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Scripture Reading:  Psalms 37:1-11


Part 6

Works of the Flesh:  Envy

Galatians 5:21



1.  Review:  “The Anatomy of Division” (Gal. 5:20).


HATRED (echthra)

Ill-will, hostility


Strife, contentious temper


One-upmanship; rivalry


Explosive displays of temper


Factious spirit of partisanship

DISSENSIONS (dichostasia)

Division & standing apart

HERESIES (hairesis)

Sects; parties are formed









2.  The inevitable companion & result of rivalry is envy (Rom. 13:13).  When division occurs, envy contributes to it & follows in its wake:  Names are slandered; reputations are defamed; the cause of Christ is harmed.

3.  A person may be diligent to attend, give, live morally clean life -- Yet by harboring envy in his heart, damn his soul to hell.

4.  Envy is a common sin that we all struggle with to some degree; yet it is often disregarded as sin!  (Envy must be put away – 1 Pet. 2:1)


I.  WHAT IS ENVY?  (phthonos)

  A.  Embittered Resentment (Barclay, Flesh & Spirit, 48).

    1.  “The feeling of displeasure produced by witnessing or hearing of the advantage or prosperity of others....envy desires to deprive another of what he has...." Vine, 204.  (Jealousy wants the same thing; Envy wants to deprive).

    2.  “Chagrin or discontent at the excellence or good fortune of another; resentful, begrudging”  (Webster).

    3.  Hating that others do well (Roberts, The Works of the Flesh, 19).

  B.  Envy Illustrated:  Toward Isaac (Gen. 26:12-16); Toward Jesus (Matt. 27:18); Toward Paul (Phil. 1:15-17).

    -In each case, the envious tried to deprive its object of success.



  A.  It is a Worldly Reaction to the Advantages of Others – Gal. 5:21.

    1.  Rom. 1:29 – Proceeds from a heart not given to God – Selfishness.

    2.  While most Christians shrink from these sins, we often think little of envious attitudes toward others!  Just as despi­cable, disgraceful & soul damning!

    3.  Lk. 15:27-32 – Sees the good fortunes of others as hurtful to itself!

    4.  We must learn a different reaction to the good experienced by others.

  B.  It is Most Destructive – Prov. 14:30.

    1.  Destroys peace; rottenness of bones – Cancer on physical & spiritual health!

    2.  Even toward evildoers - Psa. 73:1-3, 12-14, 17-19.

    3.  More dangerous than seems evident.

  C.  Becomes a Deceptive Motive - Phil. 1:15-18.

    1.  Envy (evil) can even be the motive for doing good things!!

    2.  Envy proceeds from faction (1:17) & pretence (1:18), & produces affliction (1:16), although Christ was being preached!



  A.  Lay it Aside – 1 Pet. 2:1-2.

    1.  Obstacle to spiritual growth – Discard like a filthy garment.

    2.  Jas. 4:5 – Inconsistent with the spirit given us.

  B.  Envy Must not be at Work in the Lord’s Church – Gal. 5:25-26.

    1.  Members:  One-talent member toward the five-talent member; Praise, give just recognition, encouragement for job well done.

    2.  Preachers:  Ability, knowledge & reputation.  Such can lead to remarks &/or misrepresentations aimed at jeopardizing the influence of another – 1 Cor. 3:6-7.

    3.  Congregations - Size, $, building.

    4.  Rom. 12:15 - Learn to rejoice with others!



  A.  Practice Love – 1 Cor. 13:1-4.

    1.  Love rejoices instead of disparage & sneer at blessings of others.

    2.  Love must be our motive.

  B.  Fear & Trust God – Prov. 23:17-18; Psa. 37:1-3.

    1.  Reverence & trust His faithfulness.

    2.  There is reward for those who do so!

  C.  See the Big Picture – Psa. 73:16-19.  (Keep perspective)

    1.  73:23-26 – Remember what God has done for you!

    2.  Lk. 15:31 – Count your blessings!

  D.  Crucify Self – Gal. 2:20; Matt. 16:24.

    1.  Envy is born of pride & selfishness.

    2.  Envy sees another's blessings as a curse upon self!  Not so!

  E.  Remember we are Members of the Same Body – 1 Cor. 12:26-27.

    1.  Hands don’t envy feet because of their ability & potentials.

    2.  12:26 - Likewise, honor together.



1.  Grow in love, in fear & trust of God, keep an eternal perspective, crucify self & see each other as members of the same body.

2.  Have compassion on those lost in sin – don’t envy them.

3.  Put away envy from our hearts & constantly guard against it.