Vices and Virtues
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:18-21 NKJV
The strength of sin is the law (1 Cor. 15:56), but if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law (Gal. 5:18), and the sinful passions of the old nature, that are aroused by the law, will not work in you to bear the fruit of death (Rom. 7:5). The old sinful nature produces vices that lead to spiritual death, and the fruit of the Spirit produces virtues that lead to a vital inheritance in Christ.
An inheritance is something of value passed on and received by another. So, what is your inheritance in Christ Jesus? Jesus said, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world” (Matt. 25:34). Your inheritance is salvation and eternal life—not only most valuable but priceless!
The Apostle Paul told believers in both Galatia and Corinth “that those [the unrighteous] who practice such things [vices] will not inherit the kingdom of God” (See text and 1 Cor. 6. 9-11). The point is simple: receiving an inheritance is based on legal right. If you act contrary to what is right in the sight of God, you cannot inherit His kingdom because the inheritance is by right. Only a child of God has a right to the family inheritance (Rom. 8:17).
It isn’t the vices that disqualify you from the inheritance; it is the “Vice Grip”—when the sinful old nature has such a strong hold on you that you continue in the works of the flesh. So, disqualification occurs when you practice a vice (1 John 3:7-8). You’ll always get good at what you practice. It’s not a single failure, but the practice that characterizes you as unrighteous. It is one thing to make a mistake and another to practice it (Matt. 26:41; Ps. 37:23).
How can you protect your inheritance? It’s simple: “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). Always practice godly virtues, i.e., the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) and not the vices of the old sinful nature.