Galatians 5:19
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery;
Sermons
Freedom Sustained by the SpiritR. Finlayson Galatians 5:13-26
Christian Progress Realized Through AntagonismR.M. Edgar Galatians 5:16-26
AdulteryGalatians 5:19-21
All Sin is Seen by GodPicture Paper.Galatians 5:19-21
AngerJ. Beaumont, M. D., Bishop Beveridge.Galatians 5:19-21
DrunkennessBishop Beveridge.Galatians 5:19-21
Drunkenness, RevellingsStarke.Galatians 5:19-21
EmulationBishop Beveridge.Galatians 5:19-21
EnvyingsBishop Beveridge., G. Brooks., Socrates.Galatians 5:19-21
Evil of HatredPlutarch.Galatians 5:19-21
Fleshly SinsEmilius Bayley, B. D.Galatians 5:19-21
FornicationBishop Beveridge.Galatians 5:19-21
Hatred (Of GodBishop Beveridge.Galatians 5:19-21
Hatred (Of ManBishop Beveridge.Galatians 5:19-21
HeresiesH. W. Beecher.Galatians 5:19-21
IdolatryGalatians 5:19-21
LasciviousnessBishop Beveridge.Galatians 5:19-21
Murder is not Mere Blood-SheddingJ. Parker, D. D.Galatians 5:19-21
MurdersC. A. Goodheart.Galatians 5:19-21
Remedy for SelfishnessCanon Scott Holland.Galatians 5:19-21
Result of Walking After the FleshCanon Scott Holland.Galatians 5:19-21
SeditionsBishop Beveridge.Galatians 5:19-21
St. Paul's Conception of The FleshCanon Scott Holland.Galatians 5:19-21
StrifeBishop Beveridge.Galatians 5:19-21
The List of VicesJohn Eadie, D. D.Galatians 5:19-21
The Old LifeCanon Scott Holland.Galatians 5:19-21
The Spirit Above NatureJ. H. Godwin.Galatians 5:19-21
The Works of the FleshBishop Beveridge., Bishop Beveridge.Galatians 5:19-21
The Works of the Flesh Our OwnC. H. Hall, D. D.Galatians 5:19-21
UncleannessBishop Beveridge.Galatians 5:19-21
VarianceBishop Beveridge.Galatians 5:19-21
WitchcraftGalatians 5:19-21

I. EVERY MAN HAS TWO SELVES - A HIGHER SELF AND A LOWER SELF.

1. A bad man has his better self. When temptation is away, in calm thoughtful moments, or when he is stricken by mortal illness or bowed with a great sorrow, or perhaps when the beauty of a sunset or the strains of sweet music call up memories of childhood, the true self will rise in the heart of a wicked man with pain and unutterable regrets.

2. A good man has his lower self. The human saint is far removed from the heavenly angel. The body and its appetites are with him; the soul has its meaner powers, its earthly passions, its self-regarding interests. There are times when the spiritual life is dull and feeble; then some sudden temptation, or even without that the depressing atmosphere of the world, will reveal to a man his worse side.

II. THE TWO SELVES ARE IN CONFLICT. They are not content to lie at peace each in its own domain. Both are ambitious to rule the whole man. While the flesh brooks any restraint, the Spirit strives to bring the body into subjection. Thus it comes to pass that life is a warfare and the Christian a soldier. The battle of life is not mainly a fighting against adverse circumstances and external concrete evils of the world. "A man's foes are they of his own household," nay, of his own heart. The great conflict is internal. It is civil war - rebellion and the effort to quell it; of all wars the most fierce.

III. THE CONFLICT BETWEEN THE TWO SELVES IS SUCH THAT EACH IS HELD IN CHECK BY THE OTHER. "Ye cannot do the things that ye would." There is a dead-lock. Each army holds itself safe in its own entrenchments. Neither can turn the enemy's position. Not that there is perfect balance of power. In most of us one or other force gives a temporary advantage. In many the lower self has the upper hand; in many, let us thank God, the better self maintains the supremacy. But neither has the victory that will enable it to drive the other off the field. Bad men, now and again, see yawning before them deep, black pits of wickedness, from the brink of which they start back in horror, arrested by the invisible hand of conscience. No man is wholly bad, or he would cease to be a man - he would be a devil. On the other hand, it is clear to all of us that no good man is wholly good.

IV. IN THE STRENGTH OF THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST THE BETTER SELF OF THE CHRISTIAN WILL ULTIMATELY OBTAIN COMPLETE VICTORY. The stress and strain of the war is but for a time. In the end all enemies shall be subdued. Meanwhile the secret of success is with those who "walk by the Spirit." So great a hope should lighten "the burden of the mystery."

"The heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world." Now life is broken, confused, inconsistent, discordant. But this is but the time of passing conflict. With victory there will come true harmony of being and growth to the full stature of the soul. - W.F.A.







Now the works of the flesh are manifest.
It is the same with all the passions and appetites. No one of them ever leaves a man, who indulges them, just where he was before. No one of them is a mere dry, isolated fact, that drops into his record and stops there. If a bank-clerk steals his employer's money, we do not put our funds in his hands, as if that were a simple fact, and he the same as before. If a woman loses her purity by a single act, no sensible man seeks her in marriage, on any theory that he can afford to condone the fall. Such is the nature of the soul that it lives in its own issues, or dies in its own empoisoned evil deeds. They are all our works — ours only. God has no part in them; good angels have no part in them; yea, that thing in us, which is truest self, the conscience, resists and struggles against them. As the eye weeps and inflames at the irritation of a grain of sand, so the conscience resists and inflames before the works of the flesh — before "adultery, fornication, uncleanness, and such like." I do not wonder at the despair, the black despair, which, like a dark night in winter of clouds and sleet and chill, settles down on such souls as are victims to bodily lusts, namely, hatred, envyings, murders, drunkenness, and such like; and men hear the howling of fiends, and see lurid lights, and moan of a hell of fears, horrible to think of, as yawning before them. These things are the inheritance of their election.

(C. H. Hall, D. D.)

I. WHAT IS FLESH? It is taken for —

1. The whole man (Genesis 6:3).

2. The mortal body (2 Corinthians 7:1; Galatians 2:20).

3. The ceremonies of the law (Galatians 3:3; Galatians 6:12; Philippians 3:3), because performed by the body.

4. The human nature of Christ (Romans 1:3; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 4:1) as spirit for the Divine (Romans 1:4).

5. All mankind (Genesis 6:12; Isaiah 40:6).

6. The human nature, as corrupt, or a state of sin (Ephesians 2:3; Romans 7:5). This denotes the corruption of soul as well as body (Romans 8:6 Colossians 2:18).

7. The unregenerate part in the regenerate man (Romans 7:18).

II. WHAT ARE WORKS? Whatsoever proceeds from the body of death.

III. HOW ARE THEY MANIFEST?

1. By the light of nature.

2. They cannot be hid (Hebrews 4:13).Conclusion:

1. Take notice of them.

(1)The power of the flesh in your heart.

(2)The works of the flesh in your life,

2. Labour against them. They are

(1)pleasing to Satan,

(2)offensive to God,

(3)tormenting to the conscience,

(4)injurious to religion,

(5)destructive to the soul.

(Bishop Beveridge.)Though some have all flesh and no spirit, none have all spirit and no flesh.

(Bishop Beveridge.)

I. ITS NATURE. It is a vice opposed to chastity, and may be committed —1. In the heart (Matthew 5:28); and therefore

(1)Look not on yourselves as innocent because not actual idolaters.

(2)Repent of unchaste thoughts.

(3)Labour against them.

2. In the act.

II. ITS GREATNESS AS A SIN.

1. It is frequently forbidden.

2. It is destructive to self and others.

3. It is the occasion of many sins.

4. It is a punishment as well as a sin (Proverbs 22:14; Romans 1:24).

5. It consumes a man's estate (Proverbs 5:10; Proverbs 6:26; Job 31:12).

6. The body also (Proverbs 5:11).

7. It defiles the body (1 Corinthians 6:18).

8. It darkens a man's judgment and understanding Hosea 4:11).

9. It destroys the whole soul (Proverbs 6:32).

10. It brings irreparable is grace (Proverbs 6:33).

11. Ordinarily it is punished in this life (Numbers 25:6; 1 Corinthians 10:8).

12. Certainly in the life to come (Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10).

III. ITS PREVENTION.

1. Avoid the occasions.

(1)Idleness (Ezekiel 16:49; 2 Samuel 11:2);

(2)Bad company (Proverbs 7:25);

(3)All other sins (Proverbs 1:25).

2. Make a covenant with thine eyes (Job 31:1).

3. Watch over thy thoughts (Malachi 2:16),

4. Keep in with God (Proverbs 22:14).

5. Delight in the Word of God (Proverbs 2:10-16).

6. Be much in prayer and meditation (Psalm 119:37).

(Bishop Beveridge.)

I. WHAT IT IS. When two single persons come together out of the state of matrimony (Deuteronomy 22:28).

II. ITS SINFULNESS.

1. Contrary to God's command (1 Corinthians 6:18; Ephesians 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:3).

2. Provokes God's anger (Colossians 3:5, 6; Jeremiah 5:7; Hosea 4:14).

3. God will judge it (Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 3:9).

(Bishop Beveridge.)

I. INWARD.

1. The desire of strange flesh, with a resolution to enjoy it if he could (Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:5).

2. Sinful lusts and affections (James 1:15).

3. Unclean thoughts.

II. OUTWARD. Adultery, fornication, incest or nameless infamies.

(Bishop Beveridge.)

Wantonness, whereby the soul is inflamed to the other sins, expressed:

I. In APPAREL.

1. Excess.

2. Lightness (Proverbs 7:10).

3. Singularity (2 Samuel 13:18).

4. Of a contrary sex,

II. GESTURES.

1. Wanton looks, etc. (2 Peter 2:14; Job 31:1).

2. Wanton walking, etc. (Isaiah 3:16).

III. MEAT AND DRINK.

1. The quantity (Ezekiel 16:49).

2. The quality (Luke 16:19).

IV. WORDS.

1. Foolish (Ephesians 5:3, 4).

2. Obscene talking (1 Corinthians 15:33).

(Bishop Beveridge.)

I. ITS NATURE. The worshipping of anything besides God, so as —

1. To pray to them (Isaiah 44:17),

2. To sacrifice to them (2 Kings 17:35).

3. To build temples and altars to them (Hosea 12:11).

4. Asking counsel of them (Hosea 4:12).

5. Thanking them (Judges 16:23, 24; Daniel 5:4).

II. THOSE WHO ARE GUILTY OF IT.

1. Heathens, who worship —

(1)Men; as Jupiter, Saturn, etc.

(2)Devils.

(3)Beasts.

(4)Stars.

(5)Images.

2. Christians.

(1)Popish, who worship the sacramental bread, saints, images, relics.

(2)Protestants: the covetous (Colossians 3:5; Ephesians 5:5); voluptuous (Philippians 3:19); ambitious; sinful.

III. THE GREATNESS OF THE SIN.

1. It is frequently forbidden (Exodus 20:3, 4).

2. Severely punished (Exodus 22:20: Deuteronomy 17:3-5).

3. No sin can bring greater dishonour to God (Jeremiah 2:13).

4. It will certainly bring thee to hell (Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:15).

I. THE BIBLICAL ESTIMATE OF IT.

1. As a stern and diabolical reality (Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:19).

2. As unlawful trafficking with the unseen world (Leviticus 19:31; Isaiah 8:19).

3. As sometimes trickery and imposture (Isaiah 8:19).

4. As filthy defilement (Leviticus 19:31).

5. As deserving death (Leviticus 20:6; Exodus 22:18).

6. As one of the crimes for which the Canaanites were destroyed.

7. As inconsistent with a trust in God (Isaiah 8:19).

8. As frustrated by God (Isaiah 44:25).

9. As a power from which the godly have nothing to fear.

II. Its PREVALENCE.

1. Amongst the heathen. Pythagoras, Plutarch, Pompey, Croesus, Caesar, were all under its spell.

2. The progress of modern civilization has not exterminated it.

3. But whilst it assumes the form of astrology, with its star-gazing; palmistry, with its handwriting; or spiritualism, with its media and trances and dark seances; it is the same abomination reprobated in the Word of God.

I. WHAT IS THIS? (Romans 1:30).

1. God is the chiefest good (Luke 18:19): the essential, original, universal, infinite, satisfying, necessary, and eternal good.

2. Therefore He ought to be loved supremely.

3. The want of this love is accounted as hatred.

II. WHO ARE GUILTY OF IT.

1. Those who wish there were no God (Psalm 14:1).

2. "Who hate the knowledge of Him (Psalm 50:17; Job 21:14; Proverbs 8:36).

3. Who hate His ways and ordinances.

4. Who love other things more than God (2 Timothy 3:4).

5. Who love sin.

6. Who break His commandments (Exodus 20:5-6; John 14:15).

(Bishop Beveridge.)

I. ITS NATURE: the transgression of the commandment to love our neighbours as ourselves.

II. ITS SINFULNESS.

1. It is contrary to the law.

2. It is the cause of many sins, as —

(1)Anger (Ephesians 4:26, 31).

(2)Envy (James 3:14).

(3)Unmercifulness (Romans 1:31; Amos 6:6).

(4)Cruelty (Psalm 5:6).

(5)Pride (Proverbs 13:10).

(6)Desire of revenge (Romans 12:19).

(7)Uncharitable suspicions (1 Corinthians 13:5-7).

(8)Refractoriness (Romans 1:31).

3. It is the breaking of the whole law (Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14).

III. WHO ARE GUILTY OF IT? All who —

1. Wish their neighbours evil, or not good.

2. Who do not what good they can.

3. Who do not reprove of sin and excite to good (Leviticus 19:17; Hebrews 10:24).

4. Who bear any secret grudge and malice.

(Bishop Beveridge.)

I. ITS NATURE. A sin opposed to amity.

1. In opinion (Ephesians 4:13).

2. Affection (Ephesians 4:3).

II. ITS SINFULNESS.

1. It is contrary to God's law.

2. It springs from —

(1)Pride and ambition (Proverbs 13:10).

(2)Want of true love.

3. Its effects are sinful.

(1)Vexation and trouble to self and others.

(2)Hatred.

III. THOSE GUILTY OF IT.

1. Infidels.

2. Such as fall out for trifles.

3. Such as being fallen out refuse to be reconciled.

(Bishop Beveridge.)

I. WHAT IS IT? Twofold.

1. Good (Galatians 4:18).

2. Evil.

(1)To grieve for another's excelling us.

(2)To desire to excel him.

II. IT IS A SIN.

1. It proceeds from an evil root.

(1)Error.

(2)Pride.

2. It brings forth sinful fruit.

(1)Contention.

(2)Envy.

III. WHO ARE GUILTY OF IT.

1. Such as are zealous in a bad cause.

2. In a good cause in a bad manner (Romans 10:2).

3. More for themselves than God.

4. Such as love to see nobody above them.

(Bishop Beveridge.)

It is sinful when with —

1. The providence of God.

2. The laws of God.

3. The doctrines of the gospel.

4. The good we see in others.

5. Those who differ from us in religious sentiments.

6. Reproof.

7. Our reprover, wishing him evil.

8. When we use unlawful means to avenge ourselves.

(J. Beaumont, M. D.)

I. WHAT IS IT? A passion raised up in the mind against some present evil that cannot easily be removed.

II. WHETHER A MAN MAY BE EVER LAWFULLY ANGRY? Yes (Ephesians 4:26).

1. When it proceeds from a lawful cause (Mark 3:5).

2. When it is placed on a lawful object (Exodus 11:8; Exodus 32:19; Leviticus 10:16-17).

3. In a lawful manner (Matthew 8:22).

4. To a lawful end.

III. WHO SIN IN THEIR ANGER? Such as are angry —

1. Not so much at the offence as the offender.

2. At anything rather because it dishonours them than God.

3. Without a cause (Matthew 5:22).

4. Excessively, though in a good cause (Genesis 49:7).

5. And hateful.

6. And curse (Psalm 106:33).

7. And therefore indisposed to duties.

8. From sinful causes.

9. For a wrong end.

10. And continue long in their auger (Ephesians 4:26).

IV. MOTIVES AGAINST IT.

1. God forbids it (Ephesians 4:31; Colossians 3:8).

2. It disturbs soul and body.

3. It is not only a sin but a folly (Ecclesiastes 7:9; Proverbs 14:17, 29).

4. It may prove thy ruin.

5. It may keep thee out of heaven.

(Bishop Beveridge.)

I. LAWFUL.

1. Which should bring the most glory to God's name.

2. Perform the exactest obedience to His precepts (Philippians 3:10-13).

3. Believe the firmest in His Son.

4. Grow the fastest in His grace (2 Peter 3:18).

5. Make our calling and election surest (2 Peter 1:10).

II. SINFUL.

1. When proceeding from anger and malice.

2. About trifles.

3. In opprobrious terms.

4. Ending in hatred and revenge.

(Bishop Beveridge.)

I. TO OPPOSE LAWFUL GOVERNORS (Romans 13:1).

II. TO CONSENT TO AND CONNIVE AT THOSE WHO DO IT.

III. TO RAISE TUMULTS in a kingdom, commonwealth, or parish.

(Bishop Beveridge.)

There is no heresy in the long list of heresies which have invaded the Church, like the heresy of negativeness, of inaction, of death. The dead man is the great heresiarch.

(H. W. Beecher.)

I. IN WHAT CONSISTS THE SINFULNESS OF ENVY.

1. It is contrary to God's command (Romans 13:13; 1 Peter 2:1).

2. Repining at God's providence and goodness.

3. The fruit of pride.

4. The root of confusion and evil (James 3:16).

5. The cause of hatred.

II. HAVE A CARE OF IT.

1. Thou art never the worse for others being better.

2. Envy makes him never the worse, nor thee the better.

3. Thou hast more cause to rejoice than to be troubled at another's goodness.

4. Thy envying God's goodness to others may hinder it to thyself.

(Bishop Beveridge.)

I. ITS NATURE.

1. Its object is something good, natural, or acquired, even religious excellence.

2. Something in the possession of another which is grudged and desired,

3. Something not altogether unattainable.

II. ITS PROPERTIES.

1. It is common.

2. Odious.

3. Destructive.

III. ITS CURE.

1. A scriptural estimate of the objects which excite envy. They are not so valuable as they appear to be.

2. A just opinion of ourselves. We do not deserve as much as we imagine.

3. An entire change of heart.Application:

1. Do not needlessly provoke envy.

2. Do not wickedly indulge it.

3. Do net basely fear it.

4. Do not angrily resent it.

(G. Brooks.)Envy is the daughter of pride, the author of revenge and murder, the beginning of sedition and the perpetual tormentor of virtue.

(Socrates.)

Life is threefold of the body, mind, and spirit; and murder against each may be deliberate or careless, resulting from action or inaction.

1. Deliberate murder is life taken by malice aforethought.

2. Careless murder, resulting from careless or culpable ignorance; e.g., the builder who neglects the drains; the parent who spreads an infectious disorder through sending his children to school while tainted with it.

3. Inactive murder (James 4:17), e.g., a man who allows another to commit murder, or who neglects to save life physical or moral.

(C. A. Goodheart.)

1. Anger without cause is murder.

2. So is oppression of the weak.

3. So is depriving a man of the means of getting his livelihood to gratify revenge.

4. Whosoever hateth his brother in his heart is a murderer.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

I. WHAT IS IT? An immoderate use of any liquor (Ephesians 5:18).

II. ITS SINFULNESS.

1. It transgresses the law (Ephesians 5:18; Romans 13:13).

2. Abuses the creature.

3. Destroys the body (Proverbs 23. 29).

4. Disturbs the soul (Hosea 4:11).

5. Spends time.

6. Unfits for employment (Luke 21:34).

7. Entails woe (Isaiah 5:11).

(Bishop Beveridge.)

If you hate your enemies, you will contract such a vicious habit of mind as by degrees will break out upon those who are your friends, or those who are indifferent to you.

(Plutarch.)

In Mr. Ralph Wells's school the other day, the lesson was about God's all-seeing eye. On the blackboard, Mr. Wells placed the words, "Thou God seest me." He then held up a vase of water, in which a gold-fish was swimming about. "Now, children," said Mr. Wells, "see this fish hide. Do you see him now?" "Yes, sir," the children shouted. "Do you see him now?" "Yes, sir." "Now do you see him?" "Yes, sir: yes, sir," they all said. "Can't he hide from you? No, sir." "Why?" "Because we see right through the glass." "So," said Mr. Wells, "God sees right through our hearts. We cannot hide from Him."

(Picture Paper.)

The list of fleshly sins here given is not an exhaustive one; merely samples. Seventeen distinct sins are specified, which may be roughly grouped in four classes.

1. Sensuality — viz., "adultery, fornication, uncleanness, wantonness."

2. Idolatry, or unlawful dealing in things spiritual; consisting of "idolatry," or the open recognition of false gods, and "sorcery or witchcraft," the secret tampering with the powers of evil.

3. Malice, or violation of the principle of brotherly love; such as "hatreds, strife, rivalry, outbursts of wrath, cabals, dissensions, heretical factions, envyings, murders."

4. Intemperance — viz., "drunkenness and riotous revelry." These vices are probably named by St. Paul as being those to which the Galatians had been specially addicted, and to which they might now be tempted. From early habit a Gentile Church would be exposed to sins of the first two classes, sensuality and idolatry. Sins of the third class, consisting of breaches of brotherly love, would be a probable consequence of their religious dissensions. Vices of the fourth class, when once established, are not easily shaken off, and, as we know from the example of the Corinthian Church, may even find their way into the holiest services of the Christian religion. But we must not confine this catalogue of sins to the Galatians, as though it had no application to ourselves (1 Corinthians 10:11, 12).

(Emilius Bayley, B. D.)

As St. Paul looks back at that bad life out of which he had snatched the souls of his Gentile converts, it is its bitter brutality that he most vividly remembers and recalls. It was a jarring life, in which there was no tenderness, no courtesy, no kindliness, no peace. It was full of collisions, of frictions, of wounds, of sores. It was a loud and violent life, in which men fought, and hit, and swore. As he runs over his list of old habits once familiar to them, his picture is as of some back alley in our crowded towns, in which all is shrill, rough, boisterous, with women screaming, with children shrieking, a nest of noises, a swarm of jangling cries. This is what they have left behind, this which had made life one long quarrel, pitiless and brutal. They had left it, mastered and enthralled by the sweet vision of Him, the Man of peace, and meekness, and lowliness, who had been led, quiet and patient, as a lamb to the slaughter, and, as a sheep before its shearers, had never opened His mouth; who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; and when He was threatened, threatened not; One who never gave back railing for railing, but only blessing. "You all remember it", he keeps crying to them, "those old days, so merciless, so angry, so cruel; how you grated on one another, how you rasped one another, how you bit and devoured one another like snarling dogs." It had been one long quarrel, a life of wrath, "full of bitterness, clamour, evil speaking"; they knew it all but too well what he meant, for "the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these — hatred," etc. "Works of the flesh," he calls them His keen eye sweeps over the whole range of this loud quarrelling; to him, it is no senseless storm that rages on without rhyme or reason. Nay! it has, all of it, a story and a cause; it is the witness, on the surface of life, to inner disorder. These rough oaths, these venomous taunts, this bitter tumult — these are the natural issues of the root from which they spring. They are "works" — normal, and anticipated, and legitimate deeds, which appear in obedience to a law of rational production. They are "fruits" — results that grow out of certain creative activities, as accurately and inevitably as grapes from vines and figs from fig-trees. And what is this root which so legitimately flowers into these uncomfortable blossoms? "The flesh," St. Paul names it; the flesh is as much the seat and home of this passionate violence as it is of those other passions and appetites with which we commonly identify it. This petulance, this savagery, this hail of malice, this outcry of rage, this havoc of revenge, this recklessness of cruelty — all this finds its principle, its origin, its motive-cause in that same activity of the flesh. Set the law of the flesh in action, and you must have quarrels. Out of the flesh they fly, these oaths and screams, just as sparks out of a smitten flint. It would be a miracle if men who lived after the methods of the flesh failed to envy and to hate one another.

(Canon Scott Holland.)

Try to enter into the solid and broad meaning which St. Paul attaches to this, his favourite term for the root-principle of human sin — "the flesh." Obviously, it is much more to him than the mere matter of animal passions. It expresses to him the typical nature, the essential form, of all that can be set in antithesis to spirit. It includes the pride and the falsity of intellect. It embraces the disorder and stubbornness of the will. What, then, is this "flesh?" How can we describe and define it?... "The flesh" represents all that a man is, when he is his own aim, his own end. His power of self-observation, that Divine gift, in possessing which he is the image of his God, has about its use this terrible risk — that he may cease to observe himself as he is in God, as he is in God's ordered world, set to fulfil an office in combination with his fellows, the member of a vast body, pledged to a peculiar or disciplined service; he may forget all this, and only observe himself, himself just as he stands, with his own private appetites, likes, gifts, feelings. And, so observing, he may separate himself off from all else, hold himself up before his own eyes, and fasten upon himself all his interest, all his thought, and his imagination, and his pains; and may spend his every effort in scheming how best to serve, in richness of pleasurable experience, this self, who has become his idol, and before which he bows himself to minister as to a god. This he may do; and that which a man has then in front of him as his aim or end whether it be low and gross, or whether it be delicate and intellectual — that is "the flesh." And the life that he lives in obeying its behest, that is "the life after the flesh"; that is "minding the things of the flesh"; that is "walking after the flesh." And the end of that walk is Death.

(Canon Scott Holland.)

We can easily understand why life in the flesh is a life of jars and quarrels, as much as a life of passion and lust. The man who walks after the flesh is absorbed in self-interests. He has dropped his eyes from their outward gaze at that busy and social world which encompasses him. That world is calling to him with all its voices, but he hears them no longer; it is appealing to him to act, to hope, to aspire, to give, but he pays no heed to its invocations. He has forgotten its wants and its movements; he is dead to its touch and to its cry. His brothers look to him for help, but they have ceased to interest him: his sisters turn to him for tenderness, but he is chill as a blind stone. All this crowded scene of our human story has lost for him its charm, its colour, its warmth, its neighbourly friendliness. He has turned his eyes within; he has bent all his gaze in upon himself; it is his own feelings that alone have an interest to him, his own needs that alone entice. He is busy night and day in considering himself; he is picturing his own success; he is planning his own pleasures; he is brooding over his own possibilities; he is filled with his own imaginations. Round and round himself he is always weaving the ever-thickening web of his own fancies, and his own schemes; and fainter and more distant grows the sound of outward things. He walks abroad, brimming with self-interests; and he is bent on things fulfilling themselves according to his fostered expectations; and so, walking, he must of necessity jar at once against a world that he has not taken the pains to study, or understand, or revere. He clashes against it, as against a wall; he is pushed and squeezed by the crowd of bustling men, who have no time to give to his breedings, and are at variance with his designs, and upset his favourite plans, and traverse his ambitions. He is disappointed, as he must be; for this earth demands of us a social temper,.and he is hopelessly and helplessly individual; it asks us to give, and he is proposing only to take. He is wholly out of tune with a world that exists only through self-sacrifice, and is bonded together by the grace of humility; he must be repudiated by it, he must be disregarded, he is bound to be checked at every turn, and he gets cross, angry, bitter. The world ignores him, laughs at him, brushes him aside, bowls him over. And the man, so treated, grows more and more wounded, hurt, indignant. Perhaps he rails and storms at the world that he finds so hard, at the men whom he thinks so unsympathetic and so cruel. Perhaps he retreats into sulky silence, and shuts himself up in clouds of vaporous passion, and fumes out his angry soul in secret breedings, and hugs himself the closer, and vents his grudge against life in spite, and scorn, and uncomfortable depression.

(Canon Scott Holland.)

Self-pre-occupation, self-breedings, self.interest, self-love — these are the reasons why you go jarring against your fellows. Turn your eyes off yourself; forget your own pet schemes, the hopes you are always nursing to yourself, the self-importance that you hug. Forget them, throw them aside, push through them. Look up, and out! There is a larger world outside you, brimming over with far other hopes than yours, illumined by a vaster sun, travelling to some far historic goal. Look up, and out upon it! It has its interests, its purposes, its ends, which it is your glad privilege to learn, and, by learning, to obey and follow. Give it your heart, and it will show you its own. Take its road, and it will, then, take yours. Look up, and out! There are men, your brothers, and women, your sisters; they have needs that you can aid. Listen for their confidences; keep your heart wide open to their calls, and your hands alert for their service. Learn to give, and not to take; to drown your own hungry wants in the happiness of lending yourself to fulfil the interests of those nearest or dearest. Break through your own moody musings, and run out abroad, from these closed and darkened chambers of self-consideration — out into the wide and teeming earth, where not your scheme, but God's great hope, is working out its world-wide triumph. Look up and out, from this narrow, cabined self of yours, and you will jar no longer, you will fret no more, you will provoke no more, you will quarrel no more; but you will, to your own glad surprise, find the secret of "the meekness and the gentleness of Jesus"; and "the peace of God which passeth all understanding" will drop down like dew upon your happy-hearted days; and the fruits of the Spirit will all bud and blossom from out of your life — "love, joy, peace, gentleness, meekness, goodness, long-suffering, faith, temperance."

(Canon Scott Holland.)

I.Natural desires are never to rule, always to be ruled.

II.By the help of the Spirit of God they are kept in subjections.

III.Unrestrained, they produce all kinds of wickedness.

IV.Present goodness and happiness are the fruit of the Spirit of God.

V.Self-denial and suffering are requisite for the highest good.

VI.By faith in Christ men follow Him and become like Him.

(J. H. Godwin.)

The apostle is not speaking merely of the habit and custom of drinking; therefore it is a false excuse if any one thinks that a debauch is no sin if one does not make a business of it. The devil invented this excuse. When any one so overfills himself that he is unfit for prayer and the business of his calling, that is drunkenness. What, then, are we to think of the respectable world with its sinful and damnable Christian drinking bouts? and what, too, of this continual drinking of healths, but as of a temptation to swill down liquor?

(Starke.)

These works of the flesh have often been divided into four classes. Any classification or system, however, is scarcely to be expected; but each term of the catalogue may have been suggested by some law of association, especially as some of the terms are similarly arranged in other places. In the first class are sensual sins — fornication, impurity, wantonness; in the second class are sins of superstition — idolatry and sorcery; in the third class, sins of malice and social disorder — hatred, strife, jealousy, wraths, caballing, divisions, heresies, envying, murders; and in the fourth class-are sins of personal excess — drunkenness and revellings. In the first class, the first term, which has a distinct meaning, may have suggested the other and allied vices — miscellaneous and grosser aspects of forbidden indulgence. The two terms of the second class are somewhat similar — the first more precise in meaning, and the second more comprehensive — all occult dealings with the powers of evil. In the third class there is a climatic enumeration — hatreds ripening into strife; jealousy venting itself in passionate outbursts; cabals yet darker and more selfish; divisions, the result of deepening hostility; envyings quite fiendish in nature; and murders — the extreme result, and no uncommon thing in such countries, to obtain an end and consummate an intrigue by the removal of a rival. In the fourth class are first the simple term drunkenness, and the more inclusive term after it, referring either to scenes of dissipation so gay and wanton, or to orgies so gross and sensual, that they may not be described.

(John Eadie, D. D.)

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