The Acts of the Sinful Nature
by Joe Ortiz
Many people truly believe that some of their daily activities are not harmful to others and, most certainly, are not sinful acts. Actually, they don’t believe their activities are bad because some do not know what constitutes sin.
The word SIN is the Greek word hamartia which means: to miss the mark, to err, be mistaken, to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honor, to do or go wrong, to wander from the law of God, violate God's law, sin, that which is done wrong, sin, an offence, a violation of the divine law in thought or in act collectively, the complex or aggregate of sins committed either by a single person or by many. The first meaning (to miss the mark) has to do with the fact that God’s unrelenting standards are so high that no human being could ever reach them; this is why Jesus Christ had to pay the price for our sins because there is no way in the world we are capable of reaching that mark.
The acts of a sinful nature are obvious to many people and they are outlined in the book of Galatians, chapter 5 and verses 19 through 26. Many are instantly recognizable; however, many people are not keenly aware of them, or didn’t know that certain activities are just as sinful as stealing, murder, adultery and coveting other persons spouse and or property. Whether you believe in the Bible or not, that it was written by mere mortals with an agenda, the Bible itself makes the claim that it is the INSPIRED word of God and intended to assist mature teachers and leaders with knowledge that will result in a positive manner (2 Timothy 3:16-17). No other book throughout history has been written that actually makes that claim. God chose certain individuals throughout history to write what messages He wanted to convey to His creation.
Let’s examine these seven verses to see and better understand that acting out any of these actions is definitely sinning. I have taken the liberty of checking in the Greek Dictionary to get the precise meaning of the key words, which are in bold and underlined, and their specific and precise meaning, which are inserted in parenthesis.
Galatians 5:19 ~ The acts of the sinful nature are obvious (apparent, manifest, evident, known to be plainly recognized or known): sexual immorality (involved in pornographic material and lust thereafter), impurity (lustful and impure motives) and debauchery (unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, and insolence)
Galatians 5:20 ~ idolatry (the worship of false gods) and witchcraft (the use or the administering of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, LSD, meth, marijuana); hatred (enmity), discord (contention, strife, wrangling), jealousy (an envious and contentious rivalry, jealousy), fits of rage (passion, angry, heat, anger forthwith boiling up and soon subsiding again, the wine of passion, inflaming wine, which either drives the drinker mad or kills him with its strength), selfish ambition (electioneering, a desire to put one's self forward, a partisan and fractious spirit which does not disdain low arts), dissensions (electioneering or intriguing for office, divisiveness), factions (a body of men following their own tenets, sect or party, dissensions arising from diversity of opinions and aims)
Galatians 5:21 ~ and envy (painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage, yet askance, with disapproval or distrust), murder (the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought), drunkenness (intoxication. It is interesting that the Greek word for this is Methe), orgies (a nocturnal and riotous procession of half drunken and frolicsome fellows who after supper parade through the streets with torches and music in honor of Bacchus or some other deity, and sing and play before houses of male and female friends; hence used generally of feasts and drinking parties that are protracted till late at night and indulge in revelry (Sounds like Spring Break to me), and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
The opposite of these activities are found in:
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love (affection, good will, love, benevolence, brotherly love), joy (gladness), peace (security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is), patience (endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs), kindness (moral goodness, integrity), goodness (uprightness of heart and life, goodness, kindness, faithfulness (the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ)
Galatians 5:23 ~ Gentleness (gentleness, mildness, meekness) and self-control (the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites); against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:24 ~ Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified (to drive down a stake, metaphorically to crucify the flesh, destroy its power utterly, the nature of the figure implying that the destruction is attended with intense pain) the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
Galatians 5:25 ~ since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step (to proceed in a row as the march of a soldier, go in order, metaphorically: to go on prosperously, to turn out well, to walk straight, to direct one's life, to live) with the Spirit.
Galatians 5:26 ~ Let us not become conceited (glorying without reason, conceited, vain glorious, eager for empty glory), provoking (to challenge to a combat or contest with one to provoke, to irritate) and envying (painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage, yet askance, with disapproval or distrust) each other.
It is interesting to note that in Galatians 5:20 there are three words (selfish ambition, dissensions and factions) that allude to being involved in partisan politics and/or being actively involved in insurrections against a lawful authority. Some may question the partisan political aspect, however, the constant wrangling, debates, arguments and casting negative aspersions against differing parties, groups and others who do not think like you does border too closely to acts of a sinful nature.
And that’s a shame, because many great friendships can be damaged if we don’t honor what God’s words clearly warns us about and states they are definitely acts of a sinful nature.
In His Peace!
Joe Ortiz, Author
The End Times Passover (Author House)
Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation (Author House)
Saved? What Do You Mean Saved? (GBM Books)