Galatians 5:21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: Envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: envy, drunkenness, carousing, and all that is like these things. I warn you, as I have warned you before, that those who do things like that will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Westminster Press)
KJV: 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.
NLT: envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: envy, drunkenness, orgies and things like that. I solemnly assure you, as I did before, that those who indulge in such things will never inherit God's kingdom. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Weymouth: hard drinking, riotous feasting, and the like. And as to these I forewarn you, as I have already forewarned you, that those who are guilty of such things will have no share in the Kingdom of God.
Wuest: envyings, drunkenness, carousings, and the things of such a nature which are like these things, respecting which things I am telling you beforehand even as I told you in advance, that those who are in the habit of practicing things of that nature shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: envyings, murders, drunkennesses, revellings, and such like, of which I tell you before, as I also said before, that those doing such things the reign of God shall not inherit.
|ENVYING, DRUNKENNESS, CAROUSING, AND THINGS LIKE THESE, OF WHICH I FOREWARN YOU, JUST AS I HAVE FOREWARNED YOU, THAT THOSE WHO PRACTICE SUCH THINGS WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD: (Drunkenness - Deuteronomy 21:20; Luke 21:34; Romans 13:13; 1Corinthians 5:11; 6:10; Ephesians 5:18; 1Thessalonians 5:7 )(Carousing - 1Peter 4:3 ) (That those - Isaiah 3:11; Romans 2:8,9; 8:13; 1Corinthians 6:9,10; Ephesians 5:5,6; Colossians 3:6; Revelation 21:27; Revelation 22:15 ) (Inherit - Matthew 25:34; 1Corinthians 6:10; 15:50; Ephesians 5:5)
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S Lewis Johnson remarks that the deeds of the flesh "are the evidence that the life is not under the control of the Spirit. Where these things are the individual's pattern of life, there is no evidence that they belong to the holy Triune God. It is almost impossible to classify the works of the flesh. The words used to describe the works far outnumber the words used for the virtues of the fruit of the Spirit. Someone once said that it was a proof of our fallen state that our vocabularies are much richer in words for sin than in words for the graces. There are sex sins , social sins, and spiritual sins. (Galatians 5:13-26 Life by the Spirit)
Sir Walter Scott put it this way
Envying (5355) (phthonos) describes pain felt and malignity conceived at the sight of excellence or happiness. It means not just wanting what another person has, but also resenting that person for having it. It is an attitude of ill-will and jealousy that leads to division and strife and even murder. When we envy, we cannot bear to see the prosperity of others, because we ourselves feel continually wretched.
In Greek mythology, phthonus was the personification of jealousy and envy, especially in matters of love. Phthonus was said to have married many different women and killed most of them because he suspected that they cheated on him. So much for the "holiness" of these man made gods, who were really no gods at all.
Envy is a sin that carries its own reward for it guarantees its own frustration and disappointment. By definition, the envious person cannot be satisfied with what he has and will always crave for more. His evil desires and pleasures are insatiable, and he cannot abide any other person’s having something that he himself does not have or having more of something than he himself has.
As lust is directed toward a specific object, so envy is directed toward a specific person. (cp Mt 27:18!)
Vine says that "envy differs from jealousy in that the former desires merely to deprive another of what he has, whereas the latter desires as well to have the same, or a similar, thing for itself." On this account envy is said to be “as the rottenness of the bones (Pr 14:30)."
Thus Trench calls envy “the meaner sin” of the two.
Barclay adds that
F. B. Meyer held meetings in Northfield, Mass., and large crowds thronged to hear him. Then the great British Bible teacher G. Campbell Morgan came to Northfield and people were soon flocking to hear his brilliant expositions of scripture. Meyer confessed at first he was envious. He said, "The only way I can conquer my feelings is to pray for Morgan daily, which I do. "
Dwight L. Moody once told the fable of an eagle who was envious of another that could fly better than he could. One day the bird saw a sportsman with a bow and arrow and said to him, “I wish you would bring down that eagle up there.” The man said he would if he had some feathers for his arrow. So the jealous eagle pulled one out of his wing. The arrow was shot, but it didn’t quite reach the rival bird because he was flying too high. The first eagle pulled out another feather, then another—until he had lost so many that he himself couldn’t fly. The archer took advantage of the situation, turned around, and killed the helpless bird. Moody made this application: if you are envious of others, the one you will hurt the most by your actions will be yourself.
Matthew Henry comments that malice and envy are "both roots of bitterness, whence many evils spring: evil thoughts and speeches, tongues set on fire of hell, detracting from and impairing the just and due praises of others. Their words are swords, wherewith they slay the good name and honour of their neighbor. This was the sin of Satan, and of Cain who was of that evil one, and slew his brother; for wherefore slew he him, but of this envy and malice, because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous? These were some of the sins in which we lived in our natural state.
Drunkenness (3178) (methe) (ISBE entry) is the Greek word most often was used of intentional and habitual intoxication. It is worth noting that in two of the three NT uses (Gal 5:21; 1Pe 4:3-note) carousing and drunkenness are found side-by-side, which is not surprising to see one sin begat another.
Barclay comments that "Drunkenness in the ancient world this was not a common vice. The Greeks drank more wine than they did milk; even children drank wine. But they drank it in the proportion of three parts of water to two of wine. Greek and Christian alike would have condemned drunkenness as a thing which turned a man into a beast. (Galatians 5 Commentary)
The TDNT has this note on the word group (methe, methuo, methusko = to get drunk) - In 1Thes 5:6-note Paul warns believers, as those who belong to the new aeon, to be vigilant and sober; drunkenness belongs to the night. In the parable in Mt 24:45ff. the bad steward, not living in eschatological tension, gives way to selfishness and hedonism, drinking with the drunkards. In 1Cor 11:21 the Corinthians disrupt the fellowship of the Lord's Supper; some are hungry while the wealthy are drunk. Unlike the feasts of Dionysus, the Lord's Supper is no place for intoxication. Intoxication is the direct opposite of spiritual drink. Thus Peter in Acts 2:15 resists strongly the accusation of drunkenness, and Paul in Eph 5:18-note contrasts orgiastic enthusiasm with the infilling of the Spirit that comes to expression in praise, thanksgiving, and love (vv. 19ff.). (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans)
Spurgeon - It is not merely that you may drink to excess, but you may eat to excess, or clothe your body too sumptuously, or there may be some other spending of money upon your own gratification that is not according to sober living.
Carousing (2970) (komos) originally referred to a band of friends who accompanied a victor in a military engagement or athletic contest on his way home, singing with rejoicing and praises to the victor. But the word "degenerated:" until it came to mean "carousal" or a noisy, nocturnal and riotous procession of half drunken revelers and frolicsome fellows who after supper paraded through the streets at night with torches and music in honor of Bacchus or some other deity, singing and playing before houses of male and female friends (and causing a major public disturbance). Hence komos generally refers to feasts and drinking parties that are protracted till late at night and indulge in revelry.
F F Bruce writes that "W. M. Ramsay (Galatians, 453) reminds us that among the Greeks ‘Komos, the Revel, was made a god, and his rites were carried on quite systematically, and yet with all the ingenuity and inventiveness of the Greek mind, which lent perpetual novelty and variety to the reveling. The Komos was the most striking feature in Greek social life.’ (Bruce, F. F. The Epistle to the Galatians: A Commentary on the Greek Text. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. 1982)
Peter reminds believers that…
1Peter 4:3-note For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.
Barclay writes that komos "describes the kind of revelry which lowers a man’s self and is a nuisance to others… A komos was a band of friends who accompanied a victor of the games after his victory. They danced and laughed and sang his praises. It also described the bands of the devotees of Bacchus, god of wine. It describes what in regency England would have been called a rout. It means unrestrained revelry, enjoyment that has degenerated into license. (Galatians 5 Commentary)
Things like these (5108) (toioutos) means such as these or of such a kind (as the sins he has just mentioned). This phrase implies that the list is not complete. In Romans Paul says fallen men become literally "inventors of evil"! (see note Romans 1:30)
Spurgeon - The list is always too long to be completed. We are obliged to sum up with a kind of et cetera.
Forewarn (4302) (prolego from pró = before + lego = to say) means literally to say or tell beforehand (in advance and so to predict), to foretell or to forewarn (the idea is the to warn in advance). Forewarned is forearmed.
In an ancient Greek secular use of prolego we read "Gaius, an attorney, before his death expresses his thoughts in an epitaph for his tomb."
Paul uses the present tense which describes the practice as habitual, as one's lifestyle or bent of life. One might say the direction of their life is "downward" not "upward!" If one of the sins in this list is your lifestyle you need to examine yourself to determine whether there is evidence that you are genuinely saved. In this case the adage does not hold - practice does not make perfect! On the other hand even true believers will fall into the sins listed in Gal 5:19-21, but the important point is that the sin is not continual in one's life.
Eadie explains that "They prove by their perseverance in such practices that they are not led by the Spirit; that they are not justified through faith; that they are not children, and therefore not heirs of the promise… Heaven, according to the popular adage, is a prepared place for a prepared people. The kingdom of Christ exists on earth, with Him as its Head and Defence, and only those who are qualified, through a change inwrought and sustained by His Spirit, are admitted into it in its ultimate and glorious form in heaven. The inheritor of the kingdom must be brought into congenial harmony with its occupations and enjoyments. They “which do such things” prove their want of meetness “for the inheritance of the saints in light,” and therefore cannot enter it; it has no attraction for them, and they could find no enjoyment in it. (Galatians 5 Commentary)
Spurgeon on practice - All who commit any of the sins in this long black catalogue are sowing to the flesh, and not to the Spirit. When a man sows to the flesh, what will the harvest be? “The one who sows to his own flesh will reap corruption” (Gal 6:8)—putridity, rottenness, death! The sin that the sinner thought was sweet as honey turns bitter as gall to him. There are many men and women in this world who have lived in sin until it has become its own punishment, and if it is not so in this world, it will be so in the world to come.
C Norman Bartlett comments that the word practice…
Wayne Barber explains that "when you become a Christian, something changes. You stop chasing sin. Sin starts chasing you. It doesn’t mean you can’t fall in one of those areas, but it means you cannot pursue it and claim to know Jesus Christ. The seed of God inside of you will not let that take place. You’ve got to remember, when you receive Christ it is not some religious insurance policy, it is a heart change. The Spirit of the living God comes inside of you. That doesn’t mean that a person cannot have tendencies and weaknesses and times of wearing the wrong garment and falling back into sins and being pulled that direction, but he cannot habitually pursue it anymore and call himself a Christian. (Ephesians 5:6-7: Don't Be Deceived)
Spurgeon on will not inherit - A very solemn, searching, sweeping declaration. Let each man judge himself by this test. Read over the list. Put the question to conscience: “Am I guilty of such things?” (Ed: Habitually, for few believers could ever claim they are perfectly free of the entire list - e.g., do you ever envy? Point made!) If so, do not suppose that the holding of orthodox doctrine will save you, or that any kind of religious ceremony will save you. You must be delivered from these lusts of the flesh—these deeds of the flesh—or you cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
Will not inherit the kingdom of God - This is another way of saying they are unredeemed and not saved by grace through faith in Christ. They are not regenerated or born again by the Spirit!
James Montgomery Boice writes that "Paul adds a solemn warning, saying that those who habitually practice such things will never inherit God's kingdom. This does not mean that if a Christian falls into sin through getting drunk, or some such thing, he thereby loses his salvation. The tense of the verb (present) indicates a habitual continuation in fleshly sins rather than an isolated lapse, and the point is that those who continually practice such sins give evidence of having never received God's Spirit. When Paul says that he warned the Galatians of this previously (presumably when he was among them), he reveals that his preaching was never what one might call mere evangelism but that it always contained a strong dose of the standard of morality expected from Christians. (Gaebelein, F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary 6-Volume New Testament. Zondervan Publishing)
Paul gives us a brief description of the kingdom in Romans writing that "The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (see note Romans 14:17)
With this description in mind, we must ask ourselves "What is righteousness?". The short answer is the behavior which is acceptable to God and is in keeping with what God is in His holy character. Rightness means to be as something or someone should be. In short, the righteousness of God is all that God is, all that He commands, all that He demands, all that He approves and all that He provides through faith in Christ, the Righteous One. Those who continually practice these vices mentioned are practicing unrighteousness as their lifestyle, a lifestyle which is diametrically opposed to that which one would expect to see in a citizen of the kingdom of God. Those who live a life of unrighteousness will be excluded from this kingdom. Their unrighteous deeds give evidence that they are not in Christ, but still in Adam. And since they do not…
Inherit (2816) (kleronomeo from from kleros = First a pebble, piece of wood used in casting lots as in Acts 1:26 then the allotted portion or inheritance, and so a lot, heritage, inheritance + nemomai = to possess) means to receive a share of an inheritance, inherit a portion of property or receive a possession as gift from someone who has died. The idea is to receive a share of that which has been "allotted" to one.
Paul gives a similar forewarning in two other epistles…
Wayne Barber comments on those who do not have an inheritance in the kingdom of heaven noting first that the…
S Lewis Johnson comments that the deeds of the flesh "are the evidence that the life is not under the control of the Spirit. Where these things are the individual's pattern of life, there is no evidence that they belong to the holy Triune God. It is almost impossible to classify the works of the flesh. The words used to describe the works far outnumber the words used for the virtues of the fruit of the Spirit. Someone once said that it was a proof of our fallen state that our vocabularies are much richer in words for sin than in words for the graces. There are sex sins , social sins, and spiritual sins." (Galatians 5:13-26 Life by the Spirit)
Beecher wrote that "Heaven will be inherited by every man who has heaven in his soul: it is equally true that there are materials enough in every man’s mind to make a hell."
D Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains the concept of the kingdom of God (the third "component" below corresponds to the meaning in Gal 5:21) noting that…