New American Standard Bible
abstain from every form of evil.
King James Bible
Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Darby Bible Translation
hold aloof from every form of wickedness.
World English Bible
Abstain from every form of evil.
Young's Literal Translation
from all appearance of evil abstain ye;
1 Thessalonians 5:22 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Abstain from all appearance of evil - Not only from evil itself, but from that which seems to be wrong. There are many things which are known to be wrong. They are positively forbidden by the laws of heaven, and the world concurs in the sentiment that they are wicked. But there are also many things about which there may be some reasonable doubt. It is not quite easy to determine in the case what is right or wrong. The subject has not been fully examined, or the question of its morality may be so difficult to settle, that the mind may be nearly or quite balanced in regard to it. There are many things which, in themselves, may not appear to us to be positively wrong, but which are so considered by large and respectable portions of the community; and for us to do them would be regarded as inconsistent and improper. There are many things, also, in respect to which there is great variety of sentiment among mankind - where one portion would regard them as proper, and another as improper.
There are things, also, where, whatever may be our motive, we may be certain that our conduct will be regarded as improper. A great variety of subjects, such as those pertaining to dress, amusements, the opera, the ball-room, games of chance and hazard, and various practices in the transaction of business, come under this general class; which, though on the supposition that they cannot be proved to be in themselves positively wrong or forbidden, have much the "appearance" of evil, and will be so interpreted by others. The safe and proper rule is to lean always to the side of virtue. In these instances it may be certain that there will be no sin committed by abstaining; there may be by indulgence. No command of God, or of propriety, will be violated if we decline complying with these customs; but on the other hand we may wound the cause of religion by yielding to what possibly is a mere temptation. No one ever does injury or wrong by abstaining from the pleasures of the ball-room, the theater, or a glass of wine; who can indulge in them without, in the view of large and respectable portions of the community, doing that which has the "appearance" at least of "evil?"
"Tired nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep." Sleep God hath selected as the very figure for the repose of the blessed. "They that sleep in Jesus," saith the Scripture. David puts it amongst the peculiar gift's of grace: "So he giveth his beloved sleep." But alas! sin could not let even this alone. Sin did over-ride even this celestial metaphor; and though God himself had employed sleep to express the excellence of the state of the blessed, yet sin must have even this profaned, ere itself can be …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857
Thirty-First Lesson. Pray Without Ceasing;'
Be Ye Therefore Perfect, Even as Your Father which is in Heaven is Perfect. Matthew 5:48.
1 Thessalonians 5:21
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;
1 Thessalonians 5:23
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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