Friday, March 4, 2011

Galatians 5:16-5:26, The Fruit of the Spirit and the Works of the Flesh (The Study of Galatians)

     16 Now I say, walk in the spirit and may you never1 fulfill the desire of the flesh. 17 For what the flesh desires is against the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is against the flesh. For these things are opposed to one another, so that you may not do the things, whichever you want to do. 18 Now if you are lead by the Spirit, you are not under the law.2
     19 Now the works of the flesh are clear; they3 are sexual immorality4, impurity5, indecency6, 20 idolatry7, witchcraft8, hatred9, strife10, jealousy, rage11, selfish ambition12, division13, heretical division14, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing15 , and the likes of these which I formally speak to you, just as I previously spoke that the ones who are doing these things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
     22 Now the fruit of Spirit16 are love17, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. The law is not against these things.18 24 But the ones who belong to Christ19 [Jesus]20 crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us even walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited21, provoking one another or envying one another.


The most interesting thing Paul does in this passage is that he places the "works of the flesh" in the same boat as "performing the Jewish law".  He does this by saying that the ones who are lead by the Spirit are not under the law (verse 18) and that the "works of the flesh" are against the Spirit.  In other words, the things that are against the Spirit are held collectively, thus showing Paul's biggest argument against performing the Jewish law as the way to complete one's salvation.

1 οὐ μὴ (never) Greek: “not not”. The double negative in Greek carries the emphatic form “never!”.

2 If one is lead by the Spirit, one is not under the law nor lead by the flesh which Paul places “in the flesh”.

3 ἅτινά (they) 

Greek: “which”. As in “which are”.

4 πορνεία (sexual immorality) 

or “fornication” or “prostitution” or “engaging in prostitution”.

5 ἀκαθαρσία (impurity) 

or “uncleanliness”. Something that makes one dirty or filthy. Here, moral impurity.

6 ἀσέλγεια (indecency) 

Behavior completely lacking in moral restraint, usually with the implication of sexual licentiousness.

7 εἰδωλολατρία (idolatry) 

The worship of idols or any other worship of anything other than the true God.

8 φαρμακεία (witchcraft)

or “sorcery”. To engage in black magic with the administration of potions or drugs. φαρμακεία (phar-ma-KEY-a) is the same word that became pharmacy which later meant to administer drugs for the good of people.

9 ἔχθραι (hatred) 

or “to be an enemy to someone or of someone”. To be an enemy of someone and relish in it.

10ἔρις (strife)

To argue points of view with hostility. People will have different points of view, but they are to conduct themselves in love when discussing those different points of view.

11 θυμοί (rage) 

or “fury".

12 ἐριθεῖαι (selfish ambition) 

Wanting to be better than someone else for the sake of “looking” better than they are.

13 διχοστασίαι (division) 

Divisions among different groups. Jewish Christians verses Gentile Christians.

14 αἱρέσεις (heretical division) 

αἵρεσις is the Greek word where we get the word heresy. In this case, divisions that are caused by heresies. Heresies are false-doctrines.

15 κῶμοι (carousing) 

or “drunken orgies” or “drinking parties”.

16 Contrast “the works of the flesh” in 19 with “the fruit of the Spirit” here. Living in “the flesh” only produces things that pertain to one’s self, much as the Jewish law did, but living in “the Spirit” produces things that not only affect one’s self, but the “fruit” affects others as well.

17 ἀγάπη (love) 

For a complete definition of love, see 1 Corinthians 13. Paul completely describes love there.

18 In other words, although the law is not against these things, performing the Jewish law can not produce the fruit of the Spirit. Only the Spirit within a person can produce the things of the Spirit and if one is lead by the Spirit, then that person is not under the law.

19 τοῦ Χριστοῦ (who belong to Christ) 

Greek: “who are of Christ” or “who are Christ’s” as in a slave of Christ whom Christ owns.

20 [Ἰησοῦ] (Jesus) 

Jesus is in brackets as the word may not be original to the letter.

21 κενόδοξοι (conceited)

or “falsely proud”. In other words, don’t think you are better than the ones around you. That will only provoke them or cause them to envy which causes them and you to sin.

The Greek

Γαλάτας 5·16 Λέγω δέ, πνεύματι περιπατεῖτε καὶ ἐπιθυμίαν σαρκὸς οὐ μὴ τελέσητε. 17 ἡ γὰρ σὰρξ ἐπιθυμεῖ κατὰ τοῦ πνεύματος, τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα κατὰ τῆς σαρκός, ταῦτα γὰρ ἀλλήλοις ἀντίκειται, ἵνα μὴ ἃ ἐὰν θέλητε ταῦτα ποιῆτε. 18 εἰ δὲ πνεύματι ἄγεσθε, οὐκ ἐστὲ ὑπὸ νόμον. 19 φανερὰ δέ ἐστιν τὰ ἔργα τῆς σαρκός, ἅτινά ἐστιν πορνεία, ἀκαθαρσία, ἀσέλγεια, 20 εἰδωλολατρία, φαρμακεία, ἔχθραι, ἔρις, ζῆλος, θυμοί, ἐριθεῖαι, διχοστασίαι, αἱρέσεις, 21 φθόνοι, μέθαι, κῶμοι καὶ τὰ ὅμοια τούτοις, ἃ προλέγω ὑμῖν, καθὼς προεῖπον ὅτι οἱ τὰ τοιαῦτα πράσσοντες βασιλείαν θεοῦ οὐ κληρονομήσουσιν. 22 ὁ δὲ καρπὸς τοῦ πνεύματός ἐστιν ἀγάπη χαρὰ εἰρήνη, μακροθυμία χρηστότης ἀγαθωσύνη, πίστις 23 πραΰτης ἐγκράτεια· κατὰ τῶν τοιούτων οὐκ ἔστιν νόμος. 24 οἱ δὲ τοῦ Χριστοῦ [Ἰησοῦ] τὴν σάρκα ἐσταύρωσαν σὺν τοῖς παθήμασιν καὶ ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις. 25 Εἰ ζῶμεν πνεύματι, πνεύματι καὶ στοιχῶμεν. 26 μὴ γινώμεθα κενόδοξοι, ἀλλήλους προκαλούμενοι, ἀλλήλοις φθονοῦντες.

1 comment:

  1. God used the flesh bound by law to slay His Son, unleashing the Holy Spirit, freeing us from the captivity of sin and death. What was meant for evil, God used for the good of mankind.