Abstain From All Appearance of Evil – 1 Thessalonians 5:22-23


• Abstain – to choose not to do or have something
• Abstain – choice to deny yourself
• Any activity that has the appearance of evil – That looks like evil
• We are responsible to others visibly
• Romans 12:17 “Provide things honest in the sight of all men.”
• In our relationship to people “Provide things honest”
• Romans 14:19 “edify another.”
• Somebody might say “I have liberty” – Yes, we do
• Also, we have liberty to deny doing something
• Why would I want to do that?
• For the good of others
• Paul gives two passages on how to conduct ourselves with relationship to questionable things:
• Can I do it
• Can’t do it
• 1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful unto me,” – The impact is on me
• “I’ve got grace, so I can go out and do whatever I want to”
• But it doesn’t make it right
• Reap what you sow
• 1 Corinthians 6:12”but all things are not expedient:”
• What does expedient mean?
• Something that is looking for the best long term interest
• Is it a wise decision?
• Is it going to get control or power over you?
• 1 Corinthians 10:23 “but all things are not expedient:”
• “but all things edify not.” – They don’t edify other people
• The impact is on others
• Example: 1 Corinthians 10:28”for his sake”
• Believers – “the great danger that we face is becoming adjusted to sin”
• Old sin nature – loves sin
• If we tolerate sin – it will take over
5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
• Example: Don’t stop to tie your shoe in another man’s watermelon patch”
• What if one comes up missing the next day?
• Who would be accused of stealing the watermelon?
• Appearance – it’s not enough that we be right
• We are obligated to others
• Maturity and grace will teach us
5:23 “And” – is a conjunction – used to join words
• 5:22 and 5:23 are joined together
• 5:23 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly;”
• sanctify – to set apart for the purpose which it was created
• Are you personally willing to make that choice to abstain
• What’s most important – The testimony of Jesus Christ
• “Religion says if it looks right it is right”
• “The Bible says “If it is right, it will look right – 1 Thessalonians 5:22
• 1 John 2:16 “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,”
• James 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
• James 3:15 “This wisdom” – the world’s wisdom (Satanic program starts externally – it uses your emotions (Soul and body)
5:23”your whole spirit and soul and body” (To be a whole person you must have all three)
• This is the way that God works
• Problem – the old man is not interested how God works
• We have an opportunity daily to deny ourself
1. By understanding how we as a whole person worked before salvation
• spirit – 1 Corinthians 2:11”save the spirit of man which is in him?”
• Genesis 2:7”and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;”
• Adam begat sons and daughters (With the same spirit) Genesis 5:4
• We share the same spirit of man (Ecclesiastes 3:21”the spirit of man”)
• soul – Job 14:22”and his soul within him shall mourn.”
• body – Job 14:22””But his flesh upon him shall have pain,”
• spirit – John 9:31”Now we know that God hearth not sinners:” (4:24)
• soul – Romans 1:21”and their foolish heart was darkened.”
• body – gives us the capacity to relate to the world around us
• Result: How we as lost people lived – Ephesians 2:2-3
2. By understanding how Satan wants believers to work as a whole person
• James 3:15 This wisdom descanted not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
• body – walk in the flesh (Ephesians 4:17-19)
• soul – Satan wants bad information put in your soul
• Bad doctrine, wisdom of the world, tradition, bad upbringing
• He doesn’t want you to trust the Bible – Psalm 119:42”for I trust in thy word.”
• He doesn’t want you to rightly divide the Bible – 2 Timothy 2:15
• He doesn’t want you to come to the knowledge of the truth – 1 Timothy 2:4
• He doesn’t want you to walk by faith – 2 Corinthians 5:7
• He wants you to remain ignorant – Romans 1:13
• soul – will, mind, emotions, conscience
• Example: When our will makes choices based on error then our emotions are responding to lies
• Result – Our emotions begin to run our life
• spirit – not communicate with God (1 Thessalonians 5:17 Not praying
3. By understanding how God wants believers to work as a whole person
• spirit – Alive (Ephesians 2:1) – Romans 12:2 “renewing of your mind,”
• soul – Enlightened – Ephesians 5:8”but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:”
• Will – make choices based on truth (John 17:17 “thy word is truth.”
• 2 Corinthians 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
• Edify – build up sound doctrine in your inner man
• Conscience – What kind of norms and standards to you have in your inner man? Good Doctrine or Bad Doctrine
• body – Body of sin was crucified with Christ (Romans 6:6 “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him,”

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