, one can expect a type of payment for these works of the flesh. In the case of these type of works, the payment will be negative and, like the works themselves, destructive. Thirdly, Paul says these works are “evident.” Man has a moral compass instilled in him. These sins are sins which are recognized in societies throughout the world.
Only when members of the society purposely harden themselves against their conscience do they ignore the internal warnings which accompany these works. The first is “adultery.” It is a word which speaks of a physical union between a married individual and someone who is not their spouse. However, it also is equated in the Bible with turning from the true God to false gods. It can further be defined as merging false religion with the true faith.
Fornication is the Greek word porneia. It is the basis of our modern “pornography.” It can include whoredom, idolatry, etc. Properly, it means a “selling off” or “surrendering” of sexual purity. It further includes promiscuity of any and every type.
Uncleanness is the Greek word akatharsia. It is impurity or defilement in both a physical and moral sense. It comes from the idea of an open infection, leprosy, the birthing process, or even touching a corpse. Each of these defiles the physical man. The spiritual connection is anything that defiles or corrupts the spiritual and moral man.
Lewdness is the Greek word aselgeia. It includes things like outrageous conduct, conduct shocking to public decency, wanton violence, and wanton lewdness. It is the casting off of moral restraint and entering into unbridled licentiousness.
Life application: When there is a law, the law stirs up in us the ideas of that which is unlawful. If we are told to not pursue pornography, it piques our curiosity to see what pornography is. In Christ, we are to live by the Spirit and rely on Him as we walk in this fallen world. Only through Him can we prevail over the works of the flesh.
Lord God, who would have thought even two years ago that we would be in the absolutely horrifying state of moral corruption that we are now in. Our leaders are bent on forcing every type of perverse and unholy act upon us. And the people are following this immoral and reprehensible path as sheep to the slaughter. I pray that hearts are turned back to You before Your wrath is unleashed on us in the most terrifying way. Certainly we deserve it. Help us to keep our hearts, eyes, and minds fixed on Jesus who alone can strengthen us in this day of battle. Amen.