Abhorrence of Evil
Romans 12:9
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; hold to that which is good.…

It is the peculiarity of Christianity that while it aims to exclude all sin from the heart, it does not dismember the soul by excluding from it any faculty that is natural to it. Of these hatred is one — one terribly liable to abuse, but rightly used a potent instrument in the suppression of evil.

I. WHAT IS EVIL? It is twofold. A hidden power in the soul —

1. Like the poison in the berry, or the deadly lightning hid in the thunder-cloud; and as it assumes a concrete form in evil men, books, institutions, etc., i.e., evil appears in character and conduct. It is guilt and pollution.

2. It is vice and crime; the one personal, the other social. Crimes sometimes shock us too much; vices almost always too little.

II. WHAT IS IT TO ABHOR EVIL. Abhorrence is the opposite of love. Love seeks to possess the object loved, and then to perpetuate it. Abhorrence casts the evil thing out of our heart, and then seeks to chase it out of the world. It contains the ideas of separation and destruction.


1. This is the very end for which Christ died — "to destroy the works of the devil."

2. It is implied in sanctification which is separation to God, and therefore separation from evil in thought, affection, purpose, practice.

3. Your personal safety lies along that line, "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord."

4. God employs the hatred of good men to sin as an instrument for its suppression in others.

5. No other course is open to us. We must not compromise with evil, we cannot utilise it, it is impossible to control it; we must therefore either yield to it or cast it out.


1. Evil is associated with fine qualities. Don Juan and the Hebrew Lyrics are in the same volume. There are paintings in the first style of art which would be best seen at midnight without a light. Burke said, "Vice loses half its evil by losing all its grossness."

2. Spurious charity. Ignorance, weakness may be used as a shield and pleaded as an excuse.

3. Social connections.

4. Self-interest.

5. Temperament. The violent and hasty, the easy and indolent are ever ready to extenuate or condone evil.

6. Timidity which shrinks from the consequences of active strife against sin.

7. Familiarity with evil.

8. Diverging views.

9. Our innate love of evil.

(W. Bell.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

WEB: Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil. Cling to that which is good.

Abhorrence of Evil
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