A tree is known by its fruits, and in this passage (Galatians 5:19-23) Paul lists the works of the flesh contrasted to the fruits of the Spirit. Paul here lists sins of sensuality, idolatry and of personal relations. Of the later, he names eight sins, of which our word “jealousy” or “emulation” (KJV) is a part.
Jealousy is from the Greek word zelos, which literally means “to boil.” It should be noted that each of the works of the flesh has a proper and improper usage in the Christian life. So it is with our word. One can be jealous in a legitimate way or illegitimate way. The word has good uses as in Exodus 20:5 (God is a jealous God), and 2 Corinthians 11:2-3, while negative uses such as in our passage, and in 2 Corinthians 12:20, “For I fear lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and [that] I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest [there] [be] contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults.” Notice that this is a listing of sins similar to that of Galatians 5. Continue reading » Works of the Flesh: Jealousies (Emulations)