1. Galatians 5:19 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

What are sexual immorality, impurity, and sensuality?

Galatians 5:19 (ESV)

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,

The first three vices mentioned by Paul focus on sexual sin (see also 2 Corinthians 12:21), likely because of its widespread prevalence in society. Sexual immorality is a general term for sexual sin.1 It includes incest (see also 1 Corinthians 5:1) and sacral prostitution (1 Corinthians 6:15–18).2 Impurity focuses on the defilement and filthiness generated by sexual sin,3 the opposite of holy behaviour (see also Romans 1:24; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:7).4 Sensuality emphasizes the lack of restraint and unbridled passion of sexual license (see also Mark 7:22; Romans 13:13; 2 Corinthians 12:21; 1 Peter 4:3; 2 Peter 2:2, 2 Peter 2:7, 2 Peter 2:18; Jude 1:4).5 Some may think that sexual perversions and a lack of restraint flow from the Spirit, but in reality they come from the sinful nature.6