In an attempt to deter the local deer population from snacking on our hastas, I’ve been spraying some nasty smelling stuff I’m told the pesky quadrupeds detest.

In a series of commands which mark out conduct becoming of true Christ followers, Paul declares that we should abhor evil as much as deer hate “Liquid Fence.”

“Abhor” means to detest evil by distancing, just as I disliked and distanced myself from cooked spinach as a child.

Moral evil is anything contrary to God’s character or commands as revealed in His Word.  Using God’s revealed truth as an objective standard for measuring wickedness is derided by and offensive to the world, but defended by God’s children.

Selfishness, pride, jealousy, dishonesty, murder, sexual immorality, idolatry, drunkenness, greed, etc., (Exodus 20; Galatians 5:19-20) evident in this world are to be eschewed by God’s people. When a person turns from his/her sinful self-directed life and trusts in Christ’s death as the payment for their sin and in His resurrection as proof that God accepted that payment, the Christ-follower is delivered from the penalty of evil and the power evil previously had on him/her (2 Corinthians 5:17).

As recipients of God’s marvelous mercy in forgiving us and providing so many blessings (Romans 5-8), it is proper and desirable for Christ followers to increasingly abhor the evil they previously adored.

Believers in Christ are commanded to abhor evil in our “Self”. This requires examining our own flaws through exposure to God’s word, evaluating our attitudes and actions, eliciting input from others who see flaws we cannot, and eliminating evil.

We pray with David, “Search me O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there is any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:23-24) We don’t tolerate, but actively eradicate such things as harmful and profane words, cruel actions, self-indulgence, envy, and pride. Through confession, repentance, and daily surrender of our thoughts, words, and deeds to Christ, we demonstrate our abhorrence of evil.

Believers in Christ are commanded to abhor evil in our society, thereby promoting human flourishing and proclaiming the Gospel message. Evil that is contrary to God’s will and word leads to treachery, tyranny, and tragedy for humanity.

For example, human trafficking objectifies and dehumanizes those created in God’s image. Exposing evil is a requirement for embracing the Gospel. Unless people recognize they are evil and therefore eternally separated from God (Isaiah 59:2) they won’t repent of sin, trust in Christ, and be forgiven (Romans 3:23; 6:23).

Christ followers hate evil, and they do it out of their love for God.

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