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Read Introduction to Galatians


“…idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies…”


Now we come to the category of religious sins. Paul lists two. These sins come from the same source – the “flesh.”


Idolatry is worshiping something or someone other than the true God (1 Corinthians 10:14; Colossians 3:5; 1 Peter 4:3). Originally, a physical idol helped visualize the god it represented; then, people worshipped the physical object itself (Romans 1:19-23). Pagans often sacrificed to demons (1 Corinthians 10:19).

The New Testament uses idolatry four times, both in the literal sense of bowing before a physical idol and in the metaphorical sense of worship of something other than God. The Bible views covetousness as idolatry.

“Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5).


Idolatry is anything that we put before the Lord Jesus in our lives.


Christians commit idolatry when they put anything ahead of God. When we put our careers, business, or family before God, we commit idolatry. Some people make money their god. Anything that we put in the principal place of our lives other than God Himself is idolatry.

Some idolaters fall before statues. Others fall before their careers, wives, families, possessions, and bank accounts.

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen” (1 John 5:21).