The last days of history – Part 22
Acts Of The Sinful Nature Cont.
In a permissive society, it is easy for Christians to overlook or tolerate some immoral behaviours (greed, drunkenness, etc.) while remaining outraged at others (homosexuality, thievery). We must not participate in sin or condone it in any way, nor may we be selective about what we condemn or excuse. Staying away from more “acceptable” forms of sin is difficult, but it is no harder for us than it was for the Corinthians. God expects His followers at any age to have high standards.
“Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience.” (Col 3:5,6)
3:5 We should consider ourselves dead and unresponsive to sexual immorality (fornication), uncleanness, lust (passion), evil desire and covetousness. Just like diseased limbs of a tree, these practices must be cut off before they destroy us. We must make a conscious, daily decision to remove anything that supports or feeds these desires and to rely on the Holy Spirit’s power.
3:6 The “wrath of God” refers to God’s judgment on these kinds of behaviour, culminating in future and final punishment of evil. When tempted to sin, remember that you must one day stand before God.
Read Gal 5:19-21. The Acts of the Sinful Nature
“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 2envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal5: 19-21)
We all have evil desires, and we can’t ignore them. In order for us to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we must deal with them decisively (crucify them—5:24). These desires include obvious sins, such as sexual immorality and sorcery. They also include less obvious sins such as hatred, selfish ambition, and envy. Those who ignore such sins or refuse to deal with them reveal that they have not received the gift of the Spirit that leads to a transformed life.
Being “in the flesh” (Gk sarx) or “to be carnally minded’ are terms for the sinful (human) nature with its corrupt desires. The sinful nature remains within Christians after their conversion and is their deadly enemy (Rom8: 6-8, 13; Gal5: 17, 21). Those who practise the acts of the sinful nature cannot inherit God’s Kingdom (Gal5: 21). Therefore, this sinful nature must be resisted and put to death continually through the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom8: 4-14; see Gal5: 17). The acts of the sinful nature (Gal5: 19-21) include:
(1) “Adultery” (Gk porneia), i.e., sexual activity or intercourse outside the marriage union. The word pornography comes from the root porneia and thus sexual immorality comprehensively may include taking pleasure in pornographic pictures, films or writings (cf. Ex20: 14; Mat5: 31-32; 19:9; 1 Cor5: 1);
(2) “Fornication” (Gk akatharsia), i.e., sexual sins, evil deeds and vices, including thoughts and desires of the heart (Acts15: 20, 29; 21:25; Eph5: 3; Col3: 5);
(3) “Uncleanness,” “lasciviousness,” “lewdness” (Gk aselgeia), i.e., sensuality; following one’s passions and desires to the point of having no shame or public decency (2 Cor 12:21);
(4) “Idolatry” (Gk eidçlolatria), i.e., worship of spirits, persons or graven images; trust in any person, institution or thing as having equal or greater authority than God and His Word (Col3: 5);
(5) “Witchcraft” (Gk phamakeia), i.e., sorcery, spiritism, black magic, worship of demons and use of drugs to produce “spiritual” experiences (Ex7: 11, 22; 8:18; Rev9: 21; 18:23).
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