SHARPER THAN A SWORD

SERMONS

Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

“Abstain From Evil!”

Opening Thought – This is an inevitable result of testing all things!

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 “Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.”

Evil – This is a word that is translated from the Greek; “Kakos” describing whatever is apposed in any way to established good!


  1. Abstain

This instruction has its origins in the definition from the Greek; ‘Apecho’, to keep oneself from, or to hold oneself from.

This strongly correlates with the later teaching of Paul to the Christians in Rome, note:

Romans 12:9Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.”

Anything opposed to the established good (via the testing process, using the standard of God’s defendable word), is to be hated with prejudice (the definition of the word abhor). It is to be so detestable to the people of God, that we want to be removed from it to the utmost extent.

Our prejudice towards evil is exactly that, towards evil! We are to pray for all men, sharing with God our desire that they come to knowledge of the truth!

1 Timothy 2:1-5 “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus”

There can be little doubt that this is an individual responsibility; one we will not be able to blame on others in the day of our judgment.

2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

To the Christian, who for some strange reason, believes that they can sow their wild oats and just hope for crop failure, this should be a sobering discernment.

In addition, many believe that they are abstaining from evil simply by hypocritically judging others; the do as I say, not as I do attitude of the Jews. Jesus rebuked His own people for this hypocritical practice when He was here on earth.

Matthew 7:1-5Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

This is not to say that there are things that should not be openly judged.

John 7:24Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.

To the Jews that Jesus came to (Matthew 15:24), they had been given righteousness by the Law of Moses, in order to determine righteous judgment, not their personal attacks to alleviate their own guilt (Matthew 23:3).

Paul also talks about righteous judgment based on established moral behavior from Christ’s doctrine.

1 Corinthians 5:9-13 “I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.
12
For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”

The complete unabridged abstinence from any and all established evil behavior is always the Christian’s focus in order to be holy before God; morally and in worship.

Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

1 Corinthians 11:29 “For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”

1 Peter 1:13-16 “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.””


  1. Form

Paul’s instruction to the Christians at Thessalonica includes this word, which has its origins in the Greek, ‘Eidos’; that which is seen, an appearance, or external form to include any kind.

Paul knew, as it has always been true, it is usually not the obvious or absolute that gets folks in trouble (not to say that this does not happen also).

There are many things that in and of themselves are not evil; however, in the liberties that do exist in Christ verses the jot and tittle of the Old Law (Matthew 5:18), we must be constantly on guard concerning the impression we may have on the weak.

1 Corinthians 8:9 “But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.”

In addition, there seems to always be those who want to test the other side of the fence. They attempt to stand with one foot on the side the Lord has taught them to be on, and one foot on the side of the world. Paul instructed the Christians at Corinth the same universal message that Isaiah taught the people of Judah in his day, that there could not be an armistice with the world, false teachers, or anything that is competing in us with God’s righteousness, note:

2 Corinthians 6:17Therefore
“Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.””

The Apostle John would boldly state that any love of the world invalidates the love of the Father.

1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

Forms of evil follow us like our own shadow. They can often seem harmless, until the individual is unwilling to give them up.

2 Timothy 2:16-18 “But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.”

If we cannot be addicted to the word of God and the holiness it demands of God’s children; how can we (the children of God), be addicted to anything else and hope to please Him?

1 Corinthians 10:21 “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.”


Conclusion

1 Peter 1:13-19 “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

Be Set Apart to God and Be Saved from this Perverse Generation!