There are two lists mentioned in Galatians 5:19-22. One is a list that reveals to us what living a life in the flesh produces. The other is what life produces when you are led by, walking in, and living in the Spirit of God.
Paul says clearly, the works of the flesh are evident. So we don’t need too much investigation to see what’s happening in our lives. Instead, we need to notice what we are producing.
When we indulge in our flesh, we aren’t speaking merely about the physical body; we include our thought life, emotions, will, desires, and feelings. When that indulgence takes place, the ramifications are noticeable.
Here is what our flesh produces.
Adultery means voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not their spouse. (Hebrews 13:4; Proverbs 6:32; 1 Corinthians 6:18; Matthew 19:9; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Romans 7:2-3)
Fornication means illicit sexual conduct. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10,13, 18-19; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Ephesians 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; Matthew 15:19; Matthew 19:9; Jude 1:4; 1 John 2:3-4)
Uncleanness usually infers the absence of spiritual purity and holiness. (2 Corinthians 7:1; Matthew 5:28; Ephesians 5:4; Mark 7:7)
Lewdness means to have indecency, using obscenity, vulgar sexual character, or behavior. (Romans 13:13; Jude 1:4; Mark 7:22; 1 Peter 4:3
Idolatry means abandoning God for another. All sin is a form of idolatry because, no matter what kind of sin a person commits, they always place the other things above God. (1 Corinthians 10:14; 1 John 5:21; Colossians 3:5; Isaiah 45:20; Galatians 4:8; Revelation 9:20)
Sorcery is an attempt to bypass the wisdom and power of God using spells, divination, speaking to spirits, incantations to conjure occult power. (2 Chronicles 33:6; Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Malachi 3:5; Revelation 18:23; Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:15; James 3:15-17; 1 John 4:4)
Hatred is the intense dislike or having ill will toward a person. It includes opposing them, detesting, despising, with an individual. (1 John 4:20; 1 John 2:9; PRoverbs 10:12; Matthew 6:15; Proverbs 26:24-26; 1 John 2:11; Proverbs 10:18; Proverbs 20:22; James 4:1-17; Leviticus 19:17)
Contentions are the hostile separation of one from another, disputes, an altercation arising from combative attitude or disposition. (Proverbs 6:14; Proverbs 10:12; Proverbs 13:10; Proverbs 15:18; Proverbs 18:6; Proverbs 21:9; Proverbs 22:10; Acts 15:39; 2 Corinthians 12:20; Ephesians 4:31; 1 Timothy 3:3; James 3:16
Jealousies is to be resentfully envious of someone who has something that you believe is rightfully yours. (1 Corinthians 3:3; Galatians 5:20,26; Proverbs 27:4; 2 Corinthians 12:20)
Outbursts of wrath speak to the rage of humanity, passionate anger that is boiling up, subsides, and then rekindles again. (Colossians 3:8; Luke 4:28; Acts 19:28; Romans 2:8; Ephesians 4:31)
Selfish ambitions can be understood as “motivation to elevate oneself or to put one’s interests before another’s.” It is a self-above-others approach. Although the word Paul used gives a meaning of being contentious, the King James Version renders the word often as strife. We can also have vain conceit or excessive pride that is misguided. It’s the elevated sense of self-importance. (Philippians 2:3-4; 1 Corinthians 10:24; 1 Corinthians 13:4-5; James 3:16; Proverbs 18:2)
Dissensions mean a disagreement that leads to discord, contention, conflict, friction, and hostility. (Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 1:10-11; Titus 3:9; Proverbs 26:20; Proverbs 6:16-19; 2 Timothy 2:14; 1 Timothy 1:3-4; Proverbs 20:3; Proverbs 3:30)
Heresies are beliefs or practices which explicitly undermine the gospel. The Greek word means a self-chosen opinion understood later as self-chosen doctrines that didn’t originate from God! (2 Peter 2:1-22; Titus 3:10; 1 John 4:1; 2 Corinthians 11:4; 2 John 1:10; Galatians 1:7)
Envy a feeling of discontent and ill will because of another’s advantages, possessions, etc.; resentful dislike of another who has something that one desires. (Proverbs 14:30; Ecclesiastes 4:4; Matthew 27:18; MArk 7:21-22; Romans 1:29; 1 Corinthians 3:3; Philippians 2:3; Colossians 3:5; James 3:14 )
Murders are the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another. Jesus used three words in Matthew 5:22 to describe murder within; each word defined is progressively worse than the previous. The three words are anger, raca, fool. (Deuteronomy 19:11; Matthew 5:21; Matthew 15:19; Revelation 9:21)
Drunkenness to be intoxicated, overwhelmed, and overpowered by liquor to the extreme that reasoning of the individual is impaired. Inebriated to the extent that speech is slurred and staggered in their walking. (Luke 21:34; Romans 13:13; 1 Peter 4:3)
Revelries are the participation in wild parties, noisy drunken celebration, engaging in self-indulgence. (2 Peter 2:13; Romans 13:13; 1 Peter 4:3)
These are the workings of flesh and carnality. As you peruse the news, social media, or observe the world we live in, we see the working of flesh. We, as the children of God, should not be producing these works. Instead, the fruit of the Spirit should be pervasive in our lives.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22 -23