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                       "THE FLESH AND THE SPIRIT"

                          Sins Of Intemperance


1. For several lessons we have focused on the "works of the flesh"
   listed in Ga 5:19-21

2. We have broken them up into several categories, including...
   a. Sins of moral impurity (adultery, fornication, uncleanness,
   b. Idolatry and sorcery
   c. Infractions of the law of love (hatred, contentions, jealousies,
      outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,

3. In this study, we shall end our study of the works of the flesh by
   considering two sins...
   a. They are "drunkenness" and "revelries", which can be classified
      as "Sins Of Intemperance"
   b. (Some of the oldest manuscripts do not include "murder", which
      probably would be best categorized as one of the "Infractions Of
      The Law Of Love")

4. We shall also make an observation on the manner in which Paul
   concludes his list of the "works of the flesh"

[We begin by considering the two...]


   A. METHE (drunkenness)
      1. This word describes the state of intoxication due to alcohol
      2. The Bible is very strong in...
         a. Its condemnation of drunkenness - cf. 1 Co 5:11; 6:9-10
         b. Its warning about the dangers of drinking - cf. Pr 20:1;
      3. What about "drinking" that does not lead to "drunkenness"?
         a. The level of alcohol in modern day alcoholic beverages 
            makes it difficult to distinguish between the two
            1) Levels of alcohol are much higher today due to advanced
               distilling techniques
            2) Some of the strongest drinks in the past were not much
               stronger than our mild beers today, thus making it much
               easier to get drunk today
            3) In ancient Greece there was very little drunkenness, for
               the normal practice was to dilute two parts of wine to
               three parts of water
         b. The Christian is also bound by the principle of influence 
            - cf. Ro 14:13-21
            1) Should Christians engage in an activity (social 
               drinking) that contributes to...
               a) The number one drug problem in our country? (1 in 9 
                  are alcoholics)
               b) The senseless killing of 25,000 innocent victims a 
                  year? (half of all driving related accidents involve
                  driving under the influence of alcohol)
               c) An estimated 25% of divorces? (which God hates - Mal
            2) The responsibility of the Christian regarding influence
               is clear - Ro 14:21; 1 Co 10:31-33
               a) Only the insensitive and selfish Christian would try
                  to justify engaging in social drinking today
               b) The mature Christian considers whether the practice
                  glorifies God, and benefits his fellow man

   B. KOMOS (revelries, revellings, carousing)
      1. This word refers to feasts and drinking parties that were 
         often extended till late at night and indulge in revelry
      2. Such behavior is condemned not only here, but also in Ro 13:
      3. Some modern day forms of this sin would include what goes on
         a. Mardi Gras in New Orleans
         b. Many New Year's parties
         c. Some office Christmas' parties
         d. Some music concerts
      4. It does not require too much wisdom to see why such behavior 
         is condemned
         a. How many friendships, marriages, etc., have been destroyed
            by unrestrained behavior that goes on at such functions?
         b. Even the "innocent" can often get caught up in the 
            excitement and do something that ruins the rest of their 
      5. In 1 Pe 4:3-4, Peter states that...
         a. Such behavior as Christians is unbecoming
         b. The world thinks us strange for not engaging in such things

[The world may think us strange because we refrain from such things as
"drunkenness" and "revelries"; but as Peter goes on to say in 1 Pe 4:5,
all will have to give an account to Him who is ready to judge the
living and the dead.

It is in view of the Judgment that prompts Christians to take the 
"works of the flesh" seriously.  And not just those specifically 
mentioned in Ga 5:19-21, but as Paul goes on to say...]


      1. His list is not to be taken as all inclusive
      2. The sins listed are to give us a basic idea of the kind of 
         things we are to avoid
      3. We must apply discernment on many activities which may not be
         specifically condemned in the Scriptures
         a. Many people want a "Thou shall not..." for anything to be
         b. But the Bible does not list everything that is wrong (if it
            did, you would have to carry it around in a wheel barrow)
         c. Instead, we are given basic principles of conduct, with 
            some specific examples to illustrate such principles
         d. We are expected to exercise discernment concerning good and
            evil using the principles found in the Scriptures - cf. He

      1. Today we are often faced with issues that may not be 
         specifically mentioned in the Bible
         a. E.g., questions related to dancing, drugs, movies, music,
            smoking, television programs, etc.
         b. How do I know when something not specifically addressed is
            right or wrong?
      2. One helpful way is to compare the activity in question to the
         two lists found in Ga 5:19-23...
         a. Is the active "like" the works of the flesh?
         b. Or is it "like" the fruit of the Spirit?
      3. The better we understand these "works of the flesh" (as well 
         as what constitutes the "fruit of the Spirit), the better we 
         are to make decisions conducive to godly living


1. Such has been the purpose of this study:  to learn what sort of 
   things constitute the "works of the flesh" so that we know what to

2. For remember what Paul has written...

      "Those who practice SUCH THINGS will not inherit the kingdom
      of God" (Ga 5:21)

3. Whether it be one of those things specifically listed, or something
   "such like" them, the consequences will be devastating!

4. One last note:  the use of the word "practice" in the above verse 
   implies that Paul is warning against those who persistently engage
   in such sins and refuse to repent...
   a. We have all been guilty of one or more of the things that can 
      keep us out of the kingdom of heaven
   b. But by God's grace anyone can receive forgiveness, as implied in
      this passage:

      "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the
      kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor
      idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
      nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor
      extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were
      some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but
      you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the
      Spirit of our God." (1 Co 6:9-11)

If you are willing to give up the "practice" of such sins, you too can
have your sins washed away! - cf. Ac 2:38; 22:16
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