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 Galatians 5:19-21

I came across this passage a moment ago:

"The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." Gal 5:19-21.

This is one thing that does confuse me slightly. As Christians I am sure that we all struggle with at least one of those sins listed above.

'...that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.'

I know for a fact that many Christians struggle daily with, say, sexual immorality or jealousy. Does this passage still include those people? Or is it talking about the lost in this world that do those things and do not care about their actions?

Hyperthetically, say a Christian is struggling with sexual immorality and wants to overcome it. They have prayed for deliverance but as yet, they are still struggling with it. If they read this passage, would they be included with the people that do not inherit God's Kingdom?

 2006/7/5 9:21

Joined: 2006/2/4
Posts: 352
Fort Frances, Ontario

 Re: Galatians 5:19-21


Read 1 Corinthians 6:9-20,
Romans 13:11-14,
1 Corinthians 10:1-13,
Ephesians 5:1-21,
Colossians 3:1-17,
1 Thessalonians 4:1-8,
Jude 1:1-7,
Revelation 9:21.

After you have read the scriptures above, I am sure you will conclude that anyone bound by any sin will not have an inheritance in the kingdom of God.

"I cannot see how any man deserves to be called "holy", who willfully allows himself in sin, and is not humbled and ashamed by them."


Murray Beninger

 2006/7/5 9:58Profile


Please define 'bound by sin.'

The passages you gave out were helpful, but they do trouble me. For all the sins that are in those passages, I am sure that a Christian struggles with at least one of them.

I am not doubting Scripture, but it troubles me that so few will be heaven, because I am certain that all of us have problems with a certain sin.

Are you saying that people bound by any particular sin will not get into heaven? Because a definition of 'bound by sin' would be much appreciated.

I am troubled.

 2006/7/5 12:03

Joined: 2006/2/4
Posts: 352
Fort Frances, Ontario



Bound by sin means repeatedly returning to the same sin with little or no effort to be done with it.


Murray Beninger

 2006/7/5 13:41Profile

 Re: Galatians 5:19-21

Hi richardf,

You ask for a definition of 'bound by sin'. Without answering your question to murdog, I would say that a person who is 'bound by sin' [i]cannot[/i] stop sinning. They do need to have a first or a deeper encounter with God, specifically addressing the whole matter of their fallen condition.

However, it is assumed that a Christian has understood his fallen state predisposes him to be [i]unable[/i] to please God, and that by acknowledging this understanding of himself to God and expressing his genuine desire to [u]cease[/u] from sin, he is opening himself to receive the power to overcome sin as he personally battles with his own temptations.

Contrary to certain types of preaching, this first acknowledgement, (though critical), does not instantly remove all the desires of the flesh. What it may do, though, is give a new perspective to the believer, which impresses on him his need for God's assistance to experience the promised victories. This new perspective is not supposed to drive the Christian to despair, because the person who came to God in the first place, knew [i]then[/i], that they needed a Saviour. It is very easy to think we now have to prove to God how saved we are - but without His help - and that's where sin can keep tripping us up.

Whatever the temptation, the very last thing to do is try to keep it a secret from God and deal with it all alone. This is NOT how salvation works! Need I say that the enemy would whisper what a failure you are, if you [i]don't[/i] manage to overcome without God's help? But that, of course, is one of his easiest lies, which you dare not receive. The quickest way to overcome, is [i]always[/i] to go straight to the Father and bring Him in on the problem. But, [u]here[/u] is the battle, because the flesh would cry out to be appeased through self-gratification. It is here one must be objective about the issues and get oneself straight into God's presence - even if one is already sinning in whatever way. His light is the only cure for the darkness which shrouds sin, and which falsely implies to the mind of flesh that He cannot see. (Psalm 139:12)

Regarding sexual sin, remember God made the male and female body to explain His nature to us. The body was never intended to be more important than man's relationship to Him, though. That conflict is an aspect of the Fall. The mind plays a part in overcoming them, and it becomes important to have a perspective which reflects God's mind - attitude - on the correct balance of both behaviour and thinking. Sometimes it's difficult to know which comes first - the thought or the act, but God knows exactly how He made us, and our most effective recourse from sin, is to ask for His light - both for our understanding and our laying hold on victory.

He does not always remove the latent desire for sin which we find in our bodies and minds, but, He is well able to help us unhinge the grip it has on our living, and lead us step by step towards a greater and greater peace, whereby we KNOW we are not 'bound by sin'.

I think there is a difference between say, giving up smoking, which is an unnatural act in the first place, and bringing into godly discipline, aspects of having a body, such as what we eat, drink, or our sexual behaviour. There are other ways we use our physical bodies which may not glorify Him - for instance, engaging in witchcraft, or committing violence to others by word or deed - and these, too, have their own 'triggers' which we must understand for ourselves (I think), and then learn how to resist 'pulling' - but always with His help - in His light and presence, openly admitting our weakeness towards certain things and inviting His healing and strengthening against them.

 2006/7/5 14:01

Joined: 2006/2/4
Posts: 352
Fort Frances, Ontario



I agree. All Christians struggle with at least one or more of the sins listed in the scriptures.

I personally struggle with lust, anger, pride and impatience.(To name a few). But I am no longer at peace with my sins. I want to actually be different than the world around me. I personally have started praying not to fall into temptation. I am in the Word more. I am making myself aware of the devil's schemes. Especially the ones that I have become entangled in often. I am learning to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

There are going to be alot less people in heaven than we thought. I say this with a heavy heart.
Read Matthew 7:13-21.

If you haven't already, I encourage you to read the featured article "Holiness" by J.C. Ryle and listen to the message by Paul Washer "Shocking Youth Message".

Without holiness, no man will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14


Murray Beninger

 2006/7/5 14:19Profile


Upon much prayer and discussion, the Holy Spirit did thankfully open my eyes. Hallelujah!

The Spirit showed me how I feel about sin; I hate it! Every time that sin lays hold on me, I feel sick inside. I long to be loosened from the grip of sin altogether, not just getting rid of those sins that keep on coming back time and again.

I guess that upon first reading that piece of Scripture in Galatians, it scared me because the devil whispered in my ear, leading me to doubt my own salvation. But praise God that he opened my eyes! I believe that my salvation is sure, not because of anything I have done, but because of what Jesus Christ did for me. I accept that I am nothing without him, and would be nowhere without him holding my hand.

Praise God that he sent Jesus! Praise Jesus that he went through the pain and suffering to save wretches like you and I! Praise Jesus that he sent the Holy Spirit, and praise the Spirit for his teaching, wisdom, eye-opening and convicting power!


 2006/7/5 15:54

Joined: 2005/7/17
Posts: 1791

 Re: Galatians 5:19-21

richardf wrote:


[b]Gal 5:19-21.[/b][color=990000]The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."[/color]
"The acts of the sinful nature are obvious"
This is a bad translation, the greek word is sarx which means flesh.

Our flesh is not a nature, it is a part of us.
Our nature is the essential quality or characteristic by which we are.

Usaved peoples nature is dead.
Born again peoples nature is liveing.
Read Romans 8:

 2006/7/5 16:03Profile


The quote was a direct one from the NIV.

I believe that when you become a Christian, your flesh becomes unnatural. The flesh cries out for all kinds of wordly pleasures, and when becoming saved, you begin to go through the cleansing process and start to die to the flesh.

Yes brother Logic, I agree, the flesh is a part of us, but as Christians and followers of our Lord Jesus Christ, the flesh is no longer natural. It cries out for things, it desires for things of this world that we now know are not what God would be pleased with.

Quote: 'Unsaved people's nature is dead. Born again peoples nature is living.'

Romans 8:5-8 - 'Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.' The nature is here refered to as the 'sinful nature.' And also in Galatians 5:16-26, the centre of our thread.

So I would have to disagree, and say that the nature is alive in both the saved and the un-saved. A better statement may be;

'Unsaved people's sinful nature is alive. Born again peoples sinful nature is alive. However, the born again believer takes part in a battle against the sinful nature, whereas the unsaved person is unaware of the fact that their nature is sinful. They have no desire to fight the nature.'

As for Romans 8, it only refers to sin as the 'sinful nature.' The Spirit is refered to as 'the Spirit.'

 2006/7/5 16:20

 Re: Galatians 5:19-21


First, sorry this is [i]so[/i] long, but it has a feeling of completeness to me, from the Spirit, so I've not tried to reduce it.

It sounds as if you are grappling with these issues at an appropriately primitive level. This is where God can meet you for sure.

You said:

Every time that sin lays hold on me, I feel sick inside. I long to be loosened from the grip of sin altogether, not just getting rid of those sins that keep on coming back time and again.

Many of the answers you might find helpful, are in key verses in Romans and Ephesians. You can't leave any other relevant scripture out, though.

Essentially, the battle with sin is a battle with, or conflict of, [i]worship systems[/i]. I base this statement on Lev 18:1 - 4 and

Romans 1
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible [attributes] are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify [Him] as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,

23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man -- and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,

25 [b]who exchanged [u]the truth[/u] of God for [u]the lie[/u], and worshiped and served [u]the creature[/u] rather than the Creator[/b], who is blessed forever. Amen.

Romans 5
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

2 [b]through whom also we have access by faith[/b] [u]into this grace in which [b]we stand[/b][/u],

Richard, please make sure you know on what is based the 'therefore' in v 1 above.

Ephesians 6
11 Put on the whole armor of God, [b]that you may be able to stand[/b] against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in the heavenly [places.]

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, [b]that you may be able to withstand[/b] in the evil day, and [b]having done all, to stand[/b].

14 [b]Stand therefore, having[/b] girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

15 [b]and having[/b] shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 [b]above all, taking the shield of faith[/b] with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

17 [b]And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit[/b], which is the word of God;

18 [b]praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints[/b] --

Ephesians 4 (KJV)
13 Till we all come in the unity of [b]the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God[/b], unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

14 That we [henceforth] be [b]no more[/b] children, tossed to and fro, and [b]carried about with every wind of doctrine[/b], by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, [b]whereby they lie - in wait to deceive[/b] -

Romans 6 (Young's Literal)
1 What, then, shall we say? shall we continue in the sin that the [b]grace[/b] may abound?

2 let it not be! we who died to the sin--how shall we still live in it?

3 are ye ignorant that we, as many as were baptized to Christ Jesus, to his death were baptized?

4 we were buried together, then, with him through the baptism to the death, that even as Christ was raised up out of the dead through the glory of the Father, so also we in newness of life might walk.

5 For, [b]if[/b] we have become planted together to the likeness of his death, [so] also we shall be of the rising again;

6 this knowing, that our old man was crucified with [him], that the body of the sin may be made useless, for our no longer serving the sin;

7 for he who hath died hath been set free from the sin.

Richard, Tyndale chose the word 'grafted' for 'planted' in v 5 above. I think this gives a better picture of our contiguity with Christ in His death, which also reminds of our contiguity with Him in the Vine. (John 15:1 - 3. Notice the roles of the members of the Godhead, in those verses.)

Understand the 'if' in Rom 6:5, also, and that [i]if[/i] you are in the Vine, you should be experiencing a degree of fruitfulness of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5), even if you are also battling with temptation.

Take heart from (Young) 1 Peter 4
1 Christ, then, having suffered for us in the flesh, ye also with the same mind arm yourselves, because he who did suffer in the flesh hath done with sin,

2 no more in the desires of men, but in the will of God, to live the rest of the time in the flesh;

1 Peter 2 (Young)
24 who our sins himself did bear in his body, upon the tree, that to the sins having died, to the righteousness we may live; by whose stripes ye were healed,

25 for ye were as sheep going astray, but ye turned back now to the shepherd and overseer of your souls.

One last text for you.
Hebrews 12
1 Therefore, we also having so great a cloud of witnesses set around us, every weight having put off, and the closely besetting sin, through endurance may we run the contest that is set before us,

2 looking to the author and perfecter of faith--Jesus, who, over-against the joy set before him--did endure a cross, shame having despised, on the right hand also of the throne of God did sit down;

3 for consider again him who endured such gainsaying from the sinners to himself, that ye may not be wearied in your souls--being faint.

4 Not yet unto blood did ye resist--with the sin striving;

5 and ye have forgotten the exhortation that doth speak fully with you as with sons, `My son, be not despising chastening of the Lord, nor be faint, being reproved by Him,

6 for whom the Lord doth love He doth chasten, and He scourgeth every son whom He receiveth;'

In the context of Hebrews, the besetting sin is unbelief (ch 3 + 4).

Amen, brother. Cleave unto Him, and it will be harder to sin - if at all.

 2006/7/5 17:17

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