THEREFORE: oun: (1Peter
1:18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25)
The next few
verses are filled with a mixture of interesting
metaphors which make for fascinating meditation -“putting off clothes,” “long
for milk,” “tasting” the goodness of the Lord, “stones”
and “spiritual houses.”
(oun) - Why therefore?
(Always pause to ponder the passage and ask "What's it 'there for'?")
Clearly we must go to the previous chapter for the answer (Notice how
this discipline forces you to establish the
context). What is the
main subject of chapter 1? Clearly the new birth, so that most would
say that this
term of conclusion
takes us back to the details of the conversion of the readers (first mentioned in 1Pe 1:3-note)
and then reiterated in (1Pe 1:22-note).
And what is Peter talking about in 1Peter 2:1? Sins. In fact a "sin
list!" So Peter now introduces a conclusion based on the fact that we
are born again. We now have the ability (enabled by the Spirit, e.g.,
to cast off, to throw off these sins which "envelop" us like dirty,
smelly clothes! Now that we are
Christ (in union with
Him, identified with Him, in covenant with Him, one with Him)
no longer our "Master" and no longer has power over us (Ro
6:11-note, Ro 6:14-note).
In other words we no longer have to obey
We no longer have to let Sin reign over us (Ro 6:12, 13-note).
However, since the old
nature still indwells all believers, we can still be
influenced by Sin. The difference now is that if we listen to
personal sins, we do so because we are choosing to do so. This is a choice we did not have in our unregenerate state in Adam, when
was our "Master,"
our "King". In other words, before we were born again, we were still
in Adam and we had no choice to obey or not obey but were
obligated to obey
(that's called bondage or enslavement!) But now
1Cor 15:22), now that we have been born by the
imperishable seed (the living and enduring Word of God-1Pe 1:23-note,
cp James 1:18-note) which abides forever (1Pe
living and enduring Word of God saved us (the first time -
justification), and is the same "seed" that
God uses to sanctify us and make us holy (Jn 17:17, Jn 17:17NLT), growing
us in the grace and
knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2Pe 3:18-note).
And that "Word" in this verse calls for us to lay aside the sins which
Peter lists. Now that we are born again, we have the power to carry
out this instruction, because God's Spirit of holiness indwells us and
enables us to obey. Glory to God!
Peter's "therefore" closely
relates chapter 2 with chapter 1. The inferential particle (oun)
indicates that the call to spiritual growth in 1Pe 2:1-3 is a logical
and natural consequence of Peter's previous remarks on the new birth
in 1Pe 1:12-25; the Godward and the manward aspects of the Christian
life make their inescapable demands on the believer.
(1Peter 2:1-3) constitute one
sentence that centers on the imperative "crave" (1Pe 2:2). That
craving is essential to the healthy growth of the new life. The
obligation to grow involves the negative duty to remove all hindrances
to growth (1Pe 2:1), and the positive duty to actively appropriate
nourishment that furthers growth (1Pe 2:2). 1Pe 2:3 cites past
experience as an incentive to growth....
Before their craving for milk can
be realized, there must be a definite break with all the evils that
hinder spiritual growth. (1
Peter Commentary -
Charles Simeon's explanation for the therefore...
A strange opinion has obtained
amongst some, that there is no such thing as growth in grace.
But the whole tenor of Scripture, from one end of it to the other,
proclaims the contrary. We will go no further than to the passage
before us, and to the context connected with it. In the beginning of
his epistle, the Apostle had spoken of Christians as “begotten by God
the Father to a lively hope.” (1Peter 1:3-note)
To stir them up to walk worthy of their high calling, he says to them,
“Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end, as
obedient children; not fashioning yourselves according to your former
lusts in your ignorance; but, as he who hath called you is holy, so be
ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye
holy, for I am holy.” (1Pe 1:13-16-note)
This injunction he enforces by a great variety of arguments. He urges,
first, the consideration, that God the Father will judge them
according to their works (1Pe 1:17-note);
then, that they have been redeemed by God the Son (1Pe 1:18-19-note);
and then, that they have been born of God the Holy Ghost, through the
instrumentality of the preached word (1Pe 1:23-25-note),
which unalterably inculcates and requires holiness. From these
premises he deduces the exhortation (THEREFORE).... (1 Peter 2:1-3 Growth in
Grace is to Be Desired)
feels that the therefore...
refers back to the command ‘love
one another’ in 1Peter 1:22-note.
This verse explains in more detail what is involved in loving one
another ‘earnestly’ (fervently): one must put away (give up, get
rid of) (Ed: How?
As we are enabled to do so by the Holy Spirit [cp Ro 8:13-note]
- He gives us the desire and power to cast off these
attitudes and action, but we must still carry out the "casting off" -
that's our responsibility. We cast them off because we
now have the desire and power to do so! Mysterious "synergism?" Yes,
but it's the Biblical way!) attitudes and habits which
are harmful to others....Genuine love requires ridding one’s
life of all malice (etc) (Tyndale New Testament Commentaries)
To be sure, all of the sins in this
vice list represent violations of the fundamental command
love your neighbor as yourself (Lev 19:18, Mt 5:43, 19:19, 22:39,
Mk 12:31, 33, Lk 10:27, Ro 13:8,9,10, Gal 5:14, James 2:8) and are not
to be retained by a disciple of Jesus. We are to imitate His example,
which was love for others regardless of their response!
Peter has just demonstrated the
glory and eternal character of God’s Word. Now, therefore, in light of
what God’s Word is to us, we should receive the word, and receive it
with a particular heart. (1 Peter 2 Commentary)
This is a passage with huge
implications for our church at this particular moment in our history.
Peter’s words are rich with insight and deep with meaning. If you have
any interest in growing spiritually, pay attention to what Peter says
because he is speaking to you. And if you haven’t been growing as you
would like, pay even closer attention because Peter connects two
things that we often keep separate.
You can see those two things quite clearly in verses 1 and 2. 1Peter
speaks of five wrong attitudes that must be put out of the Christian
life. When Peter says “rid yourselves,” he uses a verb that was used
for stripping off dirty clothes. If you are a Christian, you must
strip these five things out of your life: malice, deceit, hypocrisy,
envy, and slander of every kind. Becoming a Christian means changing
you wardrobe. These five attitudes went out of style when you were
born again...These rotten attitudes have no place in the Christian
life. There is no room for them in the Christian wardrobe! And there
should be no room for them inside the Christian church. These are all
relational sins. You might call them horizontal sins because they
touch on how we relate to others around us. And by definition, they
deal with how we respond to the difficult people we rub shoulders with
Let me put these two thoughts
1) We are to lay aside the rotten attitudes that hinder our brotherly
love. That’s verse 1.
2) We are to earnestly crave God’s Word so we can grow spiritually.
That’s verse 2.
We can say this in a slightly different way:
Verse 1 describes certain horizontal sins that we need to put off.
Verse 2 describes the vertical reality of spiritual growth and a
closer walk with God.
Here is Peter’s whole point:
The way we treat one another has a direct
impact on our relationship with God. As long as we harbor these
relational sins and wrong attitudes, we will never grow spiritually.
These relational sins are like junk food of the soul. They choke off
our craving for the Word so that instead of growing, we stay just as
You can treat people unkindly and gossip about them and harbor
bitterness, you can have a sharp tongue and a critical spirit and you
can look down your nose at people who aren’t like you. As long as you
do that, you will never grow spiritually not even if you come to
church four times a week and go to Bible study every other day. Those
relational sins will choke off the Word of God in your life. That
explains why some people can come to church for years and never get
better. They’re harboring a relational garbage pit on the inside. They
make excuses for their envy, they ignore their gossip, they make light
of their cutting comments, and they justify their meanness toward
others. And they don’t grow because they can’t grow.
When your horizontal is messed up,
your vertical will never be right!
God has wired us up so that the horizontal and the
together. John says it very plainly in his first epistle:
If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet
hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his
brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen” (1John 4:20).
We cannot say, “I hate you” to a
friend or family member and then say, “Lord, I love you. Please bless
me right now.” God says, “No deal.” It doesn’t work that way....
The horizontal is the key to the
vertical, and the vertical is the key to the horizontal. It’s all
about God. (From
His Sermon - Got Milk? on 1Peter 2:1-3) (Bolding added)
plant growth is impossible without pruning away the diseased wood. Growth is
also impossible without proper nourishment. That's true with physical
trees, but it is even more true of "spiritual trees," those whom God
is growing into "oaks of righteousness." (Isaiah 61:3-Spurgeon
sermon) The timeless
principle of spiritual growth is simple - Cast off the old
("pruning"), so you will desire the pure Word ("nourishment")! The
corollary principle is that if you find yourself not desiring the Word
which gives you spiritual life (Mt 4:4, Lk 4:4), it could be because
you have failed to cast off the sins listed in 1Peter 1:1. You may
need to do inventory asking the Spirit of the Living God to...
Search me, O
God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way. (Amen)
SIN IN THE
'SENSITIVITY TO' THE SCRIPTURE
The Christian who tries to find satisfaction in the
husks of the
world, has no appetite left for the holy things of God. A heart filled
with the former has no room for the latter. As oil does not mix with
water, so too holy does not mix with profane.
A healthy infant is a
A spiritually healthy Christian is a hungry Christian.
1Peter 1:1-2 are very
important verses. To a large degree, they explain the pervasive problem of why so many
have no or at best little desire for the pure milk of the Word.
In fact, no desire for the only source of spiritual
nourishment, begs the question whether they are true "babes?" If a person claims to have been born
again and NEVER desires "milk," they need to carefully
and honestly examine
themselves as to the authenticity of their "new birth" experience
(2Cor 13:5-note). This
question is a
serious matter which clearly has eternal ramifications! If you have friends or
relatives who fall into this group, you need to lovingly discuss this
passage with them, allowing the Holy Spirit (Jn 16:7) to convict them of sin
righteousness (Jn 16:10) and the judgment to come (Jn 16:11), lest they
in the future find themselves among
those the fearful, fateful folks Jesus describes in His most sobering
warning in Mt 7:21-note,
Mt 7:22, 23-note.
And so as alluded to earlier, 1Peter 1:1 takes the form of a “vice list,” a form of writing found in
the NT and in ethical writers in the ancient world. Such lists can be
used to describe the sins of the pagan world (Ro 1:29-note
Titus 3:3-note) and
also sins that might carry over into the lives of Christians
(Gal 5:19, 20-note,
Col 3:6, 7, 8-note).
Leighton says it well, noting that...
If God’s children are to grow by
the Word of God, the apostle Peter requires two things from them.
First, the innocency of
Second, the appetite of children
Our hearts are by nature cages for
those unclean birds—malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander. The
apostle sometimes mentions some of these evils, and at other times he
mentions others. But they cannot be separated from each other. They
are all one set of clothes and are all included in that one term “old
self” (Ephesians 4:22), which the apostle Paul tells them to “put
off.” Here throwing out these base habits is shown to be a necessary
evidence of their new birth, as well as for their future spiritual
growth. Filthy habits do not become children of God. They are the
marks of an unrenewed mind, the very character of the children of
Satan, for they constitute his image. His very names denote malice,
deceit, and slander. Satan means “the adversary or enemy.” Devil,
diabolos, means “the envious accuser or slanderer.” Satan is that
great hypocrite and deceiver who “masquerades as an angel of light” (2
In contrast, the Spirit of God who
dwells in God’s children is the spirit of meekness, love, and truth.
That dove-like Spirit who descended on our Saviour is given by him to
believers. It is the greatest impudence to pretend to be Christians
and still cling to hatred and envy, for our Saviour lavishes his love
upon our hearts by his Spirit. “Take from the devil envy, pride and
arrogance, and what evil is there in him? Take from the elect love,
meekness and humility, and what goodness is there in them?” (Dr. H.
Spurgeon reminds us that
as newborn babes in Christ we should...
lay aside all that is inconsistent
with that character. Newborn children have no malice; they have
no guile or craftiness; they have no hypocrisies, nor
envies, nor evil speakings. They are clear from all
these evils; would to God we were as clear as they are! It would be
better to be infants, not speaking at all, than to be among those who
speak evil. It would be better to begin life over again than to live
long enough to have gained a treasure of malice, and a hoard of
cunning, and to have learned the tricks of hypocrisy.
Let us be as simple as little
children, as guileless, as harmless, as free from anything like
unkindness as newborn babes are. And inasmuch as we are to follow them
in what they have not, let us also imitate them in what they have. Let
us desire ardently, as for our very life, the unadulterated milk of
the Word. Let us cultivate that combination of hunger and thirst which
is found in a little child, that we may hunger and thirst thus after
God’s Word. We have done more than taste the Word; we have tasted that
the Lord himself is gracious. Let us long to feast more and more upon
this divine food, that we may grow thereby. (1
Peter 2- Commentary )
A C Gaebelein reminds us that...
Those who are born again of incorruptible seed, in possession of a new
nature, are still in the world, though they are no longer of it. Evil
is on all sides and there is still the old nature, the flesh, in every
child of God though believers are reckoned as being no longer in the
flesh (Ro 8:9-note).
The old things of the flesh must be put off, completely laid aside.
This is the necessary thing for spiritual growth; if there is no
putting off of these there can be no progress.
PUTTING ASIDE: Apothemenoi (AMPMPN) oun:
Isa 2:20; 30:22; Ezek 18:31,32; Col 3:5-note,
Col 3:6, 7, 8-
that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside
the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of
deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and
put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been
created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. (Ep 4:23, 24-note)
Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH, EACH ONE of
you, WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us,
let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so
easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is
set before us,
Putting aside - Peter
places this phrase first in the Greek sentence to give it emphasis.
Spurgeon says believers
Putting these evil things right
away from you, having nothing further to do with any of them. Notice
the repetition of the word all. “All malice, and all guile,” —
everything in the shape of deceit, — “and all evil speakings.” All
these are to be put away by all believers, as rags are put away in the
rag-bucket, or refuse on the dunghill.
This is what we are to lay aside,
to put away from us, to banish altogether. These are the old garments
of the flesh which we are to give up to the moths that they may devour
them, and leave not a fragment of the old rags for us to wear. (1
Peter 2 Commentary )
Jamieson, et al rightly observe that Peter's exhortation...
exhortation applies to Christians alone, for in none else is the new
nature existing which, as “the inward man” (Eph 3:16-note) can cast off the
old as an outward thing, so that the Christian, through the continual
renewal of his inward man, can also exhibit himself externally as a
new man. (1 Peter
from apo = away from, marker of dissociation, implying a
rupture from a former association, separation, departure, cessation,
any separation of one thing from another by which the union or
fellowship of the two is destroyed + tithemi = place, put) means literally to put or
take something away from its normal location and put it out of the
way. Luke uses apotithemi literally to describe the laying aside
of robes in Acts 7:58.
And when they had driven him out of
the city, they began stoning him, and the witnesses laid aside
their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
Apotithemi literally referred to the
laying aside of clothes or taking off one’s clothes, even as did the
runners who participated in the Olympic Games . The runners ran in the
stadium nearly naked. Figuratively
meant to cease doing
what one was accustomed to doing. Stop doing it, "throw it off" and be
done with it.
- 9x in NAS - Mt 14:3; Acts 7:58; Ro 13:12; Eph
4:22, 25; Col 3:8; Heb 12:1; Jas 1:21; 1Pet 2:1. NAS = laid
aside(1), lay aside(3), laying aside(1), put(1), put...aside(1),
Romans Paul exhorts his readers to put off "deeds of darkness"
The night (of man’s depravity and
Satan’s dominion) is almost gone (Hallelujah! Thank You, Jesus!), and
the day (of Christ’s return and reign - see
Table comparing Rapture vs Second
Coming) is at hand (perfect
indicates this glorious day was imminent in Paul's day and it
continues to remain imminent - IT COULD BE TODAY!). Let us therefore (term of conclusion) lay aside
(apotithemi) the (in light of
Christ’s imminent return, believers are to repent and forsake the)
deeds of darkness and put on (enduo) the armor of light (protection that
Spirit enabled obedience to the Word and practical righteousness
provides). (Ro 13:12-note)
Note the preposition "apo"
is a marker of dissociation, implying a rupture from a former
association. This truth helps us picture what a believer is to do. The
idea is that he or she is to "place some distance between" the old
life (the former lusts which were ours when we were ignorant of
so great a salvation in Christ Jesus - 1Pe 1:14-note,
verb apotithemi is in the form of a participle which in the
context of this verse conveys an imperative force
(sense of a command - see
The idea is that in view of the fact that divine life has been
imparted to the believer (all through 1 Peter chapter one we have this
wonderful truth explained), it is imperative that he or she “put away
once for all” (aorist tense conveys the idea of effective action) any
and all of the sins listed that might be in one's life. We are adjured
to throw these off like a filthy, soiled garments, loathsome to touch,
(spiritually) "noxious to the nose" (of God).
picturing the putting off of dirty, defiled clothing and is using the
is saying in essence "do it now". The
is reflexive which can be paraphrased "you yourself initiate
this action and you participate in the effects thereof". When we were
in Adam we could not carry out this discipline of godliness, "for
as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive." (1Cor
In James 1:21-note
the verb apotithemi
is also in the
middle voice that
Therefore putting aside all
filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the
word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
As in 1 Peter,
James indicates that the putting off precedes the taking in of the word of
truth (James 1:18-note).
Both Peter and James are calling their readers to make a definite
decision (enabled by grace, empowered by the Spirit Who's desire is
that they be holy -1Pe 1:14-note,
1Pe 1:15-note) to cast off these
evil attitudes and actions.
The order is important for only after having cast
these sins aside will one have a God given appetite for "the
living and enduring word of God" (1Pe 1:23-note)...only then do we desire the Word's
teaching, reproof, correction, training in righteousness (2Ti 3:16,
Are you hungry for the pure milk of the word?
appetite for God's Word is a bit "dulled", it may be you are "wearing"
some "dirty clothes" of malice or envy or slander, etc. Peter says
take them off and throw them away.
Remember the old Scottish preacher's wise saying
Sin will keep you from the Bible
The Bible will keep you from sin
Jon Courson sums up the
thrust of Peter's exhortation writing that...
The degree to which those
attributes exist in our lives will be the degree to which our hunger
for the Word will be diminished. No matter how good the meal my wife,
Tammy, prepares for me, if I stop off at McDonald’s on the way home
and score a couple of Quarter Pounders with large fries—and super-size
the whole deal—when I get home, I won’t be interested in what she’s
made. When people stop reading or studying the Word, it’s because
they’re eating the junk food of the world. That’s why Peter says,
“First lay aside the junk and then you will desire the milk of the
J: Jon Courson's Application Commentary: NT. Nelson. 2004
Charles Simeon reminds us
The unconverted man, though he may
appear righteous before men, is in reality full of the most abominable
evils. He may not indulge in any gross sins; but he is full of “malice”
towards those who have injured him in any tender point; and would feel
gratified, rather than pained, at any evil that should befall him. His
whole converse with mankind, too, is for the most part little better
than one continued system of “guile and hypocrisy,”
which are the two chief constituents of what is called politeness. If
a rival surpass him in any thing on which his heart is set, and gain
the honors which he panted for, he will soon find that the spirit
which is in him lusts to “envy.” Moreover, whether he be more
or less guarded in his general conversation, he will find in himself a
propensity to “evil speaking,” as if he felt himself more elevated in
proportion as others are depressed. Now these dispositions are more or
less dominant in the natural man, as St. Paul has strongly and
repeatedly declared — — — and, after a person is converted to the
faith of Christ, he needs to watch and pray against them with all
imaginable care: for as inveterate disorders in the constitution will
impede the growth, and destroy the vigour, of the body, so will these
hateful dispositions “war against,” and, if not subdued and mortified,
prevail to the destruction of, the soul (1Pe 2:11-note).
These things therefore must be “put away.” (1 Peter 2:1-3 Growth in
Grace is to Be Desired)
John Henry Jowett...
THERE is a wonderful ascending
gradation in the earlier portions of this great chapter. It begins in
the darkness, amid “wickedness” and “guile” and “hypocrisies,” and it
winds its way through the wealthy, refining processes of grace, until
it issues in the “marvellous light” of perfected redemption. It begins
with individuals, who are possessed by uncleanness, holding aloof from
one another in the bondage of “guile “and “envies “and “evil speakings”;
it ends in the creation of glorious families, sanctified communities,
elect races, “showing forth the excellencies” of the redeeming Lord.
We pass from the corrupt and isolated individual to a redeemed and
perfected fellowship. We begin with an indiscriminate heap of unclean
and undressed stones; we find their consummation in a “spiritual
house,” standing consistent and majestic in the light of the glory of
God. We begin with scattered units; we end with co-operative
communions. The subject of the passage is therefore clearly defined.
It is concerned with the making of true society, the creation of
spiritual fellowship, the realisation of the family, the welding of
antagonistic units into a pure and lovely communion.
Where must we begin in the creation of this communion? The building of
the house, says the apostle, must begin in the preparation of the
stones. If the family is to be glorified, the individual must be
purified. A choir is no richer than its individual voices, and if we
wish to enrich the harmony we must refine the constituent notes. The
basis of all social reformation is individual redemption. And so I am
not surprised that the apostle, who is contemplating the creation of
beautified brotherhoods, should primarily concern himself with the
preparation of the individual. But how are the stones to be cleaned
and shaped and dressed for the house? How is the individual to be
prepared? By what spiritual processes is he to be fitted for larger
fellowships and family communion? I think the apostle gives us a
“If ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” [1Pe 2:3KJV,
kindness in the NAS] That is the basal clause of the entire
chapter. Everything begins here. It is no use our dreaming of
perfected human relationships until the individual has deliberately
tasted the things that are Divine. A chastened palate in the
individual is a primary element in the consolidation of the race.
There must be a personal experimenting with God. There must be a
willingness to try the spiritual hygiene enjoined in the Gospel of
Christ. We must “taste and see” what the grace is like that is so
freely offered to us of God. We must taste it, and find out for
ourselves its healthy and refreshing flavour. What is implied in the
apostle’s figure? In the merely physical realm, when we taste a thing,
what are the implications of the act? When we take a thing up
critically for the purpose of discerning its flavour, there are at any
rate two elements contained in the method of our approach. There is an
application of a sense, and there is the exercise of the judgment. We
bring an alertness of palate that we may register sensitive
perceptions, and we bring an alertness of mind that we may exercise a
discriminating judgment. Well, these two elements are only symbolic of
the equipment that is required if we would “taste and see how gracious
the Lord is.” We need to present to the Lord a sensitive sense and a
vigilant mind. There is no word which is read so drowsily as the Word
of God. There is no business so sluggishly executed as the business of
prayer. If men would discern the secret flavours of the Gospel, they
must come to it wide awake, and sensitively search for the conditions
by which its hidden wealth may be disclosed. “Son of man, eat that
thou findest....Then did I eat it, and it was in my mouth as honey for
sweetness.” He had tasted and seen. “Eat that thou findest!” Well, the
only way in which we can eat a message is to obey it. Obedience is
spiritual consumption; and in the act of obedience, in the act of
consumption, we discern the wondrous flavours of grace. We are, there
fore, to approach the Gospel of our Lord. We are to patiently and
sensitively realise its conditions. We are to put ourselves in the
attitude of obedience, and, retaining a bright and wakeful mind, we
shall begin to discern the glories of our redemption. We shall taste
the flavour of reconciliation, the fine grace of forgiveness, and the
exquisite quality of peace. This is the primary step in the creation
of the family; the individual is to taste and appreciate the things of
All delights imply repulsions.
All likes necessitate dislikes. A strong taste for God implies a
strong distaste for the ungodly. The more refined my taste, the more
exacting becomes my standard. The more I appreciate God, the more
shall I depreciate the godless. I do not wonder, therefore, that in
the chapter before us the “tasting” of grace is accompanied by a
“putting away” [1Pe 2:1] of sin.
If I welcome the one, I shall “therefore”
repel the other. The finer my taste, the more scrupulous will be my
repulsions. Mark the ascending refinement in this black catalogue of
expulsions: “wickedness, guile, hypocrisies, envies, evil speakings!”
The list ranges from thick, soddened, compact wickedness up to un
kindly speech, and I am so to grow in my Divine appreciation that I
just as strongly repel the gilded forms of sin as I do those that
savour of the exposed and noisome sewer. The taste of grace implies
the “putting away” of sin; and therefore the second step in the
creation of the family is the cleansing of the individual.
Is the cleansing essential?
Let us lay this down as a primary
axiom in the science of life—
there can be no vital communion between the unclean.
Why, we cannot do a bit of
successful soldering unless the surfaces we wish to solder are
vigorously scraped of all their filth. I suppose that, in the domain
of surgery, one of the greatest discoveries of the last fifty years
has been the discovery of dirt, and the influence which it has
exercised as the minister of severance and alienation. It has been
found to be the secret cause of inflammation, the hidden agent in
retarded healing, the subtle worker in embittered wounds; and now
surgical science insists that all its operations be performed in the
most scrupulous cleanliness, and its intensified vigilance has been
rewarded by pure and speedy healings and communions. It is not
otherwise in the larger science of life.
Every bit of uncleanness in the
is a barrier to family communion.
All dirt is the servant of alienation.
It is essential, if we would
have strong and intimate fellowships, that every member be sweet and
“Therefore put away all wickedness,
and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies and all evil speakings,”
and by purified surfaces let us prepare ourselves for spiritual
of St. Peter)
Off with (see Colossians
3:8-note) all habits and tempers that thwart brotherly love in your
fellowship! The regenerate nature has instincts of love (Why?
Because the Spirit pours it = Ro 5:5-note;
How? The Spirit grows it = Gal 5:22-note
as we yield to His control or filling = Eph 5:18-note), but it
demands a moral effort (Phil 2:12-note
= our responsibility); old inconsistent ways of life have to be
thrown aside (Ephesians 4:22-note), all manner of malice
(ill-feeling, shown in word or deed), guile (pretence or
underhand dealing, but specially deceitful speech—see on 1Pe 2:22-note,
1Pe 3:10-note), insincerity (saying what one does not really mean—a
common vice of the religious world, where pious language may be used
by those who hide their true feelings; see 1Pe 1:22-note), envy
(‘almost the only vice which is practicable at all times and in every
place,’ Johnson) and slander of every kind; Christians might be
guilty of slander as well as exposed to it (1Pe 2:12-note,
ALL MALICE: pasan kakian:
Topic "Malice") (1Peter 2:16-note;
1Cor 5:8; 1Cor 14:20; Eph 4:31-note; Titus 3:3, 4, 5-note)
Malice is pleased with another's
harm: envy is tormented with another's good; guile doubles the heart;
flattery, the tongue: slander wounds the good fame" (TQuoted
by Henry Alford in The New Testament for English Readers)
Whereas it is said all
malice, all guile, learn, That one sin, not laid aside,
will hinder our spiritual profit and everlasting welfare. (4.) Malice,
envy, hatred, hypocrisy, and evil-speaking, generally go together.
Evil-speaking is a sign that malice and guile lie in the heart; and
all of them combine to hinder our profiting by the word of God.
How much are we to discard?
without exception for all are utterly inconsistent with the “love of
the brethren,” that is to characterize those who have “purified your
souls” (1Pe 1:22-note).
“Laying aside all malice.” Has
anybody injured you? Are you angry with him because of what he has
done to you? Thou freely forgive the injury, and wholly forget it. (1Peter 2 Commentary)
Be careful! Do not count your
natural resolve to accomplish the supernatural - your old self might
even voice words like "I forgive" and "I will forget" but the seeds of
malice still lurk within because they were not as it were "pulled up
by the roots!" Surrender to the Spirit. Allow Him to enable you to
walk by the Spirit and you will absolutely not carry out the desire of
the flesh! Galatians 5:16. There is simply no other way for victory
over malice, a victory that supernaturally enables one to freely
forgive and wholly forget!
All (pas) means all with no "exception clauses".
"All manner of" (Henry Alford).
[word study]) describes wickedness which comes from within a
person. It refers wickedness of every kind, but especially having it
in for someone.
11x in 11v in NAS - Mt 6:34; Acts 8:22; Ro 1:29; 1Co 5:8; 14:20; Ep
4:31; Col 3:8; Titus 3:3; Jas 1:21; 1Pe 2:1, 16. NAS = evil(3),
malice(5), trouble(1), wickedness(2).
in a moral sense means depravity,
vice or baseness. It is the opposite of
and all virtue and therefore lacks social value.
What is malice? The best
definition I have found is congealed anger. It means to have an
unforgiving spirit. My friend, are you carrying bitterness in your
heart and a chip on your shoulder? Although you witness about being
born again and about loving Jesus, nobody around you will be able to
distinguish that if you are carrying malice, congealed anger, in your
the Bible - Listen to his crusty comments on 1Peter 2:1-2)
is a vicious intention,
a feeling of hostility and strong dislike including desire to do harm.
This sort of malignant act breeds further evil in and of itself. It
includes a desire to harm other people, (Col 3:8-note,
often hides behind apparently good actions (1Pe 2:16-note). Malice is often
irrational, usually based on the false belief that the person against
whom it is directed has the same intention. It speaks of a smoldering
resentment that causes you to lash out at others.
Lightfoot defines malice as
the vicious nature which is bent
on doing harm to others
Trench says that kakia
that peculiar form of evil which
manifests itself in a malignant interpretation of the actions of
others, an attributing of them all to the worst motive”
defined malice as
taking all things in the evil part.
Webster says malice
desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another and implies a
deep-seated desire to see another suffer.
Malice is not only a
moral deficiency but destroys fellowship. To varying degrees, the
unsaved spend their life maliciously.
Malice—the harboring of evil thoughts against another person.
Malice nourishes antagonism, builds up grudges, and secretly hopes
that revenge, harm, or tragedy will overtake another. George
Washington Carver was refused admission at a university because he was
black. Years later, when someone asked him the name of the university,
he replied, “Never mind. That doesn’t matter now.” He harbored no
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or
In Romans Paul describes
those who have refused to acknowledge God and are given over by God to
a depraved mind as
being filled with all
unrighteousness, wickedness (kindred word "kakoetheia"), greed,
evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips.
for believers belongs to the old life (Titus 3:3-note)
and yet all believers still need to heed the exhortation to ‘clean it
out’ (1Co 5:78.) and strip it off (Jas 1:21-note;
Christians are to be ‘babes in evil’ (1Co 14:20), for Christian
liberty is not lawlessness (1Pe 2:16-note).
relates the different sins writing...
Study shows that malice and
envy are two branches growing out of the same bitter
root—self-love. Slander is the fruit that malice and
envy bear. Malice wishes evil on another person, while
envy is jealous of his goodness. Both malice and envy
express themselves by speaking evil about a person. This infernal fire
within smokes and flashes out through the tongue, which James says “is
itself set on fire by hell” (James 3:6). These evils of malice,
envy, slander, and the like should not be hidden by us
in ourselves and carried around under better appearances. They should
be thrown out. So the apostle commands (Ed: "Putting Aside" is
not literally imperative mood but does have that "force") us here to
throw off also the outer garment and cloak of the others—namely,
hypocrisy. What advantage is it to wear this mask? A person may in the
sight of men act this part well, but we know there is an Eye that sees
through this, and a Hand that, if we will not take the mask off, will
pull it off to our shame, either here in the sight of men or on the
appointed day when all hypocrites will be unveiled and be seen for
what they are before men and angels....the evils mentioned here are
especially to be thrown off, as they prevent the profitable receiving
of the Word of God. This part of the exhortation (rid) leads to that
which follows (crave) and should be carefully noted. This is the
double task of true religion. When a person begins the Christian life,
he is not only to be taught the true religion but also has to reject
the errors and wickedness that are deeply rooted in his mind, which he
has not only learned through the corrupt world, but that he himself
brought into the world. These evil seeds are originally in our nature
and grow with the influence of the surrounding world. No one comes to
the school of Christ, in the words of Aristotle, “as blank paper.” On
the contrary, everyone is scribbled upon and blurred with such base
habits as malice, envy, hypocrisy, and so on.
Therefore, the first task is to
cleanse and purify these blots and foul characters from the heart so
that it may receive God’s image. Because it is the Word of God that
starts and carries on the work, in order to receive this Word rightly
the heart must be purged of such impurities as malice, envy, and
hypocrisy. These dispositions are so opposed to receiving the Word of
God profitably that, while they possess and rule the soul, it cannot
embrace these divine truths at all. While it is filled with such
guests there is no room to entertain the Word. (Ibid)
AND ALL GUILE: kai panta dolon:(1Pe
Ps 34:13; Jn 1:47;
note) (deceit in Torrey's Topic)
Spurgeon defines all
All crafty tricks, all falsehood,
exaggeration, double meanings to your words, and the like...That is,
everything that is of the nature of craftiness and deception. Be
honest, simple, straightforward, transparent; this is a trait of
character which well becomes all Christians. (1
Peter 2 Commentary )
= to bait)
literally refers to a fishhook, trap, or trick all of which are
various forms of deception. Dolos is a deliberate attempt to
mislead, trick, snare or "bait" (baiting the trap in attempt to
"catch" the unwary victim) other people by telling lies. It is a
desire to gain advantage or preserve position by deceiving others, to
get the better of another by cunning and deception. A
modern term in advertising is called "bait and switch" where the
unwary consumer is lured in by what looks like an price too good to be
Hiebert says dolos...
is the selfish, "two-faced"
attitude that deceives and hurts others for personal gain.
Dolos - 11x in 11v in the
NAS - Matt 26:4; Mark 7:22; 14:1; John 1:47; Acts 13:10; Rom 1:29; 2
Cor 12:16; 1 Thess 2:3; 1 Pet 2:1, 22; 3:10. NAS = deceit(9),
Dolos - 33x in 33v in the
Septuagint (Lxx) - Gen 27:35; 34:13; Exod 21:14; Lev 19:16; Deut
27:24; 2 Kgs 9:23; Job 13:7, 16; 15:35; 31:5; Ps 10:7; 24:4; 32:2;
34:13; 35:20; 36:3; 52:2; 55:11; Prov 10:10; 12:5, 20; 16:28; 26:23f,
26; Isa 9:5; 53:9; Jer 5:27; 9:6; Ezek 35:5; Dan 8:25; Mic 6:11; Zeph
McGee writes that....
Guile is using cleverness to get even or to try to make a good
impression upon someone. Ananias and Sapphira used guile when they
tried to represent themselves as being very generous givers to the
church. That old nature which you and I have is good at that sort of
thing. J. B. Lightfoot calls it “the vicious nature which is bent on
doing harm to others.” (Thru
the Bible - Listen to his crusty comments on 1Peter 2:1-2)
Deceit (guile)—any form of dishonesty and trickery (and what a variety
of forms it takes!). Deceit falsifies income tax returns, cheats on
exams, lies about age, bribes officials, and pulls shady deals in
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or
Pritchard notes that...
As a fisherman, Peter would have
understood the word deceit, which really means to “bait the hook.”
It’s what you do when you play a trick in order to get your way. You
are deceitful when you tell a lie or omit the truth in order to gain a
personal advantage. Deceit is a clever form of deliberate dishonesty.
The related verb dolioo (1387)
is used in Romans 3:13 where Paul indicts all mankind writing that
THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH
THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING," "THE POISON OF ASPS IS
UNDER THEIR LIPS" (Ro 3:13-note)
Larry Richards explains
"picks up the metaphor from hunting
and fishing. Deceit is an attempt to trap or to trick and thus
involves treachery...Deception sometimes comes from within, as our
desires impel us to deceive. But more often in the NT, deceit is error
urged by external evil powers or by those locked into the world's way
of thinking." (Richards,
L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)
We best get the meaning of this
from the corresponding verb (doloun). Doloun has two
characteristic usages. It is used of debasing precious metals and of
adulterating wines. Dolos is deceit; it describes the quality
of the man who has a tortuous and a twisted mind, who cannot act in a
straightforward way, who stoops to devious and underhand methods to
get his own way, who never does anything except with some kind of
ulterior motive. It describes the crafty cunning of the plotting
intriguer who is found in every community and every society." In
another writing Barclay explains that dolos can be translated "guile"
and that "It comes from a word which means bait; it is used for
trickery and deceit. It is used for instance of a mousetrap.
When the Greeks were besieging Troy and could not gain entry, they
sent the Trojans the present of a great wooden horse, as if it was a
token of good will. The Trojans opened their gates and took it in. But
the horse was filled with Greeks who in the night broke out and dealt
death and devastation to Troy. That exactly is dolos. It is
crafty, cunning, deceitful, clever treachery. Dolos is the
trickery of the man who is out to deceive others to attain his own
ends, the vice of the man whose motives are never pure. (Barclay,
W: The Daily Study Bible Series, Rev. ed. Philadelphia: The
snare, bait, trick, deliberate dishonesty. Deliberate attempt to
mislead other people by telling lies, conspicuously absent from
behavior of Christ (1Pe 2:22-note).
Guile or deception has to do primarily
with words. When a person wants something, he tries to get it... by
flattery, false promises, false tales, suggestive talk, off-colored
suggestions, enticing words, outright lying
Truth (Illustration) - The
organizers of World Book Day, an annual celebration of reading in
Britain have found that 2 out of 3 Brits have lied about reading the
books they claim to have read. The books lied about most often include
classics like George Orwell’s 1984, Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and the
works of Charles Dickens. The fourth most lied about book on the list
was the Bible, which specifically teaches against lying. When
respondents were asked why they lied about reading a book, the most
common answer given was that an individual wanted to impress the
person they were speaking to.--Most Britons have lied about the books
they read; (Jim
Beloved, do you have ulterior
motives when you communicate with others? If you do you are guilty of
AND HYPOCRISY: kai
36:13; Mt 7:5-note;
Mt 15:7; 23:28; 24:51; Mk 12:15; Lk 6:42; 11:44;
12:1; Jas 3:17)
- In the Greek it is actually in the plural so more literally
"hypocrisies". The preceding two negative traits are in the singular
and the following two are also in the plural ("envyings", "slanders").
Notice how this wrong behavior dovetails with the previous attitudes -
if we are guilty of malice and guile, we will try to hide it and this
hiding who we really are inside produces “hypocrisy.”
“And hypocrisies” of all sorts. Let
us not profess to be what we are not, nor pretend to know what we do
not know, or talk of experiences which we have never felt; in fact,
let us never be hypocrites in any respect whatsoever. The God of truth
loves his children to be the embodiments of truth. Hypocrisy he hates
with a perfect hatred. (1Peter 2 Commentary )
hupo = under + krino =to judge; See also word study on
refers literally to delivery of a speech, along with interpretive
gestures and imitation. The word hypocrisy comes from the Greek
theater and referred to the practice of putting on a mask and playing
a part on stage. It originally conveyed the idea of playing the
playing a part on the stage and described the actor's art. The NT
gives hupokrisis only a negative connotation referring to hypocrisy,
duplicity (the quality of being double - belying of one’s true
intentions by deceptive words or action), insincerity, dissimulation
(hiding under a false appearance; hiding or disguising one's thoughts
or feelings - don't we all do this from time to time?!). The idea is to pretend,
to act as something one is not and so to act
deceitfully, pretending to manifest traits like piety and love. It
means to create a public impression that is at odds with one’s real
purposes or motivations, and thus is characterized by play-acting,
pretense or outward show. It means to give an impression of having
certain purposes or motivations, while in reality having quite
commenting on related word hypocrite (Greek noun =
hypokrites - one who acts pretentiously, a counterfeit, a
man who assumes and speaks or acts under a feigned character) writes
that it is derived from...
hupokrino, to separate
gradually; so of separating the truth from a mass of falsehood, and
thence to subject to inquiry, and, as a result of this, to expound or
interpret what is elicited. Then, to reply to inquiry, and so to
answer on the stage, to speak in dialogue, to act. From this the
transition is easy to assuming, feigning, playing a part. The
hypocrite is, therefore, etymologically, an actor.
defines hypocrisy as
"a feigning to be what one is not
or to believe what one does not; especially the false assumption
of an appearance of virtue or religion"
is the practice of claiming to have higher standards or more laudable
beliefs than is the case.
"Hypocrisy" (hupokriseis) is a
plural noun and depicts the various forms of pretense (counterfeit
acts) to which deceit resorts in its endeavor to throw the intended
victim off guard. The term readily developed an evil connotation to
denote the hypocrite, "a man who all the time is concealing his real
motives, a man who meets you with a face which is very different from
his heart, and with words which are very different from his real
feelings." Such religious impersonation is seen in the case of Ananias
and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-10), who cloaked evil desires behind pious
appearances. The unfeigned love called for in 1:22 must be without
that terrible quality. (Ibid)
There are only 6
uses of hupokrisis in the NT...
Matthew 23:28 "Even so you too
outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of
hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Mark 12:15 "Shall we pay, or shall
we not pay?" But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them,
"Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at."
Luke 12:1 Under these
circumstances, after so many thousands of the multitude had gathered
together that they were stepping on one another, He began saying to
His disciples first of all, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees,
which is hypocrisy."
Galatians 2:13 And the rest of the
Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was
carried away by their hypocrisy.
1Timothy 4:2 by means of the
hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a
1Peter 2:1 Therefore, putting
aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy and all
summarizes hupokrisis writing that it is...
1. an answering; an answer
(Herodotus). 2. the acting of a stage-player (Aristotle, Polybius,
Dionysius Halicarnassus, Plutarch, Lucian, Artemidorus Daldianus,
others). 3. dissimulation, hypocrisy:
Wuest adds that this Greek word
is made up of hupo “under,” and krinō “to judge” and
referred originally to “one who judged from under the cover of a
mask,” thus, assuming an identity and a character which he was not.
This person was the actor on the Greek stage, one who took the part of
another. The Pharisees were religious actors, so to speak, in that
they pretended to be on the outside, what they were not on the
inside...Our word hypocrite (See
word study on hupokrites = hypocrit) comes from this Greek word. It
usually referred to the act of concealing wrong feelings or character
under the pretence of better ones."
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
In another note
Wuest explains that
"The Greek word for “hypocrite” was used of an actor on
the Greek stage, one who played the part of another. The word means
literally, “to judge under,” and was used of someone giving off his
judgment from behind a screen or mask.... The true identity of the
person is covered up. It refers to acts of impersonation or deception.
It was used of an actor on the Greek stage. Taken over into the New
Testament, it referred to a person we call a hypocrite, one who
assumes the mannerisms, speech, and character of someone else, thus
hiding his true identity. Christianity requires that believers should
be open and above-board. They should be themselves. Their lives should
be like an open book, easily read."
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
describes a kind of deceit in which persons pretend to be different
they really are, and esp that they are acting from good motives when
in reality they are motivated by selfish desire. Jesus warns hypocrites,
severely warns them. Believers must, therefore, strip off any
semblance of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is one of the sins that God hates
above all others. Hypocrites shall receive the greater damnation
A hypocrite has God on his tongue and the world in his heart.
William Barclay writes that the related
Hupokrites (hypocrite) is a word with a curious
history. It is the noun from the verb hupokrinesthai which means to
answer; a hupokritēs begins by being an answerer. Then it it
goes on to mean one who answers in a set dialogue or a set
conversation, that is to say an actor, the man who takes part
in the question and answer of the stage... It then came to mean an
actor in the worse sense of the term, a pretender, one who acts
a part, one who wears a mask to cover his true feelings, one who puts
on an external show while inwardly his thoughts and feelings are very
different....it comes to mean a hypocrite, a man who all the
time is acting a part and concealing his real motives...one whose
whole life is a piece of acting without any sincerity behind it at
all. Anyone to whom religion is a legal thing, anyone to whom religion
means carrying out certain external rules and regulations, anyone to
whom religion is entirely connected with the observation of a certain
ritual and the keeping of a certain number of taboos is in the end
bound to be, in this sense, a hypocrite. The reason is this—he
believes that he is a good man if he carries out the correct acts and
practices, no matter what his heart and his thoughts are like. To take
the case of the legalistic Jew in the time of Jesus, he might hate his
fellow man with all his heart, he might be full of envy and jealousy
and concealed bitterness and pride; that did not matter so long as he
carried out the correct handwashings and observed the correct laws
about cleanness and uncleanness. Legalism takes account of a man’s
outward actions; but it takes no account at all of his inward
feelings. He may well be meticulously serving God in outward things,
and bluntly disobeying God in inward things—and that is
hypocrisy....There is no greater religious peril than that of
identifying religion with outward observance. There is no commoner
religious mistake than to identify goodness with certain so-called
religious acts. Church-going, bible-reading, careful financial giving,
even time-tabled prayer do not make a man a good man. The fundamental
question is, how is a man’s heart towards God and towards his
fellow-men? And if in his heart there are enmity, bitterness, grudges,
pride, not all the outward religious observances in the world will
make him anything other than a hypocrite... The hypocrite
is the man whose alleged Christian profession is for his own profit
and prestige and not for the service and glory of Christ." (Barclay,
W: The Daily Study Bible Series. The Westminster Press)
Hypocrisy—insincerity, pretense, sham. The hypocrite is a
play-actor, pretending to be someone he is not. He pretends to be
happily married when his home is actually a battlefield. He pretends
to be spiritual on Sundays but he is as carnal as a goat on weekdays.
He pretends interest in others but his motives are selfish. (MacDonald,
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or
does your behavior on Sunday compare with your behavior Monday through
Saturday? if you are inconsistent between how you behave at church and
how you behave at home, work, school, etc, you are guilty of
AND ENVY: kai phthonous: (1Sa
18:8,9; Ps 37:1; 73:3; Pr 3:31; 14:30; 24:1,19,
1Cor 3:2,3; 2Cor 12:20, Gal 5:21, 22, 23, 24, 25,
Js 3:14,16; 4:5)
“And envies.” We must lay them all
aside, all envies of men because they are richer, or more gifted, or
more highly esteemed than we are. Let us not envy anybody, for envy
eats a man’s own heart out and slays him, as Eliphaz said to Job “Envy
slayeth the silly one.”... All hatred of those who are either better
or better off than you are. (1Peter 2 Commentary )
Envy (5355) (phthonos
describes pain felt and malignity
conceived at the sight of excellence or happiness. It means not just
wanting what another person has, but also resenting that person for
having it. It is an attitude of ill-will and jealousy that leads to
division and strife and even murder. When we envy, we cannot bear to
see the prosperity of others, because we ourselves feel continually
wretched. Envy begins with desire to possess what another has but
merges into resentful discontent.
- 9x in 9v in the NAS - Matt 27:18; Mark 15:10; Rom 1:29; Gal
5:21; Phil 1:15; 1Tim 6:4; Titus 3:3; Jas 4:5; 1 Pet 2:1. NAS =
envy(7), envying(1), jealously(1). Not found in the Septuagint (which
is somewhat surprising).
"Envy is the feeling of displeasure
produced by witnessing or hearing of the advantage or prosperity of
others." Envy is the running-mate of hypocrisy. "As hypocrisy has its
spring in claiming to have the good we lack, envy seeks to deny and
defame the real good of others." It is a moral cancer (Pr. 14:30) that
plagues "all voluntary organizations, not least religious
organizations." It reared its ugly head even among the twelve, while
Jesus was yet with them (Mark 10:41). It is "almost the only vice
which is practicable at all times and in every place" (Johnson).
Envy was one of the seven deadly
sins. One writer called envy the last sin Christians will confess
because it is so ugly. Envy is jealousy at the success of others or
happiness at another’s misfortune. It is the poison of the soul that
turns you into a resentful, angry, grouchy, miserable, critical
Envy is a
sin that carries its own reward for it guarantees its own frustration
and disappointment. By definition, the envious person cannot be
satisfied with what he has and will always crave for more. His evil
desires and pleasures are insatiable, and he cannot abide any other
person’s having something that he himself does not have or having more
of something than he himself has.
As lust is directed toward a specific object, so envy is
directed toward a specific person. (cp Mt 27:18!)
Envy is one of the sins that was behind the
crucifixion of our Lord, Mark recording that Jesus...
aware that the chief priests had delivered Him up because of envy.
Compare Matthew's words...
he (Jesus) knew that because of envy they had delivered Him up.
Vine says that
envy differs from
jealousy in that the former desires merely to deprive another of
what he has, whereas the latter desires as well to have the same, or a
similar, thing for itself." On this account envy is said to be “as the
rottenness of the bones (Pr 14:30). (Vine,
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
Logos) (Comment: Thus Trench calls
envy “the meaner sin” of the two.)
there is the envy which is
essentially a grudging thing. It looks at a fine person, and is not so
much moved to aspire to that fineness, as to resent it. It is the most
warped and twisted of human emotions.... a mean word. Euripides called
it “the greatest of all diseases among men". The essence of it is that
it does not describe the spirit which desires, nobly or ignobly, to
have what someone else has; it describes the spirit which grudges the
fact that the other person has these things at all. It does not so
much want the things for itself; it merely wants to take them from the
other. The Stoics defined it as “grief at someone else’s good.” Basil
called it “grief at your neighbor’s good fortune.” It is the quality,
not so much of the jealous, but rather of the embittered mind.”
well be said that envy is the last sin to die. It reared its ugly head
even in the apostolic band. The other ten were envious of James and
John, when they seemed to steal a march upon them in the matter of
precedence in the coming Kingdom (Mk 10:41). Even at the last supper the disciples were
disputing about who should occupy the seats of greatest honour (Lk
22:24). So long as self remains active within a man’s
heart there will be envy in his life.
E. G. Selwyn calls envy “the
constant plague of all voluntary organizations, not least religious
C. E. B. Cranfield says that “we do not have to be
engaged in what is called ‘church work’ very long to discover what a
perennial source of trouble envy is.” (Barclay,
W: The Daily Study Bible Series, Rev. ed. Philadelphia: The
Envy—bare-faced jealousy. Vine defines it as the feeling of
displeasure produced by observing or hearing of the advantage or
prosperity of others. It was envy that caused the chief priests to
deliver Jesus up to Pilate for death (Matt. 27:18). Envy is still a
killer. Women can look daggers at others because of their better homes
and gardens, smarter clothes, or superior cooking. A man can praise
another fellow’s new car or speedboat but what he is thinking is,
“I’ll show him. I’ll get something better.” (MacDonald,
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or
F B Meyer
held meetings in Northfield, Mass., and large crowds thronged to hear
him. Then the great British Bible teacher G. Campbell Morgan came to
Northfield and people were soon flocking to hear his brilliant
expositions of scripture. Meyer confessed at first he was envious. He
The only way I can conquer my
feelings is to pray for Morgan daily, which I do.
Dwight L. Moody
once told the fable of an eagle who was envious of another that could
fly better than he could. One day the bird saw a sportsman with a bow
and arrow and said to him, “I wish you would bring down that eagle up
there.” The man said he would if he had some feathers for his arrow.
So the jealous eagle pulled one out of his wing. The arrow was shot,
but it didn’t quite reach the rival bird because he was flying too
high. The first eagle pulled out another feather, then another—until
he had lost so many that he himself couldn’t fly. The archer took
advantage of the situation, turned around, and killed the helpless
bird. Moody made this application: if you are envious of others, the
one you will hurt the most by your actions will be yourself.
comments that malice and envy are
both roots of bitterness, whence
many evils spring: evil thoughts and speeches, tongues set on fire of
hell, detracting from and impairing the just and due praises of
others. Their words are swords, wherewith they slay the good name and
honour of their neighbour. This was the sin of Satan, and of Cain who
was of that evil one, and slew his brother; for wherefore slew he him,
but of this envy and malice, because his own works were evil, and his
brother's righteous? These were some of the sins in which we lived in
our natural state.
wrong desires to possess what belongs to someone
else. Covet what someone else has, covet it so much that he wants it
even if it has to be taken away from the other person. He may even
wish that the other person did not have it or had not received it. But
thanks be to God our Savior. He saves and delivers us from envy.
Through Christ He gives us real life, and He satisfies our hearts and
lives with pleasures forevermore (Ps 16:11, cp Pr 14:30, 23:17, 24:1,
Ro 13:13-note, 1Co 13:4, Gal 5:26)
AND ALL SLANDER: kai pasas katalalias: (1Pe
1Ti 3:11; Titus 2:3-note;
Jas 4:11) (Torrey's
Jas 4:11 Do not speak against one
another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother, or judges his
brother, speaks against the law, and judges the law; but if you judge
the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge of it.
All slander - Not just the "worst" but "all!"
repeated "all" leaves no room for exceptions in the demand for
holiness. Its threefold repetition groups moral evils into three
categories. All such evil behavior is a holdover from the old,
unregenerate nature. None of it relates directly to God. (Ibid)
As an aside all of the sins listed in this passage
seek in some way to harm others, whereas (agape)
love always seeks the good of others. Only a Spirit filled
saint can manifest true agape love. It follows that the sins in 1Peter
2:1 are clear evidence of an "unfilled" saint, in fact one who
has grieved the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30-note,
The "juxtaposition" of the "grieved Spirit" with the list of sins in
is no accident! And notice the repetition of slander and malice!) If
the Holy Spirit Who indwells us is grieved, He will hardly be
giving us the "desire" (Php 2:13NLT-note
= "desire") for holy things such as the Holy Word! The
solution needed is for us to recognize that we are guilty of
practicing these sins (one clue is "no hunger or thirst" for the Holy
Word!) and we willingly confess and repent of them, so that we might
be clean and desirous of the "pure milk of the Word."
Slander naturally follows envy, for we are prone to
"run down" or defame the status or reputation of those individuals
toward which we are jealous.
And all evil speakings.” We are not
to be the repeaters of stories to the discredit of others, or to make
up or to exaggerate any evil reports concerning anything in their
lives. Let us have nothing to do with “evil speakings” of any kind.
Lay all these rags aside. Is any one of them still clinging to you?
Let it be laid aside this very hour. (1Peter 2 Commentary )
(plural = slanders) (2636) (katalalia
= against, down + laleo = to speak) means evil speaking, evil
speech, evil report. Slander. Back-biting lies. Defamation.
Disparagement. Speaking about others in such a way as to belittle or
defame their character. This word is not found in classic Greek.
Peter uses the related verb katalaleo (speak against,
speak evil of) in 1Peter 2:12-note
and 1Peter 3:16-note.
The UBS Handbook says katalalia may be expressed
"metaphorically as 'to shoot people with words' (Ed: An
excellent word picture!) or 'to harm others by whispering' or 'to
spoil someone's honor with evil words.'"
The final sin we are called upon to strip off is
making derogatory, defaming, disparaging statements about others. Clearly, God expects us to
focus on the good in our fellow men and not on their bad. (Cp
2Cor 12:20, Ep 4:31-
note, Jas 4:11, Ps 101:5
Literally katalalia means
"Speaking against" or "Speaking down" to a person,
by extension describing the act of
defaming or slandering. Katalalia describes evil,
malicious talk intended to damage or destroy another person. The
greatest slanderer of all is the Devil, Satan, the adversary who
opposes God’s people and accuses them before God.
The English word slander (synonym = calumny) refers to a misrepresentation intended to
"blacken" another’s reputation. Slander is the act of uttering
false charges or misrepresentations maliciously calculated to damage
another’s reputation. The slanderer
says nice things to the person’s face but disparaging things behind
his back, with the motive of making himself look good in everyone
Webster's Dictionary defines slander as “a false tale or
report maliciously uttered, and tending to injure the reputation of
another by lessening him in the esteem of his fellow citizens, by
exposing him to impeachment and punishment, or by impairing his means
A thought to
ponder about evil speaking of others --
(katalalias), an onomatopoeic word
designed to sound like the whispers and tattles reported behind
someone’s back in gossip and backbiting (2 Cor. 12:20). It referred
essentially to defamation of character (cf. 1Pe 2:12; 3:16; James
slander translates a Greek word
that literally means to “speak down” about someone. It includes
gossip, tale bearing, backbiting, spreading rumors, passing along a
bad report, taking cheap shots, using humor to lacerate others,
disparaging comments, unkind words. You can slander someone with the
raised eyebrow, the unfinished sentence, veiled accusations, twisting
the truth to make another person look bad, using subtle nuance to give
a negative cast, judging others unfairly, and putting others down to
make yourself look good. Slander is usually the fruit of envy, and
because it is almost always done behind the back of another person, it
is the seedbed of hypocrisy.
is used only 2x in the NT. The only other
NT use of katalalia is by Paul who writes...
For (referring to Paul's speaking
to build up the Corinthians) I am afraid that perhaps when I come I
may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not
what you wish; that perhaps there may be strife, jealousy, angry
tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances (2Corinthians 12:20)
The psalmist writes
your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. (Ps 34:13) (See
Spurgeon: Guard with careful
diligence that dangerous member, the tongue, lest it utter evil, for
that evil will recoil upon thee, and mar the enjoyment of thy life.
Men cannot spit forth poison without feeling some of the venom burning
their own flesh.
And thy lips from speaking guile.
Deceit must be very earnestly avoided by the man who desires
happiness. A crafty schemer lives like a spy in the enemy's camp, in
constant fear of exposure and execution. Clean and honest
conversation, by keeping the conscience at ease, promotes happiness,
but lying and wicked talk stuffs our pillow with thorns, and makes
life a constant whirl of fear and shame. David had tried the tortuous
policy, but he here denounces it, and begs others as they would live
long and well to avoid with care the doubtful devices of guile.
Do not be a witness against your
neighbor without cause, and do not deceive with your lips. (Pr 24:28)
is a word with a definite flavor. It means evil-speaking; it is
almost always the fruit of envy in the heart; and it usually takes
place when its victim is not there to defend himself. Few things are
so attractive as hearing or repeating spicy gossip. Disparaging gossip
is something which everyone admits to be wrong and which at the same
time almost everyone enjoys; and yet there is nothing more productive
of heartbreak and nothing is so destructive of brotherly love and
Christian unity. (Barclay,
W: The Daily Study Bible Series. The Westminster Press
Evil speaking—backbiting, malicious gossip, recrimination.
Slander is the attempt to make oneself look cleaner
by slinging mud at someone else.
It may take very subtle forms such as: “Yes, she is a lovely person
but she has this one failing …” and then the knife is deftly
thrust into her back. Or it may even have a religious pose: “I
mention this only for your prayer fellowship, but did you know that he
…” and then the character is assassinated. (MacDonald,
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or
the slandering of Edgar Alan Poe-
The story is told that author Edgar Allen Poe died in 1849 in a
drunken stupor while lying in a Baltimore gutter. But a new look at
the medical evidence from Poe's last days shows that the writer was
not drunk, but suffering from rabies. Furthermore, he did not die on
the street, but in a hospital. So how did the false story get started?
It may have been concocted by Poe's doctor. A strong temperance
advocate, he might have wanted to turn the writer's death into a
propaganda lesson about the evils of alcoholism. Whatever Edgar Allen
Poe's personal shortcomings were, it appears that his reputation has
suffered from more than a century of slander. It's a classic case.
Like most slander, the story contains a kernel of truth. Poe was seen
in a bar acting strangely shortly before his death, and he did drink
occasionally. But these facts did not contribute to his death.
Nonetheless, the slanderous account endured for more than one hundred
years. (Today in the Word)
John Piper writes:
One of the ways the word of God creates desire for the milk of God's
kindness is by destroying desire for other things.
Piper goes on to give his
Malice: a desire to hurt someone with words or deeds.
Guile: a desire to gain some advantage or preserve some position by
Hypocrisy: a desire not to be known for what really is.
Envy: a desire for some privilege or benefit that belongs to another
with resentment that another has it and you don't.
Slander: the desire for revenge and self-enhancement, often driven by
the deeper desire to deflect attention from our own failings. The
worse light we can put another in by slander, the less our own
darkness shows." (See
John Piper's full message - Long for the Pure Milk of the Word)
"If you want to experience desire for God's word; if you want your
desires to grow; if you want to taste fully the kindness of the Lord,
realize that as our satisfaction in God's kindness rises, the
controlling desires of malice, guile, hypocrisy, envy and slander are
destroyed. And the reverse is true: as you resist them and lay them
aside, desires for God grow stronger and more intense.
Peter's point is: don't think that they can flourish in the same
heart. Desire to taste
and enjoy God's kindness
cannot flourish where
in the same heart with
guile and hypocrisy."
Steven Cole reminds us
Christian communication stands
against all these worldly ways. We are to speak the truth in love with
a view to building up the other person (Ep 4:15-note,
Peter says that we are to put off these wrong ways of relating, which
implies that we are both responsible for these sins and able, with the
Spirit’s power, to stop doing them. You don’t need years of therapy
and delving into your past to stop doing these things. It is a matter
of obedience. Make a decisive break with your past and commit yourself
to live as a Christian. If you don’t, you won’t be motivated to drink
in God’s Word. (Getting
Into the Word)
><> ><> ><>
Who Is Most Important? - During an operation,
an experienced surgeon asked a young intern,
Who is the most important person in
this operating room?
The intern searched for an appropriate answer. He didn't believe
that his mentor was asking for personal compliments, so trying
to sound gracious he replied,
I suppose that it would be these
nurses who assist you in such an efficient manner.
The surgeon shook his head and said,
No, the most important individual
in this room is the patient.
It's possible to overlook the obvious in
studying the Bible. It's easy to forget how important YOU are in the process. Whether or not you
find profit depends on your attitude. What is the right attitude to
bring to Bible study? First, approach the Bible with a sense of your
own need, not simply to teach it to someone else. Second, approach the
Bible with humility. Don't try to make the Bible say what you would
like it to say, but study to discover what God has said. German
theologian Johann Bengel (1687-1752) said,
Be like a maker of a well who
brings no water to his source but allows the water he finds there to
flow freely without stoppage, diversion, or defilement.
do that will grow like trees "planted by the rivers" (Psalm 1:3-notes
onsite). —H W Robinson
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI.
Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Bible study is meant
not merely to
but to transform.