DEFINITION: The dictionary defines evil as being morally bad. For believers, it is any act or thought that violates the Word of God. Other words for evil used in the Bible include iniquity, transgression, and sin.
FACTS ABOUT EVIL:
Evil exists everywhere. Since the fall of Satan from heaven and Adam and Eve’s original sin, evil has been manifested in the world.
Evil is sin. The Bible calls evil “transgression, sin, and iniquity”. Evil is the opposite of all that is good and is any act or thought that is contrary to God’s Word.
You will encounter evil people and circumstances. Because you live in an evil world, you will confront evil people and evil circumstances. You cannot control the circumstances or the people, but you can control your attitudes and responses towards them and your involvement in evil.
DEALING WITH EVIL:
Realize that everyone is tempted. You are not the only one tempted to do wrong, but you must recognize where the temptation comes from and what to do about it (James 1:13-15). Reject it the minute it enters your mind.
Repent of evil. Acknowledge evil thoughts and actions as sin and repent of them. God is faithful to forgive you of confessed sins, but He goes beyond that to cleanse you from all unrighteousness when you come to Him seeking forgiveness (1 John 1:8-9).
Eliminate sinful practices. Reject every kind of evil–even the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22 and Ephesians 5:3-17). Dispose of evil literature, photographs, pornography, music, and anything that has to do with the occult. Do not hang out where evil people congregate.
Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Learn to walk according to the guidance and dictates of the Holy Spirit who is resident within you. When you feel like something is wrong, that is the Holy Spirit warning you to avoid it (Ephesians 5:18).
Concentrate on pure things. Do not think about or give your attention to evil things. The Apostle Paul said: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT EVIL:
The fear of the Lord–that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding. (Job 28:28)
Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever. (Psalm 37:27)
Deliver me, 0 my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of evil and cruel men. (Psalm 71:4)
Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies. (Psalm 141:4)
Keep me from the snares they have laid for me, from the traps set by evildoers. (Psalm 141:9)
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. (Proverbs 3:7)
Through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil. (Proverbs 16:6)
In the paths of the wicked lie thorns and snares, but he who guards his soul stays far from them. (Proverbs 22:5)
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. (Isaiah 5:20)
This is what the Lord says: “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. See to it then, that the light within you is not darkness.” (Luke 11:34-35)
Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. (John 3:20)
Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. (Romans 12:9)
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)
Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character. (1 Corinthians 15:33)
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. (Ephesians 5:3-7)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)
Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness. (2 Timothy 2:19)
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:13-15)
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. Peter But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16)
Be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. (2 Peter 3:17)
Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. (1 John 3:7)
Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. (3 John 1:11)
(See also “Sin” in this database.)