PHBC May 24, 1998
Series: First Peter, Ser. #50
HOW PILGRIMS CAN LOVE LIFE AND SEE GOOD DAYS (Part II)
PILGRIMS CAN SEE GOOD DAYS IF THEY ESCHEW EVIL
SCRIPTURE: 1 Pet. 3:1-12
TEXT: 1 Peter 3:10-12 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
INTRO: I have used verse 10 as a text to remind you of the expression For he that will love life, and see good days. In our first message on this subject of How Pilgrims Can Love Life and See Good Days we looked at the things mentioned in verses 9-10. We saw that the Christian who would love life and see good days must not engage in rendering evil for evil. We also saw that the person who would love life and see good days must not render railing for railing. We further noted that Peter's recipe for this includes rendering a blessing for evil and railing committed against us. And in the same vein we noted that the pilgrim must also refrain his tongue from anything that is evil and his lips from speaking guile.
In this second part of the message we want to continue with Peter's outline for loving life and having good days.
I. THE PILGRIM WHO WOULD LOVE LIFE AND SEE GOOD DAYS MUST ESCHEW EVIL
A. Some necessary definitions.
1. The Greek word translated eshew according to Strong means 1) to turn aside, deviate (from the right way and course); 2) to turn (oneís self) away, to turn away from, keep aloof from oneís society; 3) to shun one.
2. The Hebrew word used in similar statements means the same thing. 1) to turn aside, turn in unto, 2) to depart, depart from way, avoid, 3) to be removed, 4) to come to an end.
3. The word translated evil means anything that is of a bad nature, anything that is not such as it ought to be. It is anything that is base, wrong, wicked, troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive, baneful.
a. There can be evil in the way that we think.
b. There can be evil in the way that we feel.
c. There can be evil in the way that we act and the things that we do.
d. There can be evil in our associations.
B. The Bible often speaks of this matter of eschewing evil.
1. Job was a man who turned aside from anything that was evil. Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
2. God declared him to be such when he called him to the attention of Satan. Job 2:3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.
3. It is a sign of wisdom and understanding to turn away from anything that is evil, or bad, that is not completely right. Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
4. This verse obviously infers that it is a lack of wisdom and understanding that causes any of us to engage in that which is evil.
C. Consider these words of the Psalmist, which are the source of What Peter has said. Psalm 34:12-16 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? 13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. 14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. 15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. 16 The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
II. THE GOOD MAN DEPARTS FROM THAT WHICH IS EVIL
A. The Psalmist called for God's people to depart from evil. Psalm 37:23-27 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. 25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. 26 He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed. 27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.
B. The wise Solomon admonished the same conduct toward anything evil. Proverbs 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
1. They who are wise in their own eyes will think these admonitions do not apply to them.
a. The alcoholic who is wise in his own eyes says, "Oh, I can hold my liquor. I can stop drinking anytime I need to or want to." Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
b. The young man or woman who goes speeding down the road is usually convinced that come what, "I can control this car."
c. The mother who let's her child stand up in the seat beside her says, "Oh, I am going to be careful; I can stop without dumping him."
d. The person who goes to the Casino thinks he can control his betting but even if he can he is still unwise for he is engaged in that which is evil.
2. Rather than being wise in your own eyes, reverently fear and trust the Lord, knowing that his standards for Christians is always wise.
3. When one is not wise in his own eyes, and fears the Lord, he WILL, I repeat, he WILL depart from evil. Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
4. It is the way of the upright to depart from evil.
5. Proverbs 16:17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.
C. Isaiah called upon his people to put away evil from their lives. Isaiah 1:16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil.
III. THE PROPER CHRISTIAN ATTITUDE TOWARD EVIL
A. We should have a horror of that which is evil. Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
1. One of the characteristics of the wicked is that they do not abhor evil. Psalm 36:1-4 The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. 2 For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful. 3 The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good. 4 He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.
2. Let us pray that God will give us a holy abhorrence of that which is evil.
B. The Christian is to hate evil. Psalm 45:7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
1. Drunkenness is evil and we ought to hate it.
2. Abortion is evil and we ought to hate it.
3. Extortion is evil and we ought to hate it.
4. Adultery is evil and we ought to hate it.
5. Robbing and plundering is evil and we ought to hate it.
6. Covetousness is evil and we ought to hate it.
7. Gambling, which is a product of covetousness, is evil and we ought to hate it.
8. Murder is evil and we ought to hate it.
9. Homosexuality is evil; it is an abomination before God, and we ought to hate it. Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. 1 Kings 14:24 And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.
10. Commenting on Leviticus 20, Matthew Henry says that sodomy, or homosexuality was one of a group of "sins not to be named nor thought of without the utmost abhorrence imaginable, v. 22, 23. Other sins level men with the beasts, but these sink them much lower. That ever there should have been occasion for the making of these laws, and that since they are published they should ever have been broken, is the perpetual reproach and scandal of human nature; and the giving of men up to these vile affections was frequently the punishment of their idolatries; so the apostle shows, Rom. 1:24. IV. Arguments against these and the like abominable wickednesses. He that has an indisputable right to command us, yet because he will deal with us as men, and draw with the cords of a man, condescends to reason with us. 1. Sinners defile themselves with these abominations: Defile not yourselves in any of these things, v. 24. All sin is defiling to the conscience, but these are sins that have a peculiar turpitude in them. Our heavenly Father, in kindness to us, requires of us that we keep ourselves clean, and do not wallow in the dirt. 2. The souls that commit them shall be cut off, v. 29. And justly; for, if any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, 1 Co. 3:17. Fleshly lusts war against the soul, and will certainly be the ruin of it if Godís mercy and grace prevent not. 3. The land is defiled, v. 25. If such wickednesses as these be practised and connived at, the land is thereby made unfit to have Godís tabernacle in it, and the pure and holy God will withdraw the tokens of his gracious presence from it. It is also rendered unwholesome to the inhabitants, who are hereby infected with sin and exposed to plagues and it is really nauseous and loathsome to all good men in it, as the wickedness of Sodom was to the soul of righteous Lot. 4. These have been the abominations of the former inhabitants, v, 24, 27. Therefore it was necessary that these laws should be made, as antidotes and preservatives from the plague are necessary when we go into an infected place. And therefore they should not practise any such things, because the nations that had practised them now lay under the curse of God, and were shortly to fall by the sword of Israel. They could not but be sensible how odious those people had made themselves who wallowed in this mire, and how they stank in the nostrils of all good men; and shall a people sanctified and dignified as Israel was make themselves thus vile?"
11. Gossiping is evil and we ought to hate it.
12. False doctrine is evil and we ought to hate it. Psalm 119:104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
13. Wicked imaginations are evil and we ought to hate them.
14. All sin is evil and we ought to hate it.
C. We ought to be so sensitive to the awfulness of evil that we try to avoid all appearance of it.
1. Israel was commanded to keep far away from a false matter. Exodus 23:7 Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.
2. Paul admonished the Thessalonians to avoid all appearance of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
3. Paul admonished the Ephesian brethren to walk circumspectly in the world. Ephesians 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise.
CONC: Let us turn away from evil, and abhor it, hate it, flee from it, avoid the appearance of it, and do good. We will look at the matter of doing good in our next message. There is much said on this in Scripture. The negative side of our conduct if we would have good days is to eschew evil, turn aside from evil, abhor evil. The positive side is to do good. Do good to all men, especially to them who are of the household of faith. Do good to them that hate you, despitefully use you, and persecute you.
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