Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, 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. (Galatians 5:19-21)
The Works Of The Flesh Are Evident: Sensual Vices
Temptation is as old as the world. Satan lost very little time in coming to God’s creation with the intent of destroying all the Lord had established. He never forces anyone to disobey the will of the Lord; merely suggesting with soothing words and tantalizing thoughts of pleasure to entice the heart. Nothing has changed in his assault against the character and purpose of the child of God. Through the Holy Spirit the Christian has been armed with the word of God to know the pernicious tricks of the evil one and avenues of escape to follow in times of trial. Paul challenged the early disciples to walk after the nature of the Spirit and not fulfill the lust of the flesh. When Paul wrote the letter to the churches of Galatia he was living in a time of immorality unmatched by many generations. Remarkably the gospel prospered during this time as empty hearts found the saving grace of truth in Jesus Christ. Identifying the character of sin helped the disciples face the reality of sin and understand how to combat the wiles of the devil. It also made very clear the displeasure of God for things that society accepted as normal and if followed would render eternal condemnation. Sin was marked for what it was and sin has not changed in two thousand years. The words of Paul must challenge the hearts of the people of God to know the consequence of unrepentant actions where the vices of carnal pleasures are followed will be met in judgment.
Sensual vices are first on the list and include adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness and sexual immorality of any form. It is not the most important sin but it is the most prevalent sin. Sexual sins are the more common challenges faced by the Christian. The lure of the fleshly pleasure is an extremely power aphrodisiac. Fornication comes from the word which pornography derives its meaning including prostitution and harlotry. Uncleanness is the basic moral impurity that fills the mind with lustful and sexually pervasive thoughts and fantasies. Lewdness or lasciviousness are not common words in the language of modern man but they are very common in the hearts of many who profess to follow Christ. The idea of wantonness is found in the lewd mental pictures of depravity and shamelessness as the flesh lusts for sexual pleasures to be fulfilled through the mind. These sexual vices were prominent in the day Paul wrote this striking letter to the saints of God imploring them to refrain from the norms of Roman society. Far removed from those ancient days the world has filled itself with the lustful appetite of sensual favors once again as sexual freedom is viewed with an acceptable reliance by the world and many within the kingdom of God. The warning should be very clear: those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. What man tends to forget is that God does not forget. He has not changed His mind about the sensual vices and their consequences. What condemned a soul in the day of Paul will damn a soul in the modern age. Norms of society will change but the word of God is settled in heaven and remains unchanged.
Adultery and fornication are sinful. Arguments can be made that love is involved but love does not remove the will of the Lord. Engaging in sexual intercourse before marriage will not be accepted by the Lord because two people are in love and plan to marry. The Hebrew writer declared the bed must be undefiled in marriage and those who trifle with the law of God will pay the penalty. Ignoring sexual sin will not remove sin. Young people who engage in sexual sins will reap the whirlwind of God’s judgment. When a man and women find themselves in sexual unions outside the bounds of their marriage their souls are tarnished with the blight of rebellion and will suffer the eternal flames of God’s wrath. Pornography is not acceptable to God. It is a vicious and destructive plague that is sweeping through the ranks of God’s people impacting men and women alike. There will be no excuses. No man will be able to stand before the great I AM and argue acceptance to the prostitution of the mind. Heathenism is an immoral force of fleshly appetites being fed the lie of the great deceiver. The children of God should diligently present their hearts as righteous, clean, moral and pure from the defilement’s of sensual vices that are so common. Nothing has changed in God’s view of sexuality. He created the man and woman to enjoy the conjugal blessings of sexuality within the framework of marriage. Anything outside of this union is sin. Those who are Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.