Please note that living according to the flesh is a lifestyle; it is a sinful nature that only seeks to gratify sinful desires.
When a person is not a born-again Christian, the scripture says that he/she lives according to the flesh. All those who are Christians must live according to the Holy Spirit thereby glorifying God and expressing the nature and character of God through their lives because the Spirit of God resides in them.
Living according to the flesh does not please God because the nature of the flesh is completely opposite to God’s nature.
Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
So let’s define what the nature of the flesh is like:
- Sexual Sins / Sexual Immorality – this includes adultery, fornication, homosexuality, masturbation and any form of sexual abuse (1 Corinthians 6:9)
- Impurity – this includes having an impure, dirty mindset. It includes unclean and lewd thoughts, behavior and desires. For example pornography, adulterous and other sexually impure thoughts.
- Idolatry – this is the worship of false gods. Anything or anyone that you glorify or adore above the one true God becomes your idol. For example those who live according to the flesh may make money their idol. (Exodus 20:1-4)
- Sorcery – this is when one uses magic, witchcraft or any spiritual method that God has disallowed in order to achieve an objective. This includes spiritists, mediums, soothsayers, interpreting omens and the like. (Deuteronomy 18:10-14)
- Hatred – this is the opposite of love. Anyone who has hatred in them does not show the nature of God because God is love. Hatred in a person can lead to many other sins. (Matthew 5:43,44)
- Contentions – this includes strife, arguments, and a desire to dominate and compete with another person for self-glorification. (Romans 12:18,19)
- Jealousy and Envy -Those living in the flesh cannot be content when someone else appears to be doing better than them in life or when other people have something that they don’t have.
- Outbursts of Wrath – This is when on has an uncontrolled temper, fits of rage or anger. The anger of man does not work the righteousness of God. (James 1:20)
- Drunkenness and Revelries – This means being intoxicated. I believe one cannot only be intoxicated by alcohol only – but this can also refer to drugs or any type of addiction.
- Murders – This is the taking of one’s life. Only God the Creator has the right to choose who should live or die. It can also include killing of another kind, for example, a person can kill a person’s business, or destroy one’s confidence or self-esteem. (Exodus 20:13)
- Heresies – An opinion or a doctrine at variance with God’s word. Those who live in the flesh do not agree with God’s word and may at times speak and argue against His word.
In Galatians 5:21, after Paul lists the various works of the flesh, he also says “and the like” in order to advise and indicate that there are more behaviors that reflect as evidence that a person is living according to the flesh.
God does not desire that we live according to the above nature of the flesh. God wants us to live according to His nature, and the only way we can live according to God’s nature is when we receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and then allow His Spirit to lead us.
TODAY. Live according to the Spirit of God.