I will attempt yet again to write this out. I am not what I once was. When I asked the Lord Jesus Christ to save me, save me He did. I recently got a chance to realize what Galatians 5:19-21 meant. This passage of scriptures speak of the works of the flesh.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
What was amazing that happened next I shall not soon forget. I did not understand what a couple of the words meant. So as what one does when they need to find the definition to a word; I looked it up. Dictionary.com is usually one of a few that immediately pop out on my web browser. Sure enough this definition about floored me.
Lasciviousness: adjective. inclined to lustfulness; wanton; lewd: a lascivious, girl-chasing old man. arousing sexual desire: lascivious photographs. indicating sexual interest or expressive of lust or lewdness: a lascivious gesture. The Strong’s G766 ( … meaning continent); licentiousness (sometimes including other vices): – filthy, lasciviousness, wantonness.
If I was to tell you there is a part of my life where I was a part of a modeling adventure that was all about “Big Girl” Modeling would you believe me? To know me now most would say no. When I seen lascivious photographs I almost lost it. The entire definition really just describes this time in my life to a tee. The whole definition. It was not only a shock but to think I actually did this. I am incredibly grateful that the Lord has changed my entire life around. Though there may still be pictures and / or videos that I could not delete or erase, they will serve as just one of many great pieces to the wonderful testimony I have been allowed to have and share of the way the Lord had rescued me, saved me, and changed me.
Adultery: is a consensual sexual relationship or encounter between someone who’s married and a person they’re not married to (who may or may not be married to someone else). In other words, it can be between two people who are both married to other people, or between a married person and a nonmarried person. G 3430 in the Strong’s.
I have never been married. However, in my sinful past that Jesus rescued me from, I had been with more than a few married men. Shameful was never a word I would have used until I got saved. Then the depravity that I had been in was in full view when compared to the Lord’s Holy nature and the Word of God. I soon found out that it wasn’t just the action of sleeping with a married man. With the lascivious photos and the way I was flirting and enticing married men, and they were lusting in their hearts; at that moment they were committing adultery. See in the Word of God, Jesus tells us in
Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
So again, I am thankful to the Lord for saving me and forgiving my sins. I sinned repeatedly against Him. Something I am far from proud of.
Fornication: is a word for sex, especially sex that takes place outside of marriage. G 4202 – por-ni’-ah
From G4203; harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively idolatry: – fornication.
This particular work of the flesh was an obvious one. Pre-martial sex. Something that until recent I never thought much about. I had been forgiven from the multiple partners I have had when I was in sin. What got my attention this time around was realizing how much sexual related influence, events, memories would actually be in my life. My childhood, teenage years, my early adult life, really up until the day I was born again. Since that day I have remained abstinent. Honestly, I have never been happier. I will come back to this momentarily as I still have a few other things to cover. As each of the other sections I must stress, I am so thankful for the Lord who has forgiven me for so much.
Uncleanness: adjective, un·clean·er, un·clean·est.not clean; dirty. morally impure; evil; vile: unclean thoughts. Chiefly Biblical. having a physical or moral blemish so as to make impure according to the laws, especially the dietary or ceremonial laws: an unclean animal; unclean persons. G 167 impurity (the quality), physically or morally: – uncleanness. Strong’s G 167 – impurity (the quality), physically or morally: – uncleanness.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
What do we see in those verses?
- Uncleanness, meaning moral impurity;
- Longing or desiring, especially what is forbidden;
- Disgracing each other by mutual consent, meaning unlawful and impure connections with one another.
- Homosexuality / Lesbianism
I simply can not state enough how much I am thankful for the Lord who saved me, made me a new creation and gave me a new life. I swore in my early adulthood that I would try give my hand at love three times, then I would give up and get a girlfriend. Those words actually were meant in jesting; I never meant those words. I have no idea why I would utter such an odd thing.
Needless to say I became morally depraved. After two adulterous relationships and a failed relationship where he ended up dying, I completely lost it. Rather than turn to the one who could have helped me; I turned to drinking and trying to outrun a reality that I no longer wanted a part of. After a few months in the “Big Girl” modeling, what started out as a mildly provocative, enticing but it quickly went into a pit of filth. Photographers would start coming out of the woodwork and the more wicked and deprave the more they wanted it. Soon it went from pictures to videos, from single shoots, to group shoots. From just a little clothing to none at all. I had become someone I never knew. At the time I could not get enough.
This road lead to multiple partners, a friendship that turned very sexual with a girl, to a road of fetishes, and a lifestyle of great filth and depravity. Very wicked thoughts were constantly on my mind. Getting into the next “big adventure” in this lifestyle took a great prominence over my life. Lying to my friends and family, sneaking out to just hook up, was an almost everyday occurrence. Looking back this doesn’t even come close to the amount of filth and morally impure things I had been involved in and doing. I want to die of such shame and guilt just writing this, but I can’t!
I have a Savior that not only picked me up out of this mess, but He cleaned me up, made me a new creation. To think of where I would be now without Him is unimaginable.
Those first four works of the flesh all had something to do of a sexual nature. I had been in such depravity that I committed all four. As I had read the scriptures of the works of the flesh, I couldn’t imagine how many I would have absolutely committed.
Idolatry: extreme admiration, love, or reverence for something or someone. Anything that comes between God and yourself. graven images worshipped. idols. Strong’s G 1495 – image worship (literally or figuratively): – idolatry.
This was many different things for me. Marijuana, people, my self, work even became something more important and consuming then any type of biblical matters especially God. I knew a little about God and Jesus from my youth. I knew Jesus had been crucified for our sins, that he was dead, then risen again three days later. I had learned about expectations of not sinning and going to church etc. I did not care.
I wanted to do everything my way. I turned away from so many family and friends. The ol’ saying the guilty stay away. Well, I was guilty and I stayed away. Looking back, I can see where the Lord let me chase the desires of my heart, but I also see where he stopped situations where my life would have ended. It wasn’t my time, He wasn’t done with me yet, thankfully.
Witchcraft: Rebellion; The art or practices of a witch; sorcery; magic. Magical influence; witchery. Strong’s G 5331 – pharmakeia – medication (“pharmacy”), that is, (by extension) magic (literal or figurative): – sorcery, witchcraft.
This particular work of the flesh was one I didn’t realize that witchcraft and divinations went together. I had done my fair share of the Ouija boards, horoscopes, visiting mediums / psychics. I had been around and interested in wicca. These things are wrong, sinful and the Word of God is clear about staying clear or this.
Upon searching out the word in the Strong’s we find that it means pharmakeia, which is where we get pharmacy from. Prescription drugs etc. I had been diagnosed with bi-polar, ADD, ADHD, depression; I was on multiple medications that were mind altering. I was on Adderall which I abused. I also had my medical marijuana card which I used greatly to justify my smoking, and spending, habit. All which I was delivered from upon becoming born again. I take nothing and I do not smoke anymore.
Hatred: Strong’s G 2189 – hostility; by implication a reason for opposition: – enmity, hatred.
I was so full of hatred for a variety of people; especially those from my youth and early adulthood. My childhood was one of molestation, lies, mistrust, abuse, and so many things a child should never do, be a part of, witnessed, or endure. This was the cause of many rippling effects on my life and why unfortunately I can say; my life has been more than 95% sexualized in some way: whether it be something I was doing, or something being done to me. So those who were involved became some of the most hated people. It seemed that my parental figures had everything so tragically backwards.
The maternal parents who were suppose to be a nurturing, and loving; were cold, mean, and mental, emotional, and physically abusive. My paternal figures, I thought were suppose to protect, love, and teach me to grow, but instead they were sexually abusive; but they did try and make me feel special and allow me certain privilege’s (no doubt in return for my silence). At the same time I felt I was protecting my siblings from such things by being a more willing participant. Memories I later tried to smoke and drown away without success. This is also no doubt which also contributed to my high sexual activity; associating it with self worth and acceptance.
It was the Lord Jesus Christ who showed me my worth and acceptance. Praise God, for his redeeming grace. For again rescuing me from the bondages of sin which would have lead to death and eternity in hell. I will tell you this. It was by the grace and mercy of the Lord that has mended many hurts, and restored many relationships, and has helped me to forgive.
Joel 2:25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.
A verse and a promise that has completely been in the works since I became saved. The Lord is absolutely amazing and a loving merciful God. The heavenly Father has not only changed my life but has shown me indescribable; love, peace, joy, and completeness with Christ Jesus.
Variance: Strong’s G 2054 – Of uncertain affinity; a quarrel, that is, (by implication) wrangling: – contention, debate, strife, variance. Also: the fact or quality of being different, divergent, or inconsistent. The state or fact of disagreeing or quarreling.
This particular work of the flesh is one that if anyone knew me would say, I did this often. I was always arguing and debating and fighting with people. My logic, my way; all others opinions or suggestions were not welcomed or even heard. I was stubborn. Though even in sin I would give you my shirt off my back, I would still be a know-it-all. It was a complete 180 after being saved. I learned more and more that there is fruit of the spirit in which we ought to exhibit. Though I am still trying to overcome this particular one with the help of the Holy Spirit and Jesus.
Emulations: Strong’s G2205 properly heat, that is, (figuratively) “zeal” (in a favorable sense, ardor; in an unfavorable one, jealousy, as of a husband [figuratively of God], or an enemy, malice): – emulation, envy (-ing), fervent mind, indignation, jealousy, zeal.
Emulation reminds me of a scorn jealous woman that will seek after what she can not have. Have the zeal to quickly intimidate to get where she longs to be. I would be lying if I said I never tried to go after what is not mine. In spite I purposely crossed the friendship line to achieve a striking blow to a foe. Looking back it should have never been so. Sin will lead you down roads that you never thought you would ever travel. What’s messed up I can still hear myself saying, “I am a good person, I have never murdered anyone. I give to those who are in need.” Wow! I was so wrong. Thank you Lord for changing my mind.
Wrath: Strong’s G2372 passion (as if breathing hard): – fierceness, indignation, wrath. extreme anger.
I am certain that I do not need to even spend much time on this work of the flesh, but I will say one quick thing. My temper, my anger, use to be 0 to 65 in 30 seconds. Shamefully I would get so worked up so quick, that I would even stutter and stammer. I was a hitter. I hit walls, threw things, broke things, out of so much anger. Jesus changed me. I have self-control now.
Strife: Strong’s G 2052 properly intrigue, that is, (by implication) faction: – contention (-ious), strife. angry or bitter disagreement over fundamental issues; conflict.
Seditions: G 1370 From a derivative of G1364 and G4714; disunion, that is, (figuratively) dissension: – division, sedition. Conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch
Strife and Seditions are two that are closely related. One seems to be about being angry or bitter disagreeing over fundamental issues; like arguing over anything from (in the world) politics to (religious realm) even things such as being Baptized to be saved or Rapture or sound doctrine. Seditions is conduct or speech that incites people to rebel or rise up against authority. So you can imagine how these two walks of the flesh can easily be combined together. I for one had been at fault for disgracing-ly doing both of these; both before and after I was saved, until I learned that it can not be so. My passion and zeal for the Lord was misplaced at first. As I thought I knew the right doctrines and would be quick to argue with many on doctrine. Of course before I was saved I would be constantly fighting with people over a variety of subjects and causing an uprising in what I thought was injustices that I had no right to be muddling in. I now realize exactly what these two terms mean and are. I see very much why these two are part of the works of the flesh. I am very much a work in progress and am Thankful for the Lord and His mercy and grace.
Heresies: G 139 From G138; properly a choice, that is, (specifically) a party or (abstractly) disunion. (“heresy” is the Greek word itself.): – heresy [which is the Greekord itself], sect. Hersey is a gross and dangerous error, voluntarily held and factiously maintained by some person or persons within the visible church, in opposition to some chief or substantial truth or truths grounded upon and drawn from the holy Scripture by necessary consequence.
Okay let’s be real on this. I could have found many back hills old wives tales to try and make this clearly as a walk in the world, but this is clearly a false doctrinal belief issue. Which is kind of like when you look at an onion. that outer peel part (sin) must come off (be born again) but you still have another layer to get off before you can use it in cooking or what not. This is where the Word of God and Holy Spirit comes in and Jesus’ teachings which take you from glory to glory. See if you do not get fully grounded in the Word and you take a man’s doctrine and run with it without searching it out to see if it lines up with the Word of God. Which I would add this one also with the previous two because I had passion; an unbridled passion that would lead me down a road where I would challenge seasoned brethren’s thinking and thoughts on many things. It’s taken some time and He is still working with me. So glad for Jesus.
Envyings: G 5355 Probably akin to the base of G5351; ill will (as detraction), that is, jealousy (spite): – envy. -vies, n. 1. a feeling of resentful discontent, begrudging admiration, or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, possessions, or attainments; desire for something possessed by another. 2. an object of envious feeling: She was the envy of all her classmates.
From my youth up, I did have a slight resentfulness for my sister. She was the favorite child. I was the problem child. I did envy how she would receive the good things in life and I was left with abuse, and being the caretaker of my siblings. Don’t get me wrong I am thankful I could protect them as much as I could, but I sometimes wish things could be different. Thanks to Jesus saving me, I was able to become closer to my sister than I ever had been before. I am sad to say my other two siblings are not here now for me to tell them of how awesome Jesus is. I know they fell into the hands of a righteous God. I know God is holy and just, so I don’t think or question further on that.
Murders: G 5408 From an obsolete primary φένω phenō (to slay); murder: – murder, + be slain with, slaughter. The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.
Matthew 5:21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
Matthew 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Jesus tells us that even being angry with a brother without cause you will face the same judgement as one who murders someone. I have been so angry for so long with so many in and out of the church. In this comparative way, I am guilty of murder. I mean if you think about it when we were out in sin how many times did we say, ” I have never killed no one, I am a good person.” According to the way Jesus tells us, I have committed several many murders. Thank you Jesus for saving me, and your teachings have taught me how to not behave as if I was in the world and a big sinner, but now I am a born again, child of God.
Drunkenness: G 3178 Apparently a primary word; an intoxicant, that is, (by implication) intoxication: – drunkenness. The state of being intoxicated; intoxication.
I drank, I got drunk, I would pass out, puke, and drink again. Many of times I had made a fool of myself. I have drank and drove: sadly very sadly. Thankfully I was not involved in any accidents as a result. Poor decisions were plentiful. I used drinking as my go to – to forget my reality or just to try and not feel anything at all. I spent too many wasted days and nights being drunk. Just before becoming born again, I was miserable. Something was missing. Drinking was not cutting it any longer. It wasn’t longer and I found what could fill the hole I had, what would bring me joy. That was the Lord Jesus Christ.
Revellings: G2970 From G2749; a carousal (as if a letting loose): – revelling, rioting. verb (used without object), rev·eled, rev·el·ing or (especially British) rev·elled, rev·el·ling. to take great pleasure or delight (usually followed by in): to revel in luxury.
Just as I had mentioned in the drunkenness, I was a drinker, a partier. I certainty let loosed. I enjoyed this type of life style and more. I now enjoy a quiet lifestyle and Jesus. I struggle daily with my walk, but I know that as long as I keep striving, and seeking Him I will continue with this walk. If I draw closer to Him He will draw closer to me.
The point of going through each of these was to show that in every area of the flesh, Jesus can and will help you. He will save you, make you a new creation. The lust of the flesh will certainty take you down a path of destruction but you must watch out because you can be saved and fall back into the lusts of the flesh if you hold not unto the truth. Thank you for traveling this testimony with me, and may God Bless you.