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The works of the flesh are evident, which are..."
Theme Editorial
Stan Cox

With this May 2001 issue on the "Works of the Flesh" we begin again a monthly publication schedule for Watchman Magazine. We wish to thank our readers for their patience as we have retooled, redesigned, and hopefully improved the look and quality of the magazine.

This issue constitutes an extensive word study of the list of "works of the flesh" that is found in Galatians 5. I want to express my appreciation to all of the men who have contributed to the study. You will find the writing to be uniformly excellent. Please make note of this issue, as it will be useful resource material in the future.

To introduce the series, we make note of two important things:

  1. The list is not exhaustive, but it is representative of all sins. You may note in verse 21 that the list of sins is ended with the phrase "and the like." These are actions characteristic of the ungodly. While men may invent new ways to do evil, there is no new evil to invent. Our society today is very much like that of the first century. Every sin that we see practiced today can be categorized in the lists of sins found in the New Testament. For other similar lists, the reader is directed to Romans 1:28-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and Colossians 3:5-9.

    Next month our theme will be the "fruit of the Spirit", which is likewise inventoried in Galatians 5, (vs. 22-23). The "fruit of the Spirit" is the key to avoiding the "works of the flesh." Paul said, "Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (vs. 16).
  2. Two words are not found in some manuscripts. Of the sins listed in the King James Version of the Galatians 5 text, adultery and murder are considered by some scholars to be insertions that do not belong in the list. Since the KJV was translated in the 1600's, other greek witnesses have been uncovered which many scholars believe to be more accurate than those used in translating the KJV. These recently discovered texts do not include either adultery or murder in the list of sins in Galatians 5.

    This purpose of this issue is not to argue the merits of the various greek texts. As both adultery and murder are sins obviously catalogued in many different places (both in the Old and New Testaments), we have included them here in this study. Both studies stand on their own merit, regardless of the particular view you take regarding their inclusion in the Galatian text.

It is my prayer that you will be edified by the material in this month's Watchman. We look forward to supplying you with good study material in the months to come!