What are revellings in the Bible?

The word "revellings," meaning "letting loose" or "going wild" in the original Greek (komos), is translated different ways in various versions of the Bible.

The King James Version translates komos as "revellings." The NKJV has "revelries;" the NIV and ESV use "orgies;" the ISV has "wild celebrations" or "wild partying;" and the NASB has "carousing."

Peter uses the word to delineate a person's former way of life before they became a Christian. He writes that revellings and other sins belong to people who are not Christians. He writes that some people may be surprised when their old friends, who used to party with them but now follow Jesus, are no longer partying (see 1 Peter 4:3–4).

Paul takes a more direct approach in Galatians 5. There, he instructs the people of the church to avoid a list of sins, including sexual sin, hateful attitudes toward others, drunkenness, and revellings. Paul compares this list of sins with the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Paul writes that Christians have forgiveness in Christ and now live by the Holy Spirit. Those who don't know Christ are ruled by the flesh; and their behavior, including drunken revellings, follows.

Though "revellings" describes wild partying that should be avoided by Christians, it doesn't mean that Christians can't attend parties. The Bible is warning against gatherings that feature gluttony, drunkenness, lewdness, and a sort of out-of-control behavior. When the Holy Spirit dwells inside a Christian, such partying opposes the Spirit and His fruit.

In several places, the Bible makes it clear that there should be a difference in behavior between a Christian and someone who does not follow Jesus (Romans 8; Titus 2:12).

Related Truth:

What is sin?

Is getting drunk a sin?

What is the key to experiencing joy in the Christian life?

What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?

What is the fruit of the Spirit?

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