These passages both feature lists of sin. Paul writes in Galatians 5:19 that, “the works of the flesh (sinful nature) are evident,” meaning we usually know when we mess up, but it still helps to have a list.
In Mark’s list, Jesus tells us where sin comes from. It’s easy to blame others, society, our upbringing or even Satan but the truth is we all do evil because it’s in us. Sin is in our hearts, our very nature, which is why we can’t overcome it on our own.
Accepting that we sin because we are sinful is an essential starting point if we want to get the sin out.
Write in your Field Guide:
Now that we know where sin comes from, let’s look at our hearts in the sin list of Galatians 5:19-21. The goal is to understand our sin, not feel guilty!
Sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality:
The first three sins listed have to do with sex. Almost all of the lists of sin in the bible begin with sexual sin. Sexual sin is pervasive and extremely damaging to our souls.
The bible doesn’t have any subjects that are off limits or taboo. If it’s a part of our human experience then the bible addresses it. That’s one of the reasons the bible is trustworthy as God’s word!
Idolatry and sorcery:
Enmity, Strife, Jealousy, Fits of Anger, Rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy:
So much of our sinfulness is relational. All of these speak to ways that we sin against other people.
Drunkenness and Orgies:
And The Like…
You might be exhausted from reading through these sins and thinking about your life but this list is by no means exhaustive! It seems like there are infinite ways that we’ve figured out how to sin – good thing our forgiveness is infinite too.
James 4:17 tells us that when we know we should do good but we don’t do it, we sin. That pretty much covers the rest.
If this isn’t enough of a look into sin for you, 2 Timothy 3:1-5 gives us a description of the sinfulness of the last days that seems to describe the hearts of most people today who don’t have God in their lives.
Before you move on, take time to write about your sinfulness as prompted in your Field Guide. (Yay! Fun!) Okay, It’s not fun, but it’s so important to understand the depths of our sinfulness so we can understand the heights of God’s grace. There’s a box to fill in. Unfortunately, if we’re honest about our sinfulness we could fill much more than a box. But that box is a good start, so go ahead and work through the descriptions above, taking notes on how you’ve sinned. Pay special attention to any sin that you are still currently struggling with.
You’ll use this list for a conversation with your bible study partner that will be filled with grace and truth!