“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
God made man with a moral nature that must choose to do good and not do wrong. The animals are simply creatures of instinct and physical desire or flesh. If a man lives according to his fleshly desires, he is little different from the animals. Are you okay with that? Is it acceptable to you for people to behave like animals doing whatever the flesh desires?
Every time I turn my head, I cannot help but see the works of the flesh of Galatians 5:19-21 treated as acceptable in our society. These sins are promoted on TV, the big screen, newspaper, social media, the internet, in all kinds of entertainment. They are no longer hidden but instead are encouraged in our society. Take for instance the internet which is filled with this kind of stuff. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram and others such as these are filled with these sins. I often hear people say that our society has moved on and that I need to be a little bit more tolerant and not so backward. But you know what the truth is? The truth is that our society or culture hasn’t moved that much! Why? Because despite our modern technology and social acceptance and tolerance, our people are more aware and encouraged to partake of these sins of darkness.
You see our society tells us to be more tolerant and acceptable about sexual immorality. Our people are having pre-marital relations (fornication) before they’re married without any shame whatsoever. Sins like homosexuality, lesbianism, and prostitution are considered acceptable in our society. But the Word of God says otherwise. Consider what 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 has to say.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.”
Our society now tells us that impurity is acceptable, for it is okay to have a filthy mind filled with filthy thoughts. But the Bible urges us saying,
“To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.” (Titus 1:15).
Our society tells us that debauchery is acceptable, for they know no shame and are engaged in indecent conduct, dressing to seduce. But the Word of God says,
“Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.” (Romans 13:13).
Our society now tells us that idolatry is acceptable, for they are filling their lives with gambling, sex, drugs, and alcohol, avoiding at all cost the will of God. But the Bible says,
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5).
Society tells us that witchcraft is acceptable. In ancient times, people practiced witchcraft using drugs to stimulate people’s minds to a semi-conscious state. Later it was the witches, sorcerers, wizards, and witchdoctors who deceived and controlled people by fear. But the Bible says,
“If a person turns to mediums and necromancers, whoring after them, I will set my face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.” (Leviticus 20:6).
Society tells us now that hatred is acceptable. But the Bible says,
“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.” (Titus 3:3).
Our society tells us that quarrels, arguing and disputes are acceptable. But the Word of God says,
“But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” (Titus 3:9-11).
Our society tells us that jealousy is acceptable. But the Bible says,
“For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?” (1 Corinthians 3:3).
Society tells us that it is okay and acceptable to have fits of rage, for they go insane when things don’t go their way to the point where they cannot control themselves. But the Bible says,
“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” (Proverbs 29:11).
Society tells us that selfish gratification and ambition are acceptable, for they will go at any length to get what they want no matter the consequences and who is hurt in the way. They want the praise of men and recognition for themselves just like the Jewish brethren that Paul spoke of in Galatians 6:12.
“It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.”
Our society tells us that it is acceptable to have dissensions, for it is okay to have our own opinion as long as it agrees with theirs. Otherwise, it will become a big issue for them! But the Bible says,
“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” (Proverbs 18:2).
Our society tells us that envy is acceptable. But Paul said of the those who were dividing the church by demanding circumcision as a condition of salvation,
“They zealously seek you in no good way; nay, they desire to shut you out, that ye may seek them.” (Galatians 4:17).
Society tells us that envy is acceptable. But the Word of God says,
“A tranquil heart is the life of the flesh; But envy is the rottenness of the bones.” (Proverbs 14:30).
Our society now tells us that drunkenness is acceptable. But the Bible says,
“Be not among winebibbers, Among gluttonous eaters of flesh: 21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty; And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.” (Proverbs 23:20-21).
Again, our society tells us that orgies are acceptable. Websites are filled with ads encouraging many to come and get involved. But again, the Bible says,
“For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.” (1 Peter 4:3).
Society tells us that it is okay to have sexual relations with someone as long as it is not with my spouse! It is okay to have filthy thoughts as longs as it is not with those I love! It is okay to dress to seduce as longs as it is not my partner that they’re trying to seduce! It is okay to take drugs and drink alcohol as long as they don’t do it at my house!
I can go on and on but the point we must stress is that many of them agree with the Bible when it is convenient and suits them. They ignore that their salvation is at stake! Those who are Christians and are guilty of these sins must repent, for they will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Heaven is only for those who are victorious over sin (Revelation 21:6-8). Those who want to taste salvation, loving life and see good days (1 Peter 3:10) have turned away from sin and depend on God’s direction to transform their lives. And though we might be Christians, if the fruit of the Spirit is not seen in us, we are still walking in darkness like those in the world. A genuine Christian shows evidence of a Spirit-filled life, for they have allowed the Word of God to change their heart. They know they belong to Christ so they must crucify the flesh with its passions and desires. They have put to death the works of the flesh, for they want to be right with God and do His will to please Him and go to heaven.
May we provoke one another to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24; Galatians 6:10).