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Scripture Reading:  1 Corinthians 1:4-13


Part 5

Works of the Flesh:  Rivalry (II)

Galatians 5:20


1.  Last lesson:  Began to study the traits of rivalry that destroy souls (competition, challenge, opposition & contention):  Hatred, contentions, jealousies.

2.  These are attitudes that reflect the control of the flesh over one’s heart.

3.  We must put the flesh to death & walk in the Spirit – Gal. 5:16, 24-26.

4.  How this spirit of rivalry shows / displays itself in actions toward others, & its inevitable results.



  A.  Outbursts of Wrath - (Wraths, ASV; Outbursts of anger, NASB) – [thumos].

    1.  Plato defined thumos as “a violent impulse without reason.”  (Barclay, Flesh & Spirit, p. 51)

    2.  Aristotle didn’t separate thumos from reason, but he said, “Anger does hear reason, but it hears it wrongly, like a servant who dashes out of the room, before his master’s order is completed.” (Ibid. 51-52) – Prov. 14:29

    3.  Bible uses 2 words for anger & wrath (Eph. 4:31):

      a.  Orge – indignation that rises gradually & becomes a settled trait.

      b.  Thumos – “rage” (A&G); “passion, angry heat…anger forthwith boiling up and soon subsiding again” (Thayer, 293).

    4.  Thumos is explosive, violent temper; displays of temper.

      a.  Uncontrolled temper:  Lack of self-controlProv. 25:28.

      b.  Companion of selfish ambitions & conceit2 Cor. 12:20.

      c.  Prevents / eliminates righteousness Jas. 1:19-20.

      d.  Hindrance in rearing children Eph. 6:4 (Col. 3:20).

    5.  We must not claim, “I can’t help my outbursts of temper…that’s just the way I am.”  (We must see through our rationalizations.) 

      a.  Uncontrolled anger is not just a little quirk or peculiarity; it is sin.

      b.  We must put away wrathPsa. 37:8; Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:8.

  B.  Selfish Ambitions - (factions, ASV; strife, KJV) – [eritheia].

    1.  Disputes (NASV); Selfish ambitions (NEB); Disputes that arise from selfish ambitions.

    2.  “A desire to put oneself forward, a partisan and factious spirit” (Thayer, 249).

      a.  “Constant effort to get the best for yourself” (Living Letters, The Paraphrased Epistles, Taylor; cited by Jenkins, Flesh & Spirit, A Word Study, 35)

      b.  Self-will…an underlying idea in the word; hence it denotes partymaking…derived from erithos, a hireling; hence the meaning of seeking to win followers…factions.”  (Vine, 220)

    3.  Gen. 13:7-8 – Avoid among brethren by realizing our common heritage, fellowship & goals!

    4.  Phil. 1:15-17 – Some allowed envy of Paul to “proclaim Christ of selfish ambition,” NKJV; (faction, ASV).

    5.  When personal goals become more important than the church’s welfare, we are being motivated by factionalism Phil. 2:3.

  C.  Dissensions (divisions, ASV; seditions, KJV) – [dichostasia].

    1.  “The word denotes a state of things in which men are divided, in which feuds flourish, & in which unity is destroyed.”  (Barclay, F&S, 56)

    2.  Matt. 12:25 – Destroys fellowship, togetherness & peace.  “Dichostasia…literally means ‘a standing apart’’ that is, a state in which all community, all fellowship, & all togetherness are gone.” (Barclay, 57)

    3.  Jno. 17:20-21 – Believers should & can be one (not divided).

    4.  Several types of division:

      a.  Class division (Matt. 12:25).

      b.  Party division.  Cliques, etc. within a church – 3 Jno. 9-10.

      c.  Racial division (Col. 3:11).

      d.  Denominational division (Eph. 4:4-6).

      e.  Personal division (where 2 people won’t meet or speak; brethren who won’t speak to each other!).

    5.  Rom. 16:17 – Unrepentant are to be marked & turned away from!

  D.  Heresies (parties, ASV; party intrigues, NEB) – [hairesis].

    1.  “Sect, party, school…heretical sect…dissension, a faction 1 Cor. 11:19; Gal. 5:20…opinion, dogma…” (A&G, 23)

    2.  “Dissensions arising from diversity of opinions & aims.”  (Thayer, 16)

    3.  “Denotes a choosing, choice...hence, an opinion, especially a self-willed opinion, which is substituted for submission to the powers of truth, & leads to divisions & the formation of sects.”

    4.  The choosing of opinions over truth – Matt. 15:8-9.  (Manifests truth & error, 1 Cor. 11:19)

    5.  Titus 3:10-11 – Avoid after 1st & 2nd warning.



HATRED (echthra)

Ill-will, hostility


Strife, contentious temper


One-upmanship; rivalry


Angry displays of temper


Factious spirit of partisanship

DISSENSIONS (dichostasia)

Division& standing apart

HERESIES (hairesis)

Sects; parties are formed











1.  Jas. 3:16 – Where there is self-seeking (eritheia):  Confusion (instability, disturbance) & every evil (base, wicked) thing.

2.  1 Cor. 3:3 – Division is carnality & not the proper behavior of saints (1 Tim. 3:15).