“All About Me—the Big #1” series
Lesson 5: The Sins of the Flesh
We have examined the motives, attitudes, morals, and behaviour of the man living for Self. Worse than this, we now want to look at the sins of the Flesh as they are described for us in Galatians 5:19-21 —
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness [lewdness], idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance [contentions], emulations [jealousies], wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 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."
When a man has wrong motives he has wrong worship. Thus we have the sins of idolatry and witchcraft. Most of us would say we do not have problems with this. But if we look at idolatry as the worship of the "I-doll" and witchcraft as the practice of the devil's religion of love yourself, please yourself, etc., we can see it affects us all.
Further, Samuel said to King Saul in I Samuel 15:23,
"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry."
When we look at a 3 or 4 year old lying on the floor kicking and screaming because he couldn't have a cookie, we see stubbornness (idolatry); and when we see him standing by his mother hitting her, we see rebellion (witchcraft).
Stubbornness is "I want to do what I want to do" and rebellion is "Nobody is going to stop me." We see this self-worship early in a child and should recognize it for what it is.
This stubbornness and rebellion, if left, grows when the child is in the elementary school age. And then the next part of the above chart called Attitudes seems to develop so that these attitude sins, along with wrong worship sins, come to the forefront:
Hatred—"I don't like you and I hope something bad happens to you."
Quarrelling — another word for fighting.
Rivalry — "I want to show you that I am better than you."
Strife — arguing or exertion to prove that "I am right."
Violent Temper — very cross; losing your 'cool'.
Sedition — the excitement of discontent. For example, after I have taken the biggest cookie, I say, "Ha! Ha! I got the biggest cookie."
Heresies — false doctrine based on self-worship.
Envying — wanting to be or have what someone else is or has.
How many homes, even Christian homes, are there with 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 year olds in them where the order of the day is arguing, quarrelling, rivalry, etc.? Many, many, I'm sure you are saying.
What should we do about it? We will get to this, but first we must recognize the problem exists.
We have moved from wrong worship to wrong attitudes, and now we need to take a look at wrong morals. Uncleanness could be defined today as that which is communicated in pornography. Lasciviousness is filthy talk concerning the subject of sex. Fornication is immorality before marriage and adultery is immorality after marriage.
These sins usually start to come to the forefront as teenagers, not that they leave behind the other problems mentioned, namely, wrong worship and wrong attitudes, but the wrong morals are added to them. Can't you see the sins of this world wrapped up in one main problem called self-will or the Flesh? So many live their lives and follow this cycle as they move from childhood through adolescence into adulthood. The sad thing is that you cannot walk in self-will without producing this fruit. The Bible is true when it says,
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap. For he who sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption." (Galatians 6:7-8)
Now look at the fourth department called wrong behaviour. There we have murders, drunkenness and revelling. The other three departments as well as this one produce guilt, and the world's answer to this is drugs and drunkenness. Revelling means, "children of the night" or partying in the night. Man does his most evil deeds under the cover of darkness. He becomes nocturnal, sleeping in the daytime and up all night. Of course, there is also violence and even murder.
What a sad story of the results of Self ruling the life! It is happening every day, and it all started from "I'm going to do what I want to do." How evil the human heart is. Is it any wonder that we need the Saviour and a Lord to rule over us?
We need to recognize the truths of the Five Finger Facts of the Gospel which are:
God loves me and wants to save me from my sin and Self. (John 3:16)
I have gone my own way and have sinned. (Romans 3:23)
Christ died for my sins. (1 Corinthians 15:3)
I receive Jesus Christ as my Saviour. (John 1:12)
I have everlasting life and want to make Jesus Christ Lord. (Acts 16:31)