The Works of the Flesh

The Works of the Flesh

Gala 5:19-21: The Works of the Flesh

Believers are to remember their liberty: they are led by the Spirit. As a believer, if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the Law.

The fourth answer concerns the results of the two capacities, the results of the two natures in verses 19–23. He begins by giving the results of the works of the flesh in verses 19–21: Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties, envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of which I forewarn you, even as I did forewarn you, that they who practise such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

All of these actions he lists are actions of the flesh and those who operate in the flesh will serve or reflect these very things. He categorizes these actions in four areas.

First, sensual results: fornication [prostitution], uncleanness [moral impurity], and lasciviousness [promiscuity; such as, pre-marital or extra-marital sexual relationships and things of that nature].

The second category of the results of the works of the flesh is false worship, and he mentions two: idolatry and sorcery [witchcraft].

The third category of the results of the works of the flesh are personal and social relations, and he mentions eight: enmities [personal animosities], strife [rivalry and discord], jealousies [of an unnatural kind], wraths [people being vengeful toward one another], factions, [divisions within the Body], divisions [among individuals and within married couples], parties [heresies], envyings [feelings of ill will]. These are personal and social results of working on the basis of the flesh.

The fourth category of results is intemperance, categorized by drunkenness and by revellings [orgies].

Having listed all these things, he points out that people who practise such things will not enter the Kingdom of God because these are works that are evidence of people who are unsaved. Unsaved people, of course, will not enter into the Kingdom.

Obviously, believers are sometimes guilty of these sins. The point he is making is that a true believer will not always be characterized by all of these things. He is dealing with that which is habitual practice as over against that which a believer simply falls into on an occasional basis. All of these actions are evidences of people in an unsaved state, and unsaved people will not enter the Kingdom. These works in believers do not mean that they will not enter the Kingdom, but it does mean that they are not walking on the basis of the newborn human spirit. Believers may indeed fall into these sins, but, if they are true believers, they will be dealt with by God in such a way that they will either repent or they will be taken by divine discipline to Heaven early. Those who practice these things in a habitual way are showing that they are in an unsaved state. Again, people in an unsaved state simply will never be able to enter into the Kingdom.

Excerpt from Dr Arnold Fruchtenbaum:


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