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Avoid Sin in Every Form and Shape.

Avoid Sin in Every Form and Shape.

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Published by glennpease

Abstain from all appearance of evil. — 1 Thess. v. 22.

Abstain from all appearance of evil. — 1 Thess. v. 22.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 17, 2013
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AVOID SI I EVERY FORM AD SHAPE.BY REV. WM. S. PLUMER, D.D.Abstain from all appearance of evil. — 1 Thess. v. 22.The word here translated appearance is in otherplaces sliapCy Luke iii. 22 ; John v. 37 ; also fashion,Luke ix. 29 ; and siffJit, 2 Cor. v. 7. The meaning of the text is, that we should abstain from sin wheneverit appears, in whatever shape it presents itself, what-ever is the form or fashion it assumes. The baresight of it should make us stand aloof.To abstain from evil is to keep from it, to avoidit, and of course to hate it. We cannot sin safely,even ever so little. A man may and must eat, and216 AVOID EVERY SI,drink, and sleep. He should do these things inmoderation. But there is no such thing as sinningin moderation. All wilful sin is lawlessness andintemperance.Why should we abstain from all appear-ance OF EVIL? This is a grave question. It canbe answered. There are good reasons for keeping farfrom evil.1. Sin in every shape, form, and fashion is evil.It may be secret. It may be pleasant. It may bepopular. It may be gainful. But none of thesethings change its nature. Sin is evil, only evil, andthat continually. It is of the nature of fire to burn,and of poison to kill. So it is of the nature of sin to
bring wrath and ruin. Left to work out its own fairand proper results, sin never did any good, but only evil.2. Sin comes before us in so many ways, andtempts us by means so unexpected, that we must beconstantly on the watch, lest we be led astray. Some.form of sin is pleasing to every carnal heart. Attimes it comes before us in ways we never looked for.It was Job's wife that called on him to " curse Godand die." It was Peter who said, " That be far fromthee. Lord," and received the rebuke, " Get thee be-hind me, Satan : for thou savourest not the things thatbe of God, but those that be of men," Matt. xvi. 23.AVOID EVERY SI. 2173. Sometimes one might innocently do a thing if he alone were concerned ; but because others who haveweak consciences are present, or will know his practice,he cannot go on without sin. Even a good man mayabuse his liberty, and walk uncharitably. In all thishe may break no law but the law of love and pity to aweak brother, who is wrong in his views, but who is yethonest in his conscience. Paul was right when hesaid, " If eating meat cause my brother to offend, Iwill eat no meat while the world stands."4. " Can a man take fire in his bosom, and hisclothes not be burned ? Can one go upon hot coals,and his feet not be burned? " Prov. vi. 27, 28. Soneither can a man in any way meddle with sin andnot be hurt thereby. Men have gone into a burningfiery furnace, and have come out without having theirhair singed, or the smell of fire to pass upon them.But no man ever lay down with a sin in his bosom,and arose without a stain on his soul. One cannottouch pitch without some defilement.
5. We should abstain from all appearance of evil,because sin is in its nature and in its effects so dread-ful. It wrings from the soul every sigh sent up fromearth or hell. It has dug every grave and built everyprison and every tomb. It has filled earth and hellwith woes and wailings. It makes war on God. If 218 AVOID EVERY SI5.it could, it would dethrone him. It casts oflP hisbonds and cuts his cords asunder. It is the realcause of all disorder, violence, and confusion in therational creation. It is easy for men to think toomuch of the evil of poverty or sickness ; but no manthinks sin worse than it is.6. If a man does not abstain from all appearanceof evil, it clearly proves that he is in league with sin,and that his heart goes out after it. The sow provesher swinish nature by loving to waUow in the mire.There never was a wolf that did not love blood. It isthe wicked that will do wickedly.7. He who parleys with sin must have an unhappylife. There are some men who seem to be alwavssinning and repenting. Of course their repentanceis not genuine, or they would cease to commit suchfolly. It is sad to see husband and wife pouting andquarrelling one hour, however loving they may be thenext. It is just so with some men. Their con-science and their life are constantly at war. Theyhave no settled peace. Their prospects are dark andgloomy.8. Only they who abstain from all appearance of evil prove themselves to be real Christians. Josephcould have kept out of Pharaoh's dungeon, but hehad a conscience. Jeremiah might have been a favour-

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