The Heart, The Flesh, The Fruit Part 2a
In part one, “Understanding God’s Heart”, we established that God’s heart is pure without blemish and that it consist of the “Fruit of the Spirit”, in Galatians 5:22,23.
In this month’s study we will look at the sins of the heart and how they correlate to the diseases within the natural heart. The key passage is, “The Works of the Flesh”, Galatians 5:19-21.
“Now the works of the flesh are evident which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, 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 told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God”.
A sinful heart is heartless, meaning that it is cruel and without moral feeling. When we were born in this world, we were born in iniquity; therefore our hearts were shaped in that iniquity also. (See Genesis 6:5) God was grieved in His own heart by senseless immoral actions of man and his wickedness. This is what brought the great flood upon the first creation, and even after that, man’s heart remained the same.
The Natural Heart
The heart is made primarily of muscle tissue that contract rhythmically to propel blood to all parts of the body. This rhythmic contraction begins in the developing embryo about three weeks after conception and continues throughout an individual's life.
The heart's duties are much broader than simply pumping blood continuously throughout life. The heart must also be able to respond to changes in the body's demand for oxygen. Moreover, the heart and the rest of the circulatory system can respond almost instantaneously to constantly shifting situations—when a person stands up or lies down, for example, or when a person is faced with a potentially dangerous situation.
What is the Function of Heart Valves?
· Heart valves are one-way doors that open to let blood through and close to keep blood from flowing backward. They keep blood flowing in a one-way direction through the heart and lungs.
· Valves that do not open and close well make it more difficult for blood to flow properly through the heart making the heart pump harder in order to circulate enough blood to the body. Over time, this can weaken the heart.
In the United States and many other industrialized countries, heart disease is the leading cause of death.
By far the most common type of heart disease in the United States is coronary heart disease, in which the arteries that nourish the heart become narrowed and unable to supply enough blood and oxygen to the heart muscle.
Works of the flesh, are to the spiritual heart as diseases are to the natural heart. Natural diseases cause heart blockage and can lead to death as well as sinful diseases can. That is why it is important that we do not let our spiritual heart become clogged up with the sins of the flesh.
First, the term “Works” indicates various sinful activities that are not necessarily related. A person is found guilty even if he commits just one of the works, which is contrary to the “Fruit”. This comparison shows how Satan so eagerly wants us to fall, because he made it so easy to sin. But, God requires of us a commitment; therefore with each new level of spiritual life, it is a sacrifice worth working for.
To start, the works are broken down into four groups, “Sins of Moral Impurity, Sins of Witchcraft and Idolatry, Infractions of The Law of Love, and Sins of Intemperance”. The Works of the flesh operate against the Fruit of the Spirit, for instance; the Infractions of the Law of Love will operate against the Fruit of love.
We will be dealing with the Sins of Moral Impurity first.
The first sin that we will cover is “Porniea” (Greek translation), more commonly known as “fornication”. As you will see in the next paragraph, adultery falls up under the grouping of fornication, therefore; I will not list it by itself as scripture does.
Fornication is any sort of sexual intercourse between partners who are not married to each other (pre-marital sex, adultery, homosexuality, prostitution, and incest), just to name a few. Its original meaning is, “To act like a harlot” one who indulges in unlawful lust. When one looks at the word “harlot” one compares it to the word “Jezebel”. Jezebel was the chief priestess of the cult of Ashtoreth, which was the supreme female divinity of the Phoenician nation, the goddess of love and fruitfulness. Like that of Baal, the corresponding male divinity, the name is frequently found in the earlier books of the Old Testament in the plural form Ashtaroth; not until the time of King Solomon of Israel (10th century BC) did the singular form Ashtoreth occur. She symbolized the female principle in all its aspects, as Baal symbolized maleness. Astarte has been identified with various Greek goddesses: the goddess of the moon, Selene; the goddess of wild nature, Artemis; and the goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite. The Babylonian and Assyrian counterpart of Astarte was Ishtar. As we know, Ancient Babylonian religion worshipped the flesh and worship of Baal and Ashtoreth promoted temple prostitution, where men and women volunteered to serve as prostitutes in order to raise money for religious activities. They were worshipped for physical beauty. As this ruling spirit takes control today, in society, the world, and the churches, we will find an increase in the widespread of sexual promiscuity, in fornication, adultery and other types of perversions.
There are seven lists of evil in the writings of Paul and fornication is listed in five of them. (See 1 Corinthians 5:11, 6:9; Ephesians 5:5; Hebrews 12:16, 13:4)
In first century life, adultery was looked at lightly, mistresses were kept for pleasure, concubines were for convenience of the body, and wives were to produce children and keep the house in order.
Today, adultery is considered inevitable and is acceptable by many. It is even seen in most churches, sadly to say. It’s in the theaters, on the T.V., and even in the music that we listen to. The lyrics that used to contain subliminal messages in the past are now straight to the point and this is what our youth, in which the enemy has so heavily targeted these days, is listening to. The love ballads of the 60s and 70s era are no longer in existence in the secular world as #1 top sellers. Parents, you should make a point of sitting down with your teens and children to see what they are pumping into their spirit, no matter how distasteful the music may be to your hearing.
Divorce is another rising statistic; it has been deemed “no fault”, meaning forget what the bible says regarding marriage. Many people are getting divorces on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. It does not matter that the bible specifically teaches that the only reason for divorce should be for unfaithfulness. I know that there are circumstances where it is not healthy to stay in a marriage, but to just get a divorce because you can’t get along with each other is contrary to the Word of God. That is why pre-marital counseling is provided by most churches, if through this counseling you find that you have vast differences, then you should not marry, especially if the differences are spiritual ones. Because the Word of God does say that we should not be unequally yoked.
Families have also been wounded of incest, which causes traumatic pain on the victims. It opens the door for sexual promiscuity, anger, unforgiveness, guilt, rejection, resentment, bitterness, and other demonic spirits to come in. In some cases there have been suicide and murder. Not to mention that it can pass on to the next generation of the families.
The next sin is “Akatharsia (uncleanness, impurity)”, originally it refers to dirt or dirtiness in a physical sense, but in the Greek OT, it is used to denote ritual and ceremonial impurity that made it impossible for the worshipper to approach God. (See Lev. 22:3-9)
While “fornication” indicates sin within a specific area of life (that of sexual relation), “uncleanness” indicates a general defilement of personality, tainting every sphere of life.
Demons rank in groupings; there is the strongman, he’s the controlling spirit that enters a person initially, then there are the lesser demons, which are the ones that the strongman will send up first during deliverance. Sexual impurity is the strongman and up under him comes, lust, fantasy lust, masturbation, adultery, fornication, incest, harlotry, rape, exposure, and frigidity.
Aselgia (licentiousness, lasciviousness, sensuality), Sexual excess in a public way. It is unjustifiable and undisciplined action, it has no respect for people or the rights of anyone else, and it is one of shameless behavior. Rape sounds like a prime example of this description. Another definition is filthy words, indecent bodily movements, and unchaste handling of males and/or females.
We can view this type of behavior in society today, just turn of the music T.V. channels, or listen to the secular music. Nothing is kept sacred anymore and nothing is left to the imagination. Award shows have lost their true purpose of seeing what music, performing artist, or movie is well liked. It has turned to anticipation in seeing who can dress in less.
The female entertainers show up wearing anything from material scraps to nude nylon and the males have the expressions of rabid dogs in heat. While this may appear as entertaining to the viewer, they are actually feeding this filth into their spirit and imagination. We must continue to renew our mind and heart with the things of God. I once was also into watching these award shows, along with beauty pageants. They only made me want to look like those women who appeared much smaller on television; I was insecure, because I once had a dream of becoming a model. I took charm and etiquette classes, attended modeling school and even modeled in a couple of shows. But I thank God that my parents did not agree and that they stood on their beliefs in accordance with each other. I’m not saying that modeling and beauty pageants are wrong, but you have to be in it for the right reasons, not just for glamour and fame. A lot of young girls seek approval for their outer appearance; don’t focus on your outer appearance give attention to your heart. If your heart is ugly, it will tarnish the outer appearance.
A person follows the dictates of the heart, the inner man and/or the attractions of the eye, external influences, lusts of the eyes. If one continues to meditate on the Word of God, and keep it before their eyes, then their heart will become perfect. Thus, if they lose focus and become engulfed with the things of the world, then their heart will remain corrupt.
A heart that is sinful is corrupt and leading to destruction, pride is the number one sin that blocks the heart from seeing that which is truth. God will not put up with a proud heart nor will a corrupt heart inherit the kingdom of God.
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Very well done. Lots of good information. You have a life that will touch thousands.