There’s a door in Galatians 5 which has two opposite sides, (shown in the posters above). The first shows what Paul called the “acts of the flesh” and the other shows the “fruit of the Spirit.” They seem to be mirror images of each other.
Does being on one side of the door mean to not be on the other?
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote: “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
It is helpful to understand the “acts of the flesh” in contradistinction to the life of the Spirit and what love produces in the human heart.
The point is this: Each one of the acts (or works) of the flesh is a violation or a perversion of the love of God. It’s not really a mirror image, it’s a fairground distortion.
The line dividing good and evil cuts…
Here’s Paul’s list: “The acts of the flesh 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.”
Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, and lewdness in the very simplest analysis, are counterfeits of the way we share the intimacies of love.
Idolatry and sorcery are counterfeits of the way we approach God, seeking His will, understanding His character.
Hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, and murders are all opposites of the loving consideration with which we live together.
Drunkenness and revelries are sad attempts to fill a void only love can fill.