The Spirit vs 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. Galatians 5:17

By Bill Burkett

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: Galatians 5:19-21Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: Galatians 5:19-21

WORKS: Ergon; meaning to work at something in the sense of being occupied at it. Jesus used the verb form of this word (ergazomai) in Matthew 7:21 when He rejected the miracle workers as they that “work iniquity.” The meaning here is not referring to committing a sin from which we repent and withdraw but continuing in and practicing behavior contrary to the Word.

ADULTERY: Moicheia; Sexual relations of a married person or between married persons outside of their respectivemarriage bond. See also Matthew 19:9.

FORNICATION: Porneia; a broad term used to describe harlotry including adultery and incest or any inordinate sexual
activity outside the marriage bond. Figuratively used to describe idolatry or spiritual unfaithfulness to God.

UNCLEANNESS: Akatharsia, moral impurity. Allowing the presence of anything foreign to remain or coexist with purity.

LASCIVIOUSNESS: Aselgeia, from selges meaning continent (control of sensual uges). Akin to licentiousness, simply meaning lustful behavior; uncontrolled sensual indulgence, filthy, wreckless immorality.

WITCHCRAFT: Pharmakeia; the base of our english word pharmacy, user of drugs, the art of incantation, spiritism,
casting of spells, fortune telling, familiar spirits, demon worship, seances and all black magic practices.

HATRED: Echthra; Hostility; referring to those who create hostility and stir up opposition. Hatred creates reasons for opposing through hostility. Enmity.

VARIANCE: Eris; A quarrel, wrangling: contention, debate, strife.

EMULATIONS: Zelos; In an evil sense this refers a thoughtless zeal, hateful jealousy, malice, envy.

WRATH: Thumos; fierceness, indignation. (Literally breathing hard) a seething hatred.

STRIFE: Eritheia; faction:,contention or to be contentious. This word implies the element of intrigue such as secretive slandering, a conspiracy against someone, to cause division. The effort to create a faction.

SEDITIONS: Dichostsis (dee-khos-tas-ee’ -ah); disunion, dissension, division, sedition. The effort to sustain a faction.

HERESIES: Hairesis; meaning literally a choice. a party or disunion, a sect. As relating to the church; any doctrinal departure from the apostles creed.

ENVYINGS: Phthonos; ill-will toward someone who excels contrary to your wishes. Jealousy.

MURDERS: Phonos; to slay, murder, slaughter.

DRUNKENNESS: Methe; an intoxicant, intoxication.

REVELLINGS: Komos a carousal (as if letting loose): riotous. Uninhibited hilarity, indulgence. they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:21

Works of the Flesh

  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: Galatians 5:22

FRUIT; Karpos; Not nine different fruit but nine different qualities (or characteristics) of one fruit, i.e., 1. seed; 2. meat; 3. nectar; 4. skin; 5. stem; 6. color; 7. taste; 8. aroma; 9. nutrients. Fruit is something produced that is plucked and benefits others. A productive outgrowth of an inner life source. What Christ within produces as fruitful from without.

LOVE; Agape; love, affection or benevolence. The joy of seeking the welfare of others regardless of the cost or the consequences. Selfless sacrifice in behalf of others.

JOY: Chara; cheerfulness, divine optimism toward the moral commandments of God, calm delight, gladness, exceeding joyful, spiritual elation. (1 Thessalonians 1:5-6) It always sees what is ultimately best and good in the moral sense.

PEACE: Eirene; From the verb eiro, to fasten or join together denoting a harmony between individuals and God. Harmony is caused by a catalyst (a binding force between two different things that effects what it binds without being changed itself). quietness, rest, reconciliation. (John 14:27; Philippians 4:7)

LONGSUFFERING: Makrothumia; control under pressure, self restraint that refuses to retaliate, reacting properly under pressure, forbearance or fortitude, patience. Best demostrated in Christ’s words from the cross, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

GENTLENESS: Chrestotes; literally meaning “to use,” or to be used in rendering service to others, to count it a joy to serve other. Christ’s yoke (Matthew 11:30) is not harsh or irritating (chreslos, adjective). Moral excellence in character or demeanor, goodness, kindness.

GOODNESS: Agathosune; from agathos meaning good.The idea here is to promote goodness achieving the ultimate good; to communicate good for one’s own good in the form of commendation, correction or even rebuke that good may result. Jesus denounced the Pharisees in Matthew 23 and asked for them to be forgiven at the cross (Luke 23). Both were acts of goodness.

FAITH: Pistis; Literally faithfulness. Constant in profession (Thayer). Rendered as fidelity by Moffet and J.B. Phillips. Persuasion, credence, moral conviction of religious truth or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher. Especially reliance upon Christ for salvation. Also a mental resolve in one’s profession of faith in Christ, in the truth of the gospel. Assurance, fidelity.

MEEKNESS: Praiotes; The quality of being reasonable and constant in nature. It is the opposite of arrogance. The spiritual quality of Spirit rule to reason and restore rather than the human urge to hate and destroy. Gentleness, humility.
TEMPERANCE: Egkrateia; A compound word meaning to hold in or maintaining control. The presence of the Holy Spirit in the life teaching us self mastery over all appetites, the human temper, the passions of the flesh and human traits. Self-control, continence, self discipline…against such there is no law.

Fruit of the Spirit

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. Galations 5:24

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