The Apostle Paul goes into detail of the war between the flesh and the Spirit. He also writes concerning the results of those who “walk according to the flesh” and those who “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16-25). The English language does a decent job at portraying the words the Apostle chooses to describes these two different lifestyles. But, a detailed look into the Greek with give a further insight to exactly what the words mean. The works of the flesh, and fruit of the Spirit will have some more insight by this study.
Works Of The Flesh
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these:…
…Adultery, which is specifically having sex with someone who is married. Or having sex with another person who is not your martial spouse (Modern pornography and other sexual pleasures apply to this too). It should also be noted that, “Anyone who looks at a women with lust has committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:27).
…Fornication, which is simply premarital sex or having sexual experiences outside of martial sex (pornography, masturbation included in this too).
…Uncleanliness (akatharsia) the root word indicates moral uncleanliness. Living in lust, and being unclean in thought and deed.
…Lasciviousness (aselgeia) this word is used to describe “unbridled lusts.” It’s used as in “excessive” desires for morally filthy things.
…Idolatry is when something other than the Holy One acts as a “god” over you. Since an idol is a “carved image” that’s made as a god. In essence, it’s “making things” as god. Rather than God being the Source and Head of all things, the things “carve” you away from God.
…Witchcraft (pharmakeia) or “sorcery.” The word in Greek usually gives the idea to the use of potions (or drugs) for influence and power. In essence, this work is having power and influence over others, by whatever means it is achieved.
Works Of The Flesh Continued…
…Hatred (echthra) or “enmity.” The word is used to describe an “enemy.”
…Variance (eris) or “strife.” This word is used in other places for “quarrel, debate, and contention.”
…Emulations (zēlos) comes from the root word “fervent.” However in this instance it’s used to describe jealousy, and envy. Or a passionate contention.
…Wrath (thymos) or “fierce anger.” Note, this can be manifested in short outbursts of “fierce anger.”
…Strife (eritheia) figurative for “to put oneself forward.” This word is specifically used for ones who create fractions.
…Seditions (dichostasia) or “divisions.” Found in other places of Scripture alluding to “disunion, dissension.”
…Heresies (hairesis) or ” a sect.” The concept of heresies were sections or “a party.” A heretical person is one who “sections off” from the truth.
…Envyings (phthonos) comes from a root word that means “corrupt.” It also can be used to describe “ill-will.” Primarily used for envious people.
…Murders, but it also should be noted, “Anyone who is angry with his brother without cause shall be in danger of the judgment” (Matt. 5:22).
…Drunkenness, not simply being “tipsy” but heavy intoxication.
…Revelings (kōmos) is used to denote “rioting.” But, more specifically “carousing around while intoxicated.”
…And such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have told you in the times pasts, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
Fruit Of The Spirit
“But the fruit of the Spirit is:…
…Love, the greatest example of this is Jesus Christ and the work He achieved for His elect. Selfless love, and Paul describes much of this love in 1 Corinthians 13. Much could be said about this manifest fruit of the Spirit!
…Joy (chara) the Greek word is similar to “grace” and “thankfulness.” It also can be used to describe “gladness.”
…Peace (eirēnē) in this instance is not blissful emotions. The Greek language uses this word to describe “being set at one.” In other words, “wholesome.” Also, it’s used throughout the Bible to describe nations that were at war, but became “tranquil and safe.”
…Longsuffering (makrothymia) interestingly it means “long-nose.” It’s a metaphor to describe someone who is patient, and has a calm-breath. Also, it means “forbearance” or “not avenging after received wrongs.”
…Gentleness (chrēstotēs) the Greek word really means “moral goodness or kindness.” Also, it’s used to describe, “integrity, benignity (tolerance toward others).”
…Goodness (agathōsynē) this word denotes the idea of “uprightness of heart and life.” This word can be used for someone with high virtues.
…Faith, which can also mean “trust or believe.” For example, “Love believeth all things” [“believeth is the same word in the Greek “pistis”] (1 Cor. 13:7) which tells us that it can mean trusting others.
Now that we specifically have seen the works of the flesh and fruit of the Spirit, let’s conclude with this exhortation from the Apostle:
“This I say, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law… And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Do you have a greater understanding of what the works of the flesh and fruit of the Spirit are?