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Scripture Reading: Psalm 37:1-11
Filled With All Unrighteousness (#2)
1. Rom. 1:18-28: When people reject God, exchange His truth for a lie and do not think God is worth their attention, God “gives them up” to uncleanness (1:24), vile passions (1:26) and debased thinking (1:28). Paul describes "the licentious practices of idolatry".[i]
2. Depraved mind does what is "not fitting" (proper), and is “filled with all unrighteousness”, Rom. 1:28-29.
3. First grouping of sins: General in nature, with the injustices of man against man mainly in view, 1:29.
4. Second grouping of sins: Envy and its results, 1:29.
I. FULL OF ENVY (phthonos), Rom. 1:29.
A. Embittered Resentment (Barclay, Flesh and Spirit, 48). Gal. 5:21
1. “The feeling of displeasure produced by witnessing or hearing of the advantage or prosperity of others....envy desires to deprive another of what he has..." (Vine, 204). (Jealousy wants the same thing; Envy wants to deprive of what one has).
2. Spite, resentful and begrudging; Envy hates that others do well (Roberts, The Works of the Flesh, 19).
B. Clear Commands Against Envy, Psa. 37:1-2; 73:3; Prov. 3:31; Gal. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:1.
C. Envy Illustrated (In each case, the envious tried to or did deprive its object of good):
1. Philistines toward Isaac, Gen. 26:12-16.
2. Jews toward Jesus, Matt. 27:18.
D. Envy where there should be the Harmony of Love.
1. In families.
a. Rachel envied Leah, cf. Gen. 30:1.
b. Joseph's brothers, Gen. 37:11 (2, 3-4, 5-11); Acts 7:9.
2. Among God’s people.
a. Korah and company envied Moses, Psa. 106:16-18 (Num. 16).
b. Preachers toward Paul, Phil. 1:15-17.
3. Among neighbors, cf. Eccl. 4:4.
E. Remedy: A Radical Change of Heart (repentance), 2 Cor. 12:20-21.
II. THE COMPANIONS OF ENVY, Rom. 1:29.
A. Murder: Deprives Others of Life.
1. LOM and the law of Christ prohibit, Exo. 20:13; Rom. 13:9.
2. Root cause: Hate, 1 Jno. 3:10-15.
a. “Intense ill-will; enmity, hostility, malevolence; wishing evil upon another.” It is feuding, hostility.
b. Working definition of echthra: Hateful attitude.
c. “echthra (hatred, enmities) is the attitude of mind and heart which puts up the barriers and which draws the sword.” [ii]
3. Remedy: Love God (Can't love God and hate bro.), 1 Jno. 4:20.
B. Strife: Deprives Others of Peace (contentions), Gal. 5:20.
1. Hatred stirs up strife, Prov. 10:12. (Carnal, 1 Cor. 3:3)
2. “The disposition to wrangle or quarrel.” (Wrangling, Jer. Bible)
a. “When a man begins to argue to demolish his opponent rather than to win him, then eris comes in.” [iii]
b. Strife is the outcome in actual life of the hateful state of mind.
3. “Eris invades the church and becomes characteristic of the church, when the leaders and the members of the church think more about people and about parties and about slogans and about personal issues than they do about Jesus Christ. Here is our warning. Whenever in a church Jesus Christ is dethroned from the central place, all personal relationships go wrong.” [iv]
4. Remedy, Eph. 4:1-3.
C. Deceit: Deprives Others of Justice (fairness, equitable).
1. To bait and ensnare, Prov. 11:18.
2. Often with words (heart of hate, strife, envy), Prov. 12:17-22.
3. Remedy: The honesty of truth, Eph. 4:25; cf. Psa. 15:4.
D. Evil-Mindedness: Deprives Others of Respectful Consideration.
1. Malevolence (smoldering ill-will); "Conscious and intentional wickedness" (Kittel).
2. Remedy: Love and kindness, 1 Cor. 13:5; Eph. 4:32.
1. Envy is a rottenness that eats away at the soul, Prov. 14:30.
2. Envy is a blatant expression of selfishness. When God is removed from the heart and life, the void is filled with darkness.
3. Come to Jesus for light and freedom from envy's pain, Jno. 8:12.
[i] A Textual Commentary on the Greek NT, Metzger, Bruce M.
[ii] Flesh and Spirit, Barclay, William, 42
[iii] Ibid, 44
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: September 11, 2014