1 Thessalonians 2:3-6
For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:…
The word "cloke" here is very significant. In this fallen world of ours there are some sins which men may even glory in — many the indulgence of which entails little or no shame. But this sin of covetousness is one which no man will ever dream of boasting of. Men, while they indulge it, always to hide it. As Bishop Sanderson says, "No man will profess himself covetous, be he never so wretchedly sordid within; but he will for very shame cast as handsome a cloak as he can over it — frugality, good husbandry, providence — some cloak or other to hide the filthiness of it from the sight of others. But filthy it is still, be it cloaked never so honestly. God abhorreth it as a filthy thing" (Psalm 10:3). It appears, then, that this covetousness, however often it may evince its presence among men, must have its cloke or mask. Were it at once and invariably to rythe in its real colours, even the children of the world would not endure it. It would be loathsome. But the Apostle adds, "God is witness" (Romans 1:9; 2 Corinthians 1:23; Philippians 1:8). In reference to the language of flattery, he says, "as ye know." Man can judge thereon. Hence he appeals to his readers. They themselves were good enough judges as to whether he had ever flattered them. But it is otherwise with covetousness and its mask. "Neither man nor angel can discern hypocrisy, the only evil that walks invisible, except to God alone. By His permissive will through heaven to earth." In regard to it — the hypocrisy of covetousness — therefore, Paul lays bare his heart before the all-seeing eye.
(J. Hutchison, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: