Sermon Outline By Brian A. Yeager

"That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs 22:21).

Abstain From All Appearance Of Evil | Sermon Outline By Brian A. Yeager

Abstain From All Appearance Of Evil
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I. Introduction:

A. It is not possible to avoid all evil (I Corinthians 5:9-13).

  1. Yet, when it comes to what we participate in we have to be very cautious (i.e. Ephesians 5:6-11).
  2. We cannot partake in sin (I Timothy 5:22).
B. Having said that, the very work Christ expects from us demands that we will be in environments wherein sin is present (Philippians 2:14-16).
  1. Jesus was separate from sinners (Hebrews 7:22-26).
  2. Yet, not altogether separate in every way (Luke 15:1-32).
  3. Insomuch that there was a continual allegation levied at Him (Matthew 11:16-19).
  4. However, He was sinless in and through all of that (I Peter 2:21-22).

II. Body: So, How Do We Follow I Thessalonians 5:22?

A. Looking at the terms and context: If something looks evil, opposed to good, refrain from it.
  1. Abstain: “to hold oneself off, i.e. refrain: — abstain” (Strong’s # 567). I.E. Acts 15:20, Acts 15:29, I Thessalonians 4:3, I Timothy 4:3, and I Peter 2:11).
  2. All: “all, any, every, the whole…” (Strong’s # 3956). “Every” (James 1:17).
  3. Appearance: “a view, i.e. form (literally or figuratively): — appearance, fashion, shape, sight. The external or outward appearance, form figure, shape, form, kind” (Strong’s # 1491). I.E. Luke 3:22 [shape], Luke 9:29 [fashion], John 5:37 [shape], and II Corinthians 5:7 [sight].
  4. Evil: “evil (properly, in effect or influence, and thus differing from 2556, which refers rather to essential character, as well as from 4550, which indicates degeneracy from original virtue); figuratively, calamitous; also (passively) ill, i.e. diseased; but especially (morally) culpable, i.e. derelict, vicious, facinorous; neuter (singular) mischief, malice, or (plural) guilt; masculine (singular) the devil, or (plural) sinners: — bad, evil, grievous, harm, lewd, malicious, wicked(-ness)” (Strong’s # 4190). I.E. Luke 6:45, Romans 12:9, I John 3:12 [wicked one] etc.
  5. The previous verse: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (I Thessalonians 5:21), shows that this passage is about holding to good and avoiding things that even appear evil.
  6. If taken completely and strictly literal without exception, where could you go in this world (I John 5:19)?
  7. Obviously, the conclusion without exception is not the right conclusion (Mark 2:13-17).
B. Finding the balance…
  1. How could Jesus repeatedly keep company with sinners and not be violating the premise of His own law? Well, He was teaching (Matthew 18:11 and I Timothy 1:15)?
  2. Does that mean the only time(s) we can be in the company or environment that includes sin/sinners is if we are teaching them? No, there are exceptions (John 2:1-2, I Corinthians 7:12-13, I Corinthians 10:23-33, etc.).
  3. We have to consider the impact of our environment and the company we keep on our faithfulness (I Corinthians 15:33).
  4. Like most things, this all can vary by the individual. The ultimate picture of abstaining from the appearance of evil is similar to that of living above reproach (I Peter 2:5-4:19).
C. How might this subject matter be affected by one’s conscience (Romans 14:14)?
  1. The weaker conscience might be more restrictive (I Corinthians 8:1-8).
  2. The differences that there can be (Titus 1:15).
  3. If I am strong and I can say or do something, what impact could my actions have on someone not so strong that may follow my lead (Romans 14:21 and I Corinthians 8:9-13)?
D. Keeping the question of authority at the forefront of our minds is helpful (Colossians 3:16-17 and I Thessalonians 4:1-2).
  1. Should I go here and do this or that (Proverbs 4:14-16)?
  2. Why do I want to go here and do this or that (Galatians 5:17)?
  3. My motives need challenged - Am I pleasing God by having this motive or that motive (I Corinthians 14:20)?

III. Conclusion: Look, even the principle of I Thessalonians 5:22 existed under the old law (Exodus 23:7 and Isaiah 33:15-16).

© 1999-2021 Brian A. Yeager