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What does appearance of evil mean in I Thessalonians 5:22?


Do we need to be sensitive to things that others may think wrong even though they aren't really?

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1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

The Greek word ‘eidos’ translated ‘appearance’ means ‘the external or outward appearance, form, figure or shape.

What Paul is saying is that not only should we not do that which is evil but that we are also to avoid doing that which might appear to others as evil. Paul thus modified his behaviour to avoid giving offence (or more properly a cause to offend) to all men.

1 Corinthians 9:19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

Acts 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

One example in Paul’s day was that of eating food which had been sacrificed to idols.

1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. 24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth. 25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: 26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof. 27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. 28 But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof: 29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience? 30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? 31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: 33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

I hope you have found this helpful.

May God bless you,
Glenn,
thisisyourbible.com

 
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