What a deceitful, subtle thing licentiousness is!! It makes you think you are free, when you are in bondage. It is a device of the Devil, whereby he deceives folks into thinking they are really free, when in fact - they are locked up by their own indulgence and vice, and doomed to eternal punishment in the absence of repentance.
In the King James and American Standard, the word is LASCIVIOUSNESS. W.E. Vines -- "denotes excesses, licentiousness, absence of restraint, indecency, wantonness," (Vol. II, p.#310). THAYER'S GREEK-ENGLISH LEXICON goes into much detail to define the Greek word: "Unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence..."
In his discussion of the use of this word in the N.T., Thayer adds this: "Indecent bodily movements, unchaste handling of males and females."
Interesting word isn't it? A WORK OF THE FLESH: licentiousness, or lasciviousness. It's really an attitude; a rebellious, sinful attitude.
It's the kind of attitude that says: "LOOK AT ME! I DON'T CARE ABOUT GOD...I'M NOT CONCERNED ABOUT MY SOUL, OR WHERE I WILL SPEND ETERNITY....I'M GOING TO DO WHATEVER I WANT TO DO... WHATEVER FEELS GOOD...WITHOUT ANY RESTRAINT OR CONTROL..." Lasciviousness.
It is displayed on the movies and TV talks shows; discussed freely on school playgrounds, and promoted by some worldviews and religions.
And, in regard to it -- the Bible says: It begins in the heart (Mrk. 7:21,22). If persisted in, it will sear or defile the conscience (Eph. 4:19). It is the opposite of the personal purity and moral discipline expected of God's people. And "those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires," (Gal. 5:24).
By Warren E. Berkley
The Final Page
From Expository Files 2.8; August, 1995