“…idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies…”
Paul now lists sins toward others. Sins of faulty relationships flow naturally from the fallen nature of the sons of Adam. Non-believers may be cultured or refined, but they are unadulterated flesh. They cannot produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). They do what comes naturally. They do not care whether it is right or wrong, religious or irreligious. Life is simple for non-believers because all they have is flesh.
Every believer has the same potential as a lost person if he or she allows the sin capacity to operate without the Spirit’s power. Victory comes to the believer, not by changing his or her overt behavior patterns, but by the counteracting power of the Spirit of God.
“Hatred” is a state of enmity toward someone. This sin causes us to cast someone in the role of the enemy. This is a sin of animosity. It is the opposite of love, for love seeks the highest good in others. It does not put up barriers between people.
It is possible to be an enemy of God (James 4:4) as well as of people. Christians who want to live like they did before they became a Christian are enemies of God.
Having an attitude of personal animosity toward others violates God.
The sin of hatred is closer to home than the sin of sorcery. Hatred never comes from God. It always comes from the flesh.
Christians may outwardly be respectful of others around them, but if they persist in personal animosity toward other Christians, they are out of fellowship with God.
People who hate are little people. They allow others to control them by reacting with negative attitudes. People who allow themselves to develop an attitude of hatred dedicate themselves to perpetual misery. Life is too short, and the issues are too great to get caught up in the small world of hate. All of the king’s horses and all of the king’s men cannot put such people back together again unless they yield themselves to the Spirit of God. Such people dedicate themselves to perpetual misery because hatred is an ineffective sin that cannot accomplish what it sets out to achieve.
“Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all sins” (Proverbs 10:12).
“Whoever hides hatred has lying lips,
And whoever spreads slander is a fool” (Proverbs 10:18)
“For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another” (Titus 3:3).
“But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:11).\
“Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15).
“If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (1 John 4:20).
Christians who walk around with animosity toward others do not walk in the Spirit. They may command respect from other Christians, but they do not have God’s respect.